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Darrel Westley McCracken


October 31, 2018

Darrel Westley McCracken, 90, of Great Falls, passed away Wednesday, October 24, 2018, the morning of his 90th birthday.

The funeral service was held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, October, 30, 2018 with visitation starting one hour prior to the service at 1:00 p.m. both at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel. Schnider Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Darrel was born October 24, 1928 in Chinook Mt. He grew up on the family farm at Turner, and graduated from Turner High School. He entered the military in Feb. of 1951 and served in both Korea and Japan, before being honorably discharged in January of 1953. He attended Northern Montana College in Havre, where he earned his Bachelor's degree in education. He later went on to earn his Master's degree.

While attending Northern Montana College in Havre, he met, and later married Marilyn Magda. They were married on Sept. 15, 1956 and had four children. He taught high school in Rudyard, Kremlin, Turner, and Box Elder before moving to Chinook, where he taught math and industrial arts. Darrel and Marilyn also farmed for many years south of Chinook, on Lone Tree Bench. They moved to Great Falls after retiring in 1996. The McCracken's have traveled extensively around the US and Europe.

Darrel was a master at many trades. He built their house in Chinook, obtained a pilot's license, and enjoyed flying his small plane between Chinook and their farm. He enjoyed playing his guitar and singing to his children, as well as hunting, and fishing. If he wasn't meeting his friends and drinking coffee, he was out in the garage working on a car in his spare time. One of his greatest joys was visiting with his children and grandchildren when they came to visit.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn; daughters Darilyn (Tom) Shaver of Auburndale, FL, Brenda McCracken of Las Vegas, NV, and Caleen (Greg) Tacke of Great Falls; son Brett McCracken of Las Vegas, NV; five grandchildren, Christopher Shaver; Brianna (Joe) Marion, Heather Shaver, Julia Tacke, and Jacob Tacke; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Earl McCracken and Alden McCracken and his sister Mary Ellen Kubitza.

Darrel was an outstanding husband, father, and friend and will be greatly missed by many.

Condolences for the family may be posted online at



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