Dennis William Jette 1937 - 2023

Swan Song

SWAN VALLEY - Dennis W. Jette, a long-time Swan Valley resident, passed away in Kalispell January 27, 2023 with his beloved wife, Billie and his step-daughter, Charlene Bartell, at his side.  Dennis was born March 20, 1937 in Missoula to Evelyn and Art Jette.  His early schooling was at St. Francis Xavier elementary school in Missoula.  He, his parents and four siblings moved to the Swan in 1951.  He went to eighth grade in the Swan at Smith Flats school.  There was a total of 13 kids at Smith Flats.  He went to high school in Missoula at Loyola.

Beginning in 1959, Dennis served in the U.S. Army and left with an honorable discharge. He has long been active in the American Legion Post in the Swan. In February 2022, the Pathfinder published an article about Dennis' military service.  "Jette took his basic training at the Fort Ord Army Post in Monterey Bay, California. In fact, except for a 30-day training course in Yakima, Washington, Jette's whole military service was based at Fort Ord. That was fine with him; he had never seen the ocean before. Directly out of boot camp Jette was selected for the military police (MP). His training included weapons instruction emphasizing pistol marksmanship and formal karate instruction as well as general coaching in how to handle himself in various situations."In the 1960s, Dennis worked at Gray's Mill in Seeley Lake.  He subsequently worked in Decker, Montana and the Rock Springs, Wyoming area driving heavy equipment.  He worked in several capacities after moving back to the Swan Valley in the early 1980s.  He and his grader were active in many road projects in the Lakeside area and in the Swan.  As an independent contractor he also was a dependable and steady presence when people in the valley needed to have their properties plowed.  Dennis is known for his stories of Swan events and misadventures.

Dennis was proud of his family's history in the Valley.  His grandfather, William S. Deegan was one of the earliest homesteaders, filing in 1911.  In 1918, his maternal great-grandmother, Mary Anne McKenzie Whalen also filed for a homestead.  Both homesteads were successfully proved up.

Dennis married Billie Blundell in 1989.  He was twice previously married.  In addition to Billie, he is survived by his sister Anne Jette Reinhard of Swan Valley and Bigfork and his brother Stephen Barney Jette (Nancy Ball) of Missoula, step-daughter, Charlene Bartell and her children and grandchildren.  Also surviving are nieces Kia Jette, Kathy Unsworth, Theresa Rausch, Anneke Jette and nephews Jeff Jette, Christian Jette, Ken Reinhard, and Rick Reinhard, as well as grand nieces and nephews and great-grand nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Don and Frank Jette, and his son, Guy Jette.

No service is planned at this time.  


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