Gary R. Ballensky, 75, of Fort Smith, Montana, passed away at his home on the morning of Sunday, March 8, 2020.

He was born in Miles City on July 19, 1944, to Albert and Theresa Ballensky. Gary attended schools in St. Xavier and Hardin, graduating in 1963 from Hardin High School.  He was later drafted into the Army and served his country in Vietnam.  In 1971, he married Yu-chun Chang and adopted Mei-lan and the three made their home in Fort Smith.   A few years later, Tanya was born.  The two later divorced.  In 1986, Gary became the father figure and mentor to Shawna Loehr and she became part of the Ballensky family.

Gary farmed and ran a trucking business until his retirement in the mid 2000’s.  After his retirement, he helped Tanya with bookkeeping at her business, Cremation & Funeral Gallery and eventually partnered with her to open Heights Family Funeral Home.

We will all miss Gary’s kind heart and sense of humor.

He was most recently preceded in death by his great nephew Jacob Power.

He is survived by his long-time companion Yu-chun Ballensky of Sun City West, AZ; daughters: Mei Ballensky of Glendale, AZ; Shawna Spear of Howell, NJ; and Tanya Ballensky of Billings, MT; his grandchildren; great grandchild; his siblings and numerous nieces and nephews.

Viewing will be held on Tuesday, March 17, from 1-4 p.m. at Cremation & Funeral Gallery and also on Wednesday, March 18, at 10 a.m. at St Joseph Catholic Church in Hardin, with a procession leaving at 11am for a Catholic Rite of Committal at Fairview Cemetery.  Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Big Horn County Historical Society, 1163 3rd Street East, Hardin, MT 59034.