September 9, 2022

Loyd and Phyllis Townsend reached their 74th wedding anniversary on August 30th! They were married in Miles City on August 30th, 1948.

Loyd, age 92, was born in Camp Crook, South Dakota and “Phyl,” 91, was born in Ekalaka. Both graduated from Carter County High School, Loyd in 1948 and Phyl in 1949. They have two children. Jerome Townsend is an electrical engineer and lives in Penrose, Colorado. Arlene Sabala is a registered nurse, still working part-time and living in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Loyd’s parents were George and Jessie Townsend; Phyl’s were Bert and Myrtle Yates of Ridgway.

Loyd went to work as a clerk for Ed Sykes who was the postmaster at Ekalaka in the spring of 1950. He worked in that capacity for twenty years, followed by fifteen years as postmaster, and retired in 1985.

Extracurriculars found him as a Montana Officials Association (MOA) basketball referee from 1948 through 1971. He worked high school and junior college games as well as many tournaments over those years.

Loyd also spent around 30 years as a member, the president, and the secretary-treasurer for the Ekalaka Volunteer Fire Department. The department only had one, small truck with a 50 to 100 gallon tank. It’s still usually driven in the parade during the Days of ‘85. In later years when he was still with the department, two new fully equipped trucks were purchased.

Alan Loken was a member who pushed for “turnouts” for the department. They got coats, pants and boots. Another first for the department during Loyd’s tenure was when they accepted the first female member, Alyce Kuehn, who did a great job.

Loyd and Phyl have also been active members for the Ekalaka Bible Church, which has had other names over the years. Loyd was a deacon and moderator, serving with Pastor Doyle Pickens and Pastor Wally Fox.

Remember Wear Hardware owned and operated by Robert and Velma Wear with daughter Winnie and son Bill? The store was purchased from Frank Buck in 1955. This brings to mind the businesses close by including C.M. Summers’ gas station to the west, and Ekalaka Super Valu and New Life Bar and Cafe to the east. All of these businesses were on the south side of the street. Phyl worked at the hardware store for 17 or 18 years and at times with Lola Kittelmann, Evelyn Hedges, Jeanette Adams and Roberta Huether.

I remember two more boards that I served on, but don’t remember the years. One was the Dahl Memorial Hospital Association on which I served two terms. The second term was during the addition of the old hospital and nursing home to the old, old hospital. Some other board members serving at that time were Laverne Records, Mildred Schuyler, Marshall Lambert, and I believe Jinnie Oxford who lived down by Alzada. Others I don’t remember.

The other board was the Carter County High School board and if I am not mistaken I served fifteen years with thirteen spent as chairman. This was many years ago and when the “new” school was voted for by the county. Jim Anderson was the superintendent at that time and I believe Gary Tuggle was principal. The school was a great bargain.

I want to mention that all of those individuals I served with were very special people who gave of their time and effort because of their love for the county and community.

Several have inquired about my lung cancer. It seems to be at a “stand still” at this time.

I would love to hear from you if you have information or thoughts on this article at P.O. Box 333, Ekalaka, MT 59324.


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