Gesa A. Kanta, 94

Thursday, June 14, 2018
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Gesa Kanta

Gesa A. Kanta was born on June 30, 1923 at the family ranch near Sumatra, MT. He was the second of ten children born to Frank and Susan Kanta. Gesa graduated from Sumatra High School in 1940 where he played basketball and competed in track. After high school, he worked on the Milwaukee Railroad, built drilling derricks and worked as a welder in the shipyards in Bremerton, WA.

In 1942, he entered the US Military and served during WWII. After being discharged from the military in 1946, Gesa returned home to help his father on the family ranch in Sumatra where he also owned and operated trucks for hauling cattle and heavy equipment. From 1947 to 1974, Gesa worked on drilling rigs while working on the side as a rancher, truck driver and heavy equipment operator.

In 1961, he married Marilyn Beeman in Forsyth and together they had five children. The family lived in Melstone until 1974 when they moved to Forsyth. From 1974 to 1994 Gesa worked road construction throughout MT, ND and WY.

Gesa retired at age 71 but remained active until shortly before his death. From carpentry work, farm work, recycling, helping friends, neighbors and family, he was always doing something! Even at age 93, Gesa was still climbing trees and trimming branches. No matter what needed to be done, Gesa always found a way to get it done independently! Many people in Forsyth and the surrounding area owned a shed Gesa built from mostly recycled materials. Gesa’s days began at the Town Pump where he enjoyed stories and jokes with his fellow coffee crew. Gesa was a great grandpa who loved spending time with his grandchildren teaching them his values and principles. He stayed interested in oilfield related work, politics, as well as the Denver Broncos right up until the end. When the oilfield boom hit ND, he wished he was a young man again so he could participate and enjoyed talking about oil field work with his sons Monte and Mitch. At age 90, Gesa visited and toured many drilling rigs throughout ND and MT where his son Monte was working. At age 92 he attended the Trump rally in Billings and throughout the years he attended many Denver Bronco games with his daughters and granddaughters.

Gesa was a faithful member of the Immaculate Conception Church and attended Mass daily. He was a hard worker, loving son, brother, dad, uncle, grandpa and friend who will be missed dearly.

Gesa Kanta was preceded in death by his daughter, Janet; parents, Frank and Susan; brothers, Frank, Rudy, John, Paul; sister, Ethel; grandson, Blake; mother of his children, Marilyn; and son in law, Willie. He is survived by his children, Monte Kanta of Cody, WY, Joan Kanta -Duffield of Forsyth, Mitch Kanta of Forsyth, Jill Kanta-Haidle of Laurel; brother, Joe Kanta (Sandy) of Melstone; sisters, Mary Perkins, St. Louis, MO, Ann Kanta of Billings, Terry Wilson of Billings; grandchildren, Bailey Stahl, Kenzie Stahl and Cody Kanta, numerous nieces and nephews, and special friends Diane Wyrick and Rudy Crawford.

A Rosary Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 15, 2018 at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Forsyth. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Forsyth. Burial will follow in the Forsyth Cemetery. Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home have been entrusted with the arrangements. To leave condolences for the family, please visit