Robert ‘Pits’ DeArmond

After 66 years of adventures, we lost a truly extraordinary man on Saturday. Robert “Pits” DeArmond passed away from lung cancer on April 4th, 2020. He was born to Donald and Mary Jane DeArmond in Spearman, Texas, on September 9th, 1953. He was the eldest of their four children (Dennis, Mary Lou, and Bo).

Pits met his wife Lynn while snowmobiling on the Wyoming-Colorado line in 1981. They were married May 12, 1982, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and moved to Bearcreek, Montana shortly thereafter.

Friends and family were everything to Pits. He was husband to Lynn DeArmond; brother to Bo (Terry) DeArmond; father to Mike (Ronda) Swartz and Suzie (Todd) Traucht; grandfather to Madison Traucht, Jake Traucht, Jayme Countryman, and Jeramie Countryman; and great-grandfather to Damion, Chevy, and Isabella.

Always an entrepreneur, he operated many businesses over the years. Early on, Pits partnered with his uncle, Jim Cayton, drilling in Utah. For the past 38 years, he and Lynn have owned and operated the Bear Creek Saloon. In the off season, Pits did anything and everything, from cooking in hunting camps to washing and clipping cattle under the banner of DeArmond Cattle Services.

One of his most spectacular and long-lived endeavors was the infamous pig races at the Bear Creek Saloon. The initial idea was conceived over beers on a slow evening with family and friends, and Pits managed to bring the dream to life that very same year. Generations of locals and tourists alike have flocked to Bearcreek ever since for this unique and family-friendly entertainment. Most importantly, since 1991, pig racing proceeds have provided $121,000 in cumulative scholarships to 34 FFA and 4-H students in Carbon County.

Pits was an enthusiastic public servant, acting at various times as mayor of Bearcreek and as a member of the Carbon County planning board. Most recently, he was proud to serve as a Carbon County commissioner.

Business and politics aside, Pits enjoyed fishing, fishing buddies, and fishing tales. He loved to share the river with his friends and grandkids. He famously never met a stranger, and his collection of colloquialisms known as “Pits-isms” is legendary.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Pits’ name to the Beartooth Humane Alliance at PO Box 2333, Red Lodge, MT, 59068. A celebration of life will occur at a later date.