We've Got The County Covered

Chester "Dusty" Schwenke

On the early morning of May 14, 2024, our beloved Husband/Father/Brother/Grampa/Uncle/Friend – Chester "Dusty" Schwenke passed away peacefully surrounded by his loved ones at the Billings Clinic Hospital in Billings, MT. Dusty was born on June 24, 1962 in Havre, MT to Charlie & Lorraine Schwenke. He was raised in Harlem, MT at the Feedlot Ranch in Paradise Valley. He attended grade school and some high school years in Harlem and later transferred to Malta, MT, where he graduated from the Malta High School in 1980.

Dusty was a true cowboy, one of the last of his kind. As a small child in 1965, he was the littlest member of the Milk River Riders Inc., he was only 4 yrs old but he could already "stand tall in the saddle." He was also well known among Cowboys as a calf roper and team roper. During his high school years, Dusty won many awards such as saddles and buckles for his rodeo achievements. Dusty was named the All-Around Cowboy at the District 1 High School Rodeo after he won first place in calf roping and he teamed up with Joey McConnell and won first place in the team roping to win the All Around Title. He remained actively involved in High School rodeo all 4 years of high school and qualified for numerous trips to the state high school rodeo finals. He continued rodeoing after high school for many years.

Dusty had two children, Laramie and Colter whom he loved dearly. They were both his pride and joy. He proudly attended any and all events they had going on, he was their biggest supporter. When his first grandchildren were born, Sierra & Kahlia, Dusty proudly became Grampa Dusty and he looked forward to seeing them and hearing what they were doing. He was soft hearted and fun and he let them get away with just about anything.

Dusty realized there is a different kind of love for grandbabies and he formed a unique and special bond with them. He invited all the grandkids out to the ranch and made sure they had the times of their lives. He set them up with the quads, horses, swimming in the summer and sledding and playing on the snow hills in the winter. He also catered to the older grandkids and allowed them to hunt, fish and get wood. In 2023 he purchased a boat and although that became his newfound hobby, he always made sure his wife, kids, and grandkids were there to spend some nice summer days on the lake making special memories.

Trey and Celena spent much time with Grandma Julie & Grandpa Dusty at the ranch. Dusty also had a special bond with his niece Felecia Michelle "Feef" they were constantly teasing and harassing one another, each trying to get the last word or the best come back, but at the end of the day they knew they could always count on each other and often called each other for advice and heart-to-heart talks.

In early 2000, Dusty met the love of his life – Julie Hoops, he spent the rest of his life with her. Their relationship was one of unconditional love and respect for each other. On May 17, 2014, on a beautiful spring day, Dusty and Julie officially declared their love to each other and became one. They committed their love and lives to each other in front of many family and friends at the Feedlot Ranch in Paradise Valley which became their home throughout their entire relationship. Together they built a business which started out as "Dusty's Feeders", which they eventually turned into "BlackHoop Ent." From there, together, they entered into several other more recent business ventures.

Dusty and Julie hosted many enjoyable family dinners on holidays at their home and summer barbeques, they both enjoyed entertaining family and friends. Dusty's happy and crazy attitude was an inspiration to his family and friends. He was the life of the party – the "fun" uncle who let his nieces and nephews get away with anything. During family gatherings, his brother-in-laws all shared the same humor as Dusty and it was never a dull moment when they were together.

Dusty's annual New Years Eve Poker parties were special get togethers.

Dusty made friends with anyone he came in contact with, he never met a stranger. He was known as a wild and crazy guy, always good for a laugh and a good time. Despite his humorous nature to his friends, he could also be counted on to be there when they needed him.

Dusty had a special fondness of his Labrador retrievers Charlie & Ruthie. Wherever Dusty went, you could always count on his labs being right by him. They enjoyed life on the ranch together.

Dusty is survived by his wife Julie Hoops Schwenke; son Colter (Kayla) Schwenke; daughter Laramie Schwenke; Brother Shane (Vicki) Schwenke; Granddaughters Sierra & Kahlia Schwenke, Amira Hoops, Celena Hoops; Cree Hoops, Isla Hoops; Samara Hoops; Grandsons Trey Mount; Wyatt Hoops; Alijah Hoops; Lifelong Special Aunt Karen Magda (who had a special hand in raising Dusty and they remained close until the end); numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and other extended family and friends. The family would also like to acknowledge a special thank you to Dusty's true friend Pat Wicks who was there with Dusty's family and remained in the hospital by his side until the end – we appreciate and thank you Pat.

Dusty was preceded in death by his parents Charles Edward Schwenke & Lorraine Ruth (Miller) Schwenke; step-daughter Brandi Nicole Hoops.