Dec 16, 2011 8:40 PM by David Jay
BILLINGS - Rancher and politician Jay Stovall, from Pryor, died Thursday night at the age of 71.
Turk Stovall called his father, a fourth generation rancher, a "cowboy's cowboy."
Jay Stovall died from a heart condition, at St. Vincent Healthcare.
He was the trail boss for the Montana Centennial Cattle Drive in 1989.
"He was honored to be asked," Turk said. "He was one of the guys that could get a group of cowboys and herd a group of cattle, anywhere you want to go."
The family took Jay out to the ranch this week before he died.
"His final request was for a final look at the cattle and grass," Turk said. "It was literally his last ride."
Several neighbors joined the last ride.
"We had the toughest cowboys out there, not a dry eye," Turk said.
Jay's was in ill health the last couple years.
"The Lord took him," Turk said. "Pretty peaceful."
Jay Stovall was born on March 2, 1940 and spent his entire life on the ranch near Pryor and the Crow reservation. His son says Jay had achieved what he wanted in life.
In 1963, Jay became general manager of Stovall Ranches. LLC, now a 60,000 acre group of ranches.
He served in the Montana House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000 and on the Public Service Commission from 2000 to 2004.
Jay was an enrolled member of the Crow Indian Tribe. Turk says his father represented all constituents and fought hard for issues affecting the Crow tribe.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, December 23 at 10 am, at First Presbyterian Church at 2420 13th Street West, at the corner of 13th and Poly Drive. A reception will follow.
A public viewing is scheduled at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, leading up to the funeral.