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925 S 27th Street
BILLINGS, MT 59101
Phone: 406-245-6427
Fax: 406-259-3558
Donald Vegge

Donald Vegge

Tuesday, October 22nd, 1946 - Sunday, February 16th, 2020
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Obituary

Donald L. Vegge, 73, Billings, left for his eternal home, February 16, 2020, at Riverstone Hospice House, surrounded by family.

Don entered this earthly world on October 22, 1946, in Billings, to George and Nellie Vegge. He was named after his mother’s cousin, who was the first one in the family to die in combat during WWII. Don was preceded in death by his parents, George and Nellie Vegge. He is survived by his wife, Judy; children, Crystal (Brian Martin) of Billings; Justin of Janesville, Wisconsin; grandchildren, Heather, Matthew, Cameron, and Daizy Martin; Wes and Elly Vegge; and sister, Carol of Billings.

Don’s life was one of fulfillment as he lived deeply.

He graduated from Billings West High in 1964. His high school years were occupied by sports and music. He played the double French horn in the school band and also with the Billings Symphony. Don taught himself to play a carpenter’s saw with a viola bow. He shared this extraordinary gift playing at nursing homes, funerals, church and other functions.

Don loved all kinds of sports. He played slow pitch men’s softball on the Buck’s Bar team for eight years, which later was inducted into the Montana Softball Hall of Fame. Don also coached the Kings’ women’s slowpitch team.

Don served in the Air Force 1966-1970, being stationed in New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Alaska, which was a perfect fit for him as it provided many opportunities to hunt and fish.

Upon returning to Billings following his military service, Don worked for MDU before joining the Billings Police Force. From 1973 - 1997, Don seized every available opportunity within the police department serving as a motorcycle cop, bicycle cop, and being part of the SWAT team. As a result of taking a crime scene photography class, Don developed a passionate hobby of photography.
Being a resource officer at West High School was a very special time while serving on the police department.

During his police career, Don was instrumental in getting the Police Chaplaincy program started in 1978. Upon his retirement from the police department, Don continued to serve the city working with canine detection services, heading Security at Rimrock Mall and serving 13 years in the Billings Code Enforcement Division. In all of his years with the City of Billings, Don worked hard to make the city a better place to live and to raise families.

Don loved much. He married Judy, April 4, 1981. He provided many opportunities for Crystal and Justin as they came to discover their strengths and interests. Don gave graciously, not only to his family, but also to others.
As a code enforcement officer, he often helped people who were unable to take care of their code violations.

Don had a deep faith. He was very much involved with his church, playing his saw at worship services, being part of the church’s security team and participating in Bible studies. Don knew Christ was always with him and he lived his faith deeply.

The Vegge family expresses deep appreciation and gratitude for the tender loving care by his physicians and Riverstone Home Care and Hospice Services.

Suggested memorials are: Riverstone Home Care and Hospice Services, 2626 1st Avenue South, Billings, Montana, 59101; Beartooth Christian Ranch, 130 Trinity Trail, Fishtail, MT 59028; Boys and Girls Club of Yellowstone County, 505 Orchard Lane, Billings, Montana, 59101.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Location
    Yellowstone National Cemetery
    Address
    55 Buffalo Hill Trail
    LAUREL, MT
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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J

John Bedford

Posted at 12:24am
When I started on the department as reserve officer in 1987, Don was working night shift. He had worked nights for a long time and was pretty set in his ways. Coffee break at St Vincent’s, a Gazette hot off the press, and car to car chats with a few shift buddies.

One night I was assigned to ride with him. He was not happy. I don’t remember who the Sgt. was that did it, but I know it was to irritate him. So I got my gear and saddled up. I don’t remember him saying anything to me other than do this, do that, etc. No chatting. It was going to be a long ten hour shift. It was a quiet night and when the paper came out at two or three a.m. he picked one up, drove up to a spot on the rims overlooking downtown, wordlessly parked, turned the car off, the dome light on and began silently reading the paper. I stared out the window, praying for dispatch to give us a call. Back then dispatchers knew their officers pretty well and probably knew he was not to be disturbed. Well, he finished reading and asked, “Do you hunt?”

That question, started a friendship that lasted until his passing. We never did hunt or fish together, but we shared our faith, opinions on the world, PD ups and downs, and took some crazy calls. I got to see the wonderful change when he left night shift. Don was one of the first School Resource Officers in Billings and one of the first on the Bike detail. He was an important driver to get the K9 detail back. It seemed to me it was like he had more passion for life and that passion did not stop until he left us.

I was glad to have visited him last year. While visiting him he showed me a great picture he had taken of a special place on the Stillwater River. Because of his kindness I was able to get a signed digital print of it for my son, who fishes that river almost weekly.
Don, Thanks for your friendship, laughs, and encouragement. Until, we meet again!! John Bedford

StephenJudy Hamilton

Posted at 11:49am
Donny as my Steve called him was such a godly and loving friend. He was my daughter's resource officer at West High and worked the chains at West High football games while my son played on the field. The first time I heard him play his saw I did not know him and was looking for the person with the beautiful soprano voice! He was a fierce slow pitch competitor with my Steve for years, and his precious Judy was one of three of the Judy wives who kept score and cheered their guys on! My heart just breaks for all of the family with the loss of this special man, and I know Donny and my Steve are together again in Heaven fishing or just making
music for their Lord and Savior.
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