Agriculture Industry Leader, John Paugh, Leaves a Rich Legacy



John C. Paugh, 86, of Bozeman, Montana, passed away Sept. 8, 2015. He was born Dec. 10, 1928, at Fort Benton, Montana, the third son of John Charles and Dorothy Marion (Reed) Paugh. His family moved to the Gallatin Valley when he was three months old and started a dairy ranch where he worked until he graduated from college.

Bud attended the Waterman country School, Emerson School and graduated from Gallatin County High School in 1947. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Montana State College in 1951. John married Donna Mae Matson on Friday June 13, 1952, in Bozeman. Their first two children, David John and Julie Ann, were born in Harlowton, Montana. Shortly after, the family returned to the Bozeman area and had three more children, Gerald Wayne, Laurie Ellen and Richard Donald. All the children attended Belgrade schools.

John was a commercial cattle and sheep rancher and was an iconic figure in the business of agriculture. In 1964 he partnered with Dan and Mary Ann Fulton managing their foundation Targhee herd. He was active in the U.S. Targhee Sheep Association, Gallatin Sheep Association, National Woolgrowers Association, and the Montana Woolgrowers Association where he was president from 1982 to 1983. John was a 4-H leader, member of the Belgrade School Board and Planning Board, Bracket Creek Grazing Association and the Ag Department of Montana State University. As a result, John received many awards for his outstanding participation and hard work throughout the years. He received the Arrowhead Award, which recognized him for his contributions to MSU Extension programs throughout the State. Governor Marc Racicot and again, Governor Judy Martz appointed him as a representative for the sheep and cattle industries to the Montana Board of Livestock. He served from 1995 to 2007. John was a steward of the land, and he made a lasting difference in the agriculture community.

John and Donna’s greatest accomplishment of their 63 year marriage was having and raising a family. Their children; son, David (Millie) Paugh of Ryegate, Montana, and their children, Bryan Paugh of Austin, Texas, and Stephanie Paugh of Bozeman, Montana; daughter, Julie (David) Curd of Helena, Montana, and their children, Melissa Curd of Helena, Montana, Joe Curd of Cheonan, South Korea, and Christy Curd of Missoula, Montana; son, Jerry (Thea) Paugh of Edgar, Montana, and their four children, Nicole (Keith) Nelson of Huntley, Montana, and two grandchildren, Chase and Shey; Jessica (Nate) Carr of Three Forks, Montana, and three grandchildren, Jerzee, Kamden and Harper; John Paugh of Billings, Montana, and Jaymin Paugh of MSU; daughter, Laurie (Chuck) Tate of Bozeman, Montana, and her children, Hannah Heckel, Gabe Heckel and Chloe Heckel all of Bozeman, Montana; son, Richard Paugh of Belgrade, Montana, and companion, Judy Moats and her son, Lance;

His survivors include his brother, Jim (Marlys) of Coffee Creek, Montana, sister-in-law Barbara Paugh of Bozeman. Uncle “Bud” is also survived by one nephew and eight nieces, as well as spouses and children.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Robert, George and niece Jean Paugh Bodle.

Memorials may be made in his name to Montana Woolgrowers Association Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1693, Helena, MT 59624, or to a charity of your choice.

Graveside services were held Friday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. at Harlowton Cemetery. Memorial services will be held Monday, Sept. 14 at 3 p.m. at Bozeman United Methodist Church.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.


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