In 1930, the family moved to Otter Creek north of Big Timber, where Paul attended rural schools. Gregarious, charismatic, service and community-minded even at a young age, Paul was a charter member of the first 4-H club in Sweet Grass County and helped establish the county fair. Throughout his life he helped build, improve and maintain the Fairgrounds. Paul not only held and auctioneered the first Fair Sale, but cried that same sale for 45 plus years free gratis. He only missed attending two county fairs in his life- when he served in the US Navy during WW-II. He stood guard duty near the USS Missouri during the signing of the Armistice.
Paul married Florence Weber and had three children, Johnnie, Mike and Paula. After they divorced, Paul married Genevieve Sandage and their family included Nick, Mela, Kelly and a full-term stillborn girl.
Paul was proud to have lived his whole life in Sweet Grass County where he served on various boards and councils. Always outspoken in his thoughts and beliefs, he was also a prolific writer of 'Letters to the Editor'. He called bids and sold hundreds of farm, ranch, household, and charitable auctions, including donating his talents to the Pine Creek Church Harvest Sale annually for 25 plus years.
Paul was a field man for Pat Goggins at Public Auction Yards, in the 1970sand 80s, helping establish the very first video cattle auction in the world.
In his 'retirement', Paul and Genevieve built, distributed and maintained several hundred Bluebird nesting boxes in the county. So if you see a winged flash of sapphire blue it is probably a descendant of one of 15,000 fledglings protected and counted by Paul and Gen.
He was a faithful caregiver to Genevieve at home for several years after she had a couple strokes and steadfastly attended to her twice daily, lunch and supper to bedtime while she was in the PMC.
Through their life, to satisfy his sweet tooth, Genevieve, kept the cookie jar full and over the last almost six years, Mela has continued to do so. When Paul slipped his earthly bounds early in the morning of May 2, 2021 at Parkview Care Center in Billings, the cookie jar at home was full.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Genevieve, (his wife of 63 years), son, Johnnie, and an infant daughter. He is survived by his remaining children, numerous grand, great, and great-great grandchildren.
Paul didn't particularly like donations at death, but if you are so inclined the Sweet Grass Co. Fairgrounds was near and dear to his heart.
Cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held 10:00 A.M. Saturday May 8th at the Big Timber Evangelical Church. To leave condolences for the family, please visit www.stenberfuneralhome.com
To plant a tree in memory of Paul Benton Westervelt, visit the Tribute Store.
Celebration of Life
Big Timber, MT 59011