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Donald E. DuBeau

| June 22, 2022 1:00 AM

Donald E. DuBeau died two weeks short of his 87th birthday on May 31, 2022, of natural causes. His life was long, eventful and successful. He was born on June 13, 1935, to Cecile Hutchins DuBeau and Logan DuBeau in Billings, Montana, the oldest of three children. Judy and Susan completed the family. Twenty-four first cousins, many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and grandparents, plus all the neighborhood kids who became lifelong friends helped shape young Don’s life.

After graduating from Billings High School in 1953, Don and Betty Keiser were married. Don became a businessman at age 18 when he went into the grocery business with his dad. Within a few years, they owned four grocery stores and a wholesale/retail meat business. During this time Don served eight years in the Army Reserve under Commander Bud Hansen. For many years Bud had been trying to convince Don to join him in his successful real estate firm. It happened one day when Don had become disillusioned with the red tape connected to a retail business. The commercial investment part of Bud’s business became his passion and satisfied his creativity.

Don and Betty became parents in 1963 with the birth of their son Kent. Leslee and Bill soon followed. The family acquired friends all over the United States when Don was asked to join the Society of Exchange Counselors, a prestigious group of real estate professionals who solved complex real estate transactions nationwide. Don was in his element. He later became their president.

Billings benefited from Don’s acquired knowledge as he became a mover and shaker in many areas helping to shape the future growth of the city. He served tirelessly on state, local and national boards and on the Shrine G.I. Patrol, while growing his business - DuBeau Nessan Commercial and Ranch Real Estate. Ed Nessan was the farm and ranch partner, while Don handled the commercial work.

The collapse of the real estate market and the banking system in the 1980s changed the course of Don’s life. Recovering his assets became his new reality. Midlife also brought him a new marriage to another real estate broker from Whitefish, Jeanne Tallman. After several years of working his way out of the real estate collapse, Don was back in his element from developing a private fly-fishing community near Bozeman to brokering a teak plantation in Costa Rica. Life was challenging and rewarding. He also took many young people under his wing and encouraged them to be successful entrepreneurs. He held a strong faith in Jesus and had an early role in the development of the weekly meeting of the Dirtbags Men’s Bible Study in Bigfork. He never missed an opportunity to acquire more knowledge in the pursuit of excellence. He was the proudest of the three weeks each year for three years that he spent at the Harvard Business School studying with entrepreneurs from all over the world.

As Don’s business life slowed down, he lived up to his remark to a friend, “I was born to be a grandpa!” Family became his passion. He also spent time in Florida enjoining the sunshine, white sand beaches, reading books and smoking cigars with his buddies at the smoke shop. He was a happy man enjoying his seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and being a friend, mentor and Papa to his wife’s family.

His legacy includes his children, Kent (Emily Dailey), Leslee (George Bennett), and Bill (Kim Hinckley); Grandchildren, Brooke and Morgan Hove, Paige Bennett (Jordan Pomeranz), Sam and Max Bennett; MacKenzie (Danton Evilsizer) and Keaton DuBeau; Great-grandchildren, Joseph Hove DuBeau and Jackson Pomeranz; and his two sisters, Judy Bannister and Susan Nybo (Kent Koolen). He is also survived by his wife, Jeanne and her family, all of whom were very dear to him. Shannon Tallman (deceased) and her son Jesse Strunk; Kimi Tallman Nebres (Bob Nebres) and their children Josiah, Brandon, Jocelyn and Makena, their spouses and children; Brett Tallman (Michelle Richards) and their children Tyler and his family and Solan; Heather Tallman-Ruhm (Brian Ruhm) and Bailey.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held at the Hilands Country Club located at 714 Poly Drive in Billings from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on July 1, 2022 with the Cloyd Funeral Home assisting the family. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.

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