Gene: February 11, 1913-June 10, 1995
Martha: March 27, 1924-July 1, 2003
Gene Youderain was born to Edward W. and Leanora E. Youderain near Musselshell River, Montana on February 11, 1913. He was raised in eastern Montana, where he and his six sisters learned the ropes of ranching on their family homestead. Gene was never without horses and mules. Back in the days before motorized agricultural machinery was widely available, he handled large teams to harvest the fields each fall.
On August 9, 1941, Gene married Martha Foster, a kind and fun-loving native of Gilman whom he met in Augusta. They exchanged vows in Fort Benton and made a great team, going on to run an outfitting business in the Blackfoot Valley for four decades. They had a warm but teasing rapport fueled by their witty exchanges. They had one son (Gene F.) and two daughters (Marty and Becky).
Gene got his start outfitting when he was about 18 years old. He would pack supplies into sheepherders working for the Carmichael Ranch in the Bob Marshall. He fell in love with the area and continued working there until he served in WWII, where he trained pack artillery units.
Immediately following the war, Gene picked up outfitting again. He became a shoe master, harness master and pack master. Gene and Martha moved to Lincoln, where they ran the D Bar A Ranch and led trips into the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat, a business they kept up for 39 years until they retired in 1985. Their main camps were located up Basin Creek—not far from the Continental Divide—and along the Middle Fork of Landers River. Crow Ridge and Red Ridge along the headwater of the Landers River were among his favorite spots.
Gene was never without a story to tell and was always willing to help out people or animals in need of assistance. He once helped a hunting party comprised of surgeons with an “emergency” hemorrhoidectomy. Another time, he expertly stitched together an injured horse. It took dozens of stitches, but she recovered nicely. He had a particular talent for matching trail riders with stock to match their temperament.
Martha was a lifelong learner who especially enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know local youth through clubs like 4-H and Girl Scouts. Her interests were diverse: She taught herself how to play guitar, became quite the computer geek late in life, and was a lifelong basketball fan. She also enjoyed oil painting, woodcarving and fiber arts like quilting, knitting and sewing. She was recognized as one of the Lincoln Lady Loggers in 1992.
Both Gene and Martha were skilled with horses, and they found a warm and welcoming community through them. Martha was a founding member of the Purple Sage Riders, a riders’ drill team, and Gene was a charter member of the Lincoln Rodeo Club.
Gene was also a founding member of the Montana Outfitter and Guides Association, and he remained active in the organization through up until he quit outfitting in 1985. He was renowned for being quite the teller of tales, many of them quite humorous.
Gene passed away at the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Fort Harrison, Montana on June 10, 1995. Martha passed away on July 1, 2003.
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