Gary R. Ballensky

Thursday, March 19, 2020
Gary R. Ballensky

Gary R. Ballensky, 75, of Fort Smith, Montana, passed away at his home on the morning of Sunday, March 8, 2020.

He was born in Miles City on July 19, 1944, to Albert and Theresa Ballensky.

Gary attended schools in St. Xavier and Hardin, graduating in 1963 from Hardin High School.

He was later drafted into the Army and served his country in Vietnam.

In 1971, he married Yuchun Chang and adopted Meilan and the three made their home in Fort Smith. A few years later, Tanya was born. The two later divorced. In 1986, Gary became the father figure and mentor to Shawna Loehr and she became part of the Ballensky family.

Gary farmed and ran a trucking business until his retirement in the mid 2000s. After his retirement, he helped Tanya with bookkeeping at her business, Cremation & Funeral Gallery and eventually partnered with her to open Heights Family Funeral Home.

We will all miss Gary’s kind heart and sense of humor.

His great-nephew, Jacob Power, most recently preceded him in death.

He is survived by his longtime companion Yu-chun Ballensky of Sun City West, Arizona; daughters: Mei Ballensky of Glendale, Arizona; Shawna Spear of Howell, New Jersey; and Tanya Ballensky of Billings; his grandchildren; great grandchild; his siblings; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Catholic Rite of Committal was performed at the gravesite on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at the Fairview Cemetery in Hardin.

A Celebration of Life and reception will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday March 19, 2020 at Heights Family Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Big Horn County Historical Society, 1163 3rd Street East, Hardin, MT 59034.

Heights Family Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences may be sent through the “Our Families” link at