Robert John (Poogie) Vandersnick
insribed: 'ADJ3 US NAVY VIETNAM
DWS: Billings Gazette Mar 13, 2007
" ABSAROKEE - Robert "Poogie" J. Vandersnick, 60, died Sunday, March 11, 2007, at St. Vincent Hospital, after fighting a courageous battle with esophageal cancer for almost a year. He passed away peaceful with his family at his side.
Poogie was born in Billings, July 5, 1946, to Clarence and Alice Vandersnick. He was raised and educated in Nye/Absarokee, graduating from Absarokee High School in 1964. He extended his education attending Denver Technical College.
Poogie served four years in the U.S. Navy, which included three tours of Vietnam on the USS Kitty Hawk, receiving an honorable discharge in October 1969. He then went to work at Midland Dodge, Downtown Billings, as a mechanic and became a Dodge fan for the rest of his life. In 1971, Poogie started mining for the Anaconda Company. He diamond drilled the Stillwater PGM-JM Reef for 16 years and then transferred to Stillwater Mining Company in 1994 to the mine maintenance department, where he was still employed at the time of his death. He enjoyed his job and had many true and lasting friendships. Altogether, Poogie had 36-plus years in mining without a lost time or medical reported injury. Poogie, along with his wife Debbie, owned and operated Poogie's Hardware for 13 years and operated a small engine repair shop. Poogie dedicated many years to the Absarokee Fire Dept. & Ambulance. He had a great impact on people's lives.
On July 31, 1982, Poogie married Debbie Lamm. Together, they were blessed with two beautiful children: Jason and Heather. They were the pride and joy of his life. His first grandson, Devin Vandersnick, was born Jan. 17, 2004. Poogie was a very proud grandpa. This is what made him fight so hard for his life. He was determined to see his grandson grow up.
Besides his wife, children and grandson, Poogie is survived by his mother, Alice; sisters Sharon Eaton (Don), Jodi Guptil (Dan Klingenstein), Theresa (Dan) Burkhart, many nieces and nephews, whom he loved, other extended family members and many, many friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Clarence and nephew David Oltrogee.
Poogie deeply enjoyed spending time with his family, whether on road trips or just working outside their house or garage. He also loved playing golf, snowmobiling, working on his yard and helping others. Poogie spent the majority of his life working and playing in the Beartooth Mountains and cherished all the memories.
Poogie's family would like to thank everyone for all the support and prayers that were given while he battled his fight against cancer.
We love you, Poogie, and will miss you dearly. Thank you for teaching us strength, courage and, most importantly, what it means to be a family.
Celebration of Poogie's life will be 10 a.m. Friday, March 16, at St. Michael's Catholic Church, Absarokee. Interment with military honors will be in the Rosebud Cemetery. Visitation will be noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at Smith Funeral Chapel-Columbus and a vigil service will be 7 p.m. Thursday, at St. Michael's Catholic Church.
Memorials may be made to the Absarokee Fire & Ambulance Dept. or charities of one's choice. Smith Funeral Chapel-Columbus was in charge of arrangements.
'Well done thou good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.' Matthew 25:21"