Kenneth LeRoy Hotz, 91, passed away in Whitefish, Mont., on May 2, 2012. He was born the eighth of nine children on March 24, 1921, in Pagosa Springs, Colo., to Marion and Elizabeth (Hilliker) Hotz.
Ken graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 1939 and joined the Civilian Conservation Corp. Ken joined the U.S. Army Air Corp where he served from 1940 until retiring as a Master Sergeant in 1963. He served as a logistics officer at Whitman Air Force Base in Knobnoster, Mo., and at the Strategic Air Command. During his service, Ken received many medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and Meritorious Service Medal. He married LaWanda B. Miner on March 24, 1949, in Rapid City, S.D. Ken went to work for Stoltz Lumber from 1964 until retiring in 1985. He enjoyed traveling throughout the United States to visit family and friends and see the sights. He has been to every state but New Jersey, Ohio and Delaware. He loved his family, playing cribbage and pinochle and was an outdoor enthusiast, spending lots of time fishing, hiking and hunting. Ken was a member of the U.S. Air Force Sergeants Association and the Columbia Falls Senior Center.
Ken was preceded in death by his father Marion, mother Elizabeth, sister Goldie Anderson, sister Nellie Walter, brother William Hotz, brother Thomas Hotz, brother Robert Hotz, sister Murriel Hotz and brother Bert Hotz. He is survived by his wife LaWanda Hotz of Columbia Falls, Mont., daughter, Debora Hall of Columbia Falls, Mont., daughter, Anita Floden and husband John of Stilwell, Kan., son, Kenneth Hotz of Dayton, Minn., daughter Pamela Gatto and husband Phil of Buckley, Wash., son Alan Hotz of Aurora, Colo., sister, Minnie Johnson of Westminster, Colo., 21 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He was the uncle of Richard Walter and Franklin Anderson.
No services will be held at this time. A private service for family and friends is being planned for a later date.
Memorial contributions can be made in Kenneth’s name to Montana Veteran’s Home, 400 Veterans Drive, Columbia Falls, MT 59912 or North Valley Senior Center, P.O. Box 676, 205 Nucleus Ave, Columbia Falls, MT 59912.
Columbia Mortuary has been entrusted with Kenneth’s arrangements.
You are invited to go to www.columbiamortuary.com to offer condolences and view Kenneth’s tribute wall.