Kenneth Russell ‘Ken’ Tintinger, 84

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Kenneth Russell “Ken” Tintinger, 84, of Helena, died surrounded by his family’s love at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, March 25, 2019, following decline due to Parkinson’s disease and related dementia.

Ken was born March 21, 1935, in Great Falls to Russell and Margaret (Oliver) Tintinger. He joined brother Donald and sister Edna Mae and would be followed shortly by brother Wesley. The family was struck by tragedy when Margaret, Ken and Wes contracted tuberculosis (TB) and were quarantined at the state sanatorium in Galen; the boys eventually recovered but their beloved mother died. Ken and his siblings would be taken in by several different families stretching from Fort Shaw to the Boulder Valley over the next several years. Ken’s TB re-emerged in his teens and he was quarantined a second time. Upon recovery, Ken took to heart his Galen doctors’ and nurses’ encouragement to continue his education, re-enrolling in high school and graduating with the Helena High Class of 1957 at 22 years of age. Ken went on to earn degrees from Western Montana College, was awarded a scholarship to the University of Rochester where he earned a Masters in Education degree, and eventually, psychology credentials from University of Montana.

Ken retired to Flathead Lake after many years as an educator, first teaching in White Sulphur Springs and Fort Benton, then as a counselor and school psychologist in Fort Benton, Kalispell, and in Washington state. Ken met the love of his life, Dee (Miller), when they were both teaching in Fort Benton. After retirement, Ken and Dee continued working with kids as volunteers in the Lakeside school. They also volunteered at the Lakeside Library and with Lakeside snowmen committee, and participated in Friendship Force. At various times Ken was a member of Kiwanis, Jaycees and numerous professional organizations. Ken and Dee moved to Helena in 2015 and joined the Covenant Methodist Church there.

Ken is survived by his wife of 54 years, Dee, and their children D’Ann (Lyle) Cigler and son Ryan, LeahJo (John) Tietz and son Bridger, and Ket (Susanne) and daughter Caroline and son Wyatt. Ken is also survived by his brother Wesley (Katie), sisters Bette Jane (Gordon) Hoven, Jan Magee, June (John) Sine, sister-in-law Carolyn Tintinger, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, his stepmother Jane, brother Donald, sister Edna Mae and her husband Mel Johnson and two of their adult children, Don and Alice.

Most important to Ken was family. He reconnected with his family and gained additional siblings after his father married Jane Ryan in 1949 and had three daughters. Ken was the family genealogist, compiling stories, photos and memories of relatives long before the internet made it all just a click away. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, uncle and a dear friend to many. Ken and Dee enjoyed many hours cheering their kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews in sports and activities. His wise guidance, unconditional love and support, humor, infectious laugh, and love of puns will be greatly missed.

Ken and Dee played with several pinochle groups until moving to Touchmark. They also enjoyed traveling and visited every state in the U.S., except Maine!

A memorial service and celebration of Ken’s life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at the Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave. in Helena, with a reception to immediately follow in the social hall of the funeral home. Cremation has taken place.

The family would like to thank the staff at Touchmark, PureView, St. Peter’s Hospital and Hospice for their kind and compassionate care.

Memorials in Ken’s name are suggested to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4747; and Special Olympics Montana, 710 First Ave. N., Great Falls, MT 59401. Thank you.

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