Joe L. Southworth

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Joe L. Southworth, 96, was born on the early spring morning March 23, 1924 to Lilly May and Elmo Alvin Southworth on the family farm near Park City.

He was the eighth child, with six brothers and two sisters. Farm life installed a hard work ethic and compassion for animals in young Joe. This stayed with him his entire life. He grew to be a Good Man.

He attended school in Park City. In 1943 at the age of 19 he was drafted into the Army as WW II was progressing.

Serving with the Company C 85th Mountain Infantry as a sharp shooter (ground pounder) his words. Campaigns Italy: Rome Arno - PO Valley - N. Apennines - WW II.  Victory Medal American Theater. After a wound to his heel he was shipped back to the land he loved, the United States of America, with an honorable discharge in November 1945.

Joe came back to Montana and lived in Park City. He started his career with the Northern Pacific Railroad as a carman welder in Laurel, Montana.

July 22, 1946, he met and married the love of his life, Mary Ruth Altice. Joe and Mary started their family in Park City and as the family grew, they built a new home in Laurel on Valley Drive. To provide for his growing family, Joe took on a wrecking crew job as a crane operator for the Burlington Northern Railroad cleaning up derailments.

For great times together Joe and Mary started a band in 1968 called (THE ORIGINALS). They played for dances, Mary on her steel guitar, Joe on his lead guitar. Guitar playing became one of Joe's many passions in his life.

Joe retired in 1983 from the BN railroad as a carman. Joe and Mary's great love for family was always a priority. They traveled to many states to see their children and grandchildren, always with their companion dog and bird. Never missing a holiday with family in or out of state.

His beloved wife Mary passed away in 2000 and Joe remained in his home. He loved playing his guitar with the Blue Grass and Montana Fiddlers Groups. He also grew a large garden every year where his specialty was raising gigantic pumpkins.

As Joe's sight was failing, he sold his home and moved to the Tendernest Assisted Living facility in Laurel. Joe loved the staff and built a strong relationship there. His best friend Gary Waddel would take him to coffee every morning.  Joe waited with his hat and coat on every morning. (Thank you Gary).

Joe resided at Tendernest until his calling to be with the Lord September 24, 2020 with his daughters holding his hand.

Preceding Joe in death were his parents, brothers and sisters, Bus, Alvin, Lawrence, Kenny, Gene, Richard, Margaret, Myrtle; and son Darin Dale.

Joe is survived by daughters, Laura Dietz (Phil), Valarie Krum (Steve); and sons, Thomas N. and Glen A.; 15 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.


  Hold my hand when I'm alone,

  And guide me when I'm lost,

  Console me when I'm filled with sorrow,

  Be by my side when I need you most.

  Rest in peace Dad. We love you.


No services. Full Military Honors at Park City cemetery October 2, 2020 at 2. p.m.


Upcoming Events

Monday, November 2, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Council Chambers
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, November 5, 2020
First Thursday, 5 p.m., City of Laurel Council Chamber
Monday, November 9, 2020
2nd Mondays, 6:30 p.m., at Wood's Powr-Grip, 908 West Main St., use the west entrance, open to the public. 
Monday, November 9, 2020
2nd Tuesday, 6 p.m., Laurel Public Library


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