Lester Austin Barnett, 65
“Cresting the ridge I hear a shot ring out. Dad got one. I see him heading down the draw. We meet by the large body of a 6-point buck.
Resting his hand on the shoulder of his kill, Dad says, ‘He gave his life for ours this winter.’”
Born on Oct. 25, 1955, to George and Carol Barnett, Lester Austin Barnett was an outdoorsman. His early years were molded by hard work and play on the family ranch in Ovando, Montana, and then moving to the Flathead Valley at the age of 9; Les taught always his love for nature and the conservation of our public land through proper stewardship. Hunting, fishing hiking and camping were regular activities for our family. Les and his wife Michele kept a garden, picked berries and gathered wood for winter with their two boys Brandon and Justin. Les rode his Harley through the hills and forests of the Flathead over Glacier and across Montana with his fellow bikers.
Les served his country proudly as an ordnanceman aboard the USS Nimitz from 1974 to 1978. After his tour, he returned to Montana beginning work at the aluminum plant in Columbia Falls where his father worked.
Les is survived by his wife Michele Barnett, their son Justin Barnett, and grandchildren, Ashley, Evan and Isaac of Kalispell, and their son Brandon Barnett and grandchildren Noam, Asher, Netiyah, Aziza, David and Lev who live in Israel.
Les’s last day on this Earth was Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. May our memories of him be a blessing to us all. We will have a tree planting memorial in the spring on our property.