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Willard Toavs

Willard A. “Will” Toavs, 82, died Jan. 15, 2024, in Billings.

He was born on the family farm north of Wolf Point on Jan. 16, 1941, to Abraham and Susan Toavs. He was the middle child of five sisters, Leona, Grace, Marvel, Fran and Dee; and one brother, Ferris. He attended Pioneer School, a one-room schoolhouse, for grades 1-8. After graduating from high school at Lustre Bible Academy in 1959, he briefly studied at Montana State University in Bozeman and the University of Minnesota. He had fond memories from living and working in the Twin Cities. Deciding that he wanted to make farming his life’s work, he returned to Montana. After returning, he also served in the Montana Air National Guard for six years.

He married Anita Sue “Midge” Thiessen of Lambert on Sept. 3, 1966. Their first years were spent working on farms in Larslan and north of Wolf Point. In 1969, they purchased a farm north of Wolf Point, where they raised three children, Kelly, Brent and Janelle.

His greatest loves were his faith, family and farming. Having decided to follow the Lord Jesus Christ at a young age, his faith was the foundation of his life. In good times and bad, he drew strength from the Scriptures. He especially loved the old hymns and fellowship times both at Bethel Mennonite Church and Gospel Fellowship Church. He served on the Bethel Mennonite Church board and the Trinity Hospital board for several years.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and was grateful for special gatherings with his siblings. His grandchildren held a special place in his heart. His heritage was precious to him and he was intent on leaving a legacy of faith for his children and grandchildren. He was kind, generous and compassionate, often encouraging others through difficult times.

He loved farming and ranching on Tule Creek Ranch. From a young age, he knew he wanted to be a farmer, even occasionally escaping class to “discuss” farming with a friend when

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