In Memory

William "Pudge" R. Blaskovich (A-Mechanic -#3 Pm Roll Grinder) - Class of 1996 VIEW PROFILE

William Pudge R. Blaskovich (A-Mechanic -#3 Pm Roll Grinder)

Bill Blaskovich             

1931 - 2015                     


ANACONDA – "Pudge" was born July 29, 1931, in the front bedroom of the family home at 723 E. Third St. in Anaconda.  He was the youngest of five children born to Eva (Lubick) and Antone Blaskovich.

Pudge attended local schools.  He graduated in 1950 from Anaconda Central High School.

After high school, Pudge went to work at the Anaconda smelter because his father said he had to have a trade.  He worked for the service department until he was drafted by the Army in 1951.  He served his country from 1951 to 1953 during the Korean War.

Upon discharge from the Army, he returned to Anaconda. He married Elizabeth “Betty” (Bray) Blaskovich on June 19, 1954.  Together they had two children, Bob and Vicky.  Family was everything to the couple and the family home was filled with laughter and love.  Within the family, they were known for their love of dancing and were nicknamed “Fred and Ginger.”  Pudge and Betty were married for 59 1/2 years until her death in 2014.

Pudge loved to work and work hard. He worked for the Anaconda Co. for 30 years until its closure in 1981.  He started his career as a machinist on the smelter.  He then transferred to the Berkeley Pit garage and finally to the Arbitor Plant in Anaconda.  Pudge worked for several companies out of state during the company strikes.  He had many job offers but he could never leave his beloved Montana.  He would always say there was no Big Hole River anywhere else but here.

After the closure of the Arbiter Plant and his retirement, he began a second career as a millwright.  He and his son Bob traveled extensively for work.  He worked building the Colstrip Power Plant, the No. 3 paper machine for Stone Container at the Frenchtown mill, Golden Sunlight Mine in Whitehall, and the drying and moly plants in Butte.  He finally settled down in Missoula when he went to work for Stone Container operating the very thing he had built, the No. 3 roll grinder.  He worked there until his son’s failing health forced him to retire at the age of 65.

Pudge returned to Foster Creek, where he and Betty dedicated their lives to care for their son Bob, who had multiple sclerosis and died in 2009. Bob’s illness and Dad’s “can do” attitude made for some happy times.  Pudge always said, “It’s easier to laugh than it is to cry.”

Pudge was the president of the Local 29 union.  During that time, he participated and traveled, working on union contract negotiations.  He also traveled for the International Aerospace and Machinist Union working on contact negotiations.

Pudge was more than an avid hunter and fisherman.  His son Bob and he built a “fishing cabin” 15 miles from the Idaho wilderness area on the River of No Return.  They went there often to fish for steelhead.  He and his son also traveled to Alaska in 1988 to fish the backcountry.

Pudge loved his Montana “God’s Country,” as he called it.  He never knew a stranger; he only met new friends.  Pudge was a simply complicated man.  Family was his priority.  He was the keeper and teller of all the Blaskoviches' family history and stories.  He taught his children to be tough, strong and independent, but also to always laugh, love and always help someone out because it was the right thing to do.  Pudge liked nothing better than a really good joke and a little “Black Velvet.”  He was a member of the Anaconda Elks Lodge.

Special thanks to Susan and Terry Lanes.

Pudge was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his son, Bob; his parents, Eva and Tony Blaskovich; brothers, Rudy and Al; and sister, Eva Rasor; his brothers-in-law, Bill Rasor and Roy Bray; and sisters-in-law, Dorothy, Pearl and Pauline Blaskovich.

Pudge is survived by his daughter, Vicky; his brother, Eddie and sister-in-law Jeannie Bray; his other sons, Timothy Bartholomew and Tony Monaco; and many nieces and nephews.

Daddy, you were and always will be my hero and I will forever be your Baby Doll. Hug my mom for me and kiss my brother.

Mass of Christian burial was held at St. Peter Catholic Church, Anaconda, May 1, 2015.  There was a visitation prior the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, 5705 Grant Creek, Missoula, MT 59808; Anaconda Sportsman’s Club, 2 Cherry St., Anaconda, MT 59711; or the Anaconda Food Bank, P.O. Box 1280, Anaconda, MT 59711.

Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral & Cremation Service was entrusted with Bill’s funeral arrangements.

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Rest in Peace dear Friend.

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