On Sunday, January 29, 2023, the last chapter in the life of Richard Ralph Jarrett was brought to a close. Rick was born on March 10, 1950 to Robert and Betty (Halverson) Jarrett where he joined three older brothers, Bill, Ray and Ron. Rick grew up on the ranch on Duck Creek and attended Duck Creek School. Rick attended Sweet Grass County High School and graduated with honors in 1968. He married his high school sweetheart Susan Davis in 1969 and while Rick was attending Montana State University they started a family. They welcomed Jay in 1969 and then a daughter Jami in 1971 after they moved back to the family ranch.
The ranch provided a joyous life for Rick and his family, but ranch life was seldom without struggle. He devoted his life to making sure the ranch could withstand time and continue to be passed down to his children and grandchildren. He often said the ranch wasn’t really his; he was just borrowing it from his grandchildren. Over the years, Rick endeavored to supplement the ranch’s income with an array of ventures including working ranch vacations, bird hunting and a direct-to-consumer lamb cooperative. Rick believed that raising his family on the ranch and having his children learn the value of hard work, problem solving, and artful cursing was more important than amassing monetary wealth. “Character builders” were his specialty.
One of Rick’s greatest joys in life was his grandchildren. He was a legendary grandfather to Justin, Jordan, Jake and Jess. The kids (and all their friends) loved spending time with their grandpa and have many invaluable memories of trips taken together, big hugs, daredevil stunts, and heartfelt conversations. The grandkids knew that they could always count on Gramps to be their biggest fan and unwavering supporter. When Rick and the grandkids got together an adventure was always guaranteed.
Rick also cherished times spent at the cattle and sheep permits on the Gallatin that were obtained once the ranch was no longer able to take their big bands of sheep up the Boulder. Cow camp on Taylor’s Fork held a special place in his heart.
Rick loved politics and discussing current events with people no matter their political affiliation, religion, nationality, or conflicting views on environmentalism. He took great pride in educating people about production agriculture and for many years, hosted the University of Montana Environmental Studies class at the ranch. Everyone that spent time on the ranch left with a different view and appreciation for ranching.
Rick is survived by his son Jay (Kristi) of Great Falls, daughter Jami (Harv) of Big Timber; grandchildren Justin (Sarah), Jordan (Eric), Jake, and Jess (Abby); great-granddaughter Jessica; special friend Geri; and brothers Ron and Ray.
Funeral services will be held at the Big Timber Lutheran Church on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 2:00 pm with a reception to follow at the Grand. In lieu of flowers, please make donation to Sheepherder Square Foundation, PO Box 448, Big Timber, MT 59011 or your favorite charity.