Billings Motorcycle Club has persisted longer than nearly any club or locally-based service organization because of the strength, dedication, persistence and desire of its many members. This page is dedicated to those former members who gave so much and have passed on from this life.
Stay on the gas, Randy Kreiter
True Story. Randall Jerome Kreiter, 59, bit the big one on October 18, 2015 in Billings, Montana. He was born on October 29, 1955 in Billings, the son of Harold and Esther (Kahler) Kreiter. He grew up in Billings and attended St. Pius X school and Billings Central, graduating in 1973.
Randy loved anything with a motor. He spent his entire life at a high rate of speed, always full-throttle the entire way. Randy was a competitive man. He would win the majority of anything that was placed in front of him whether it be a motorcycle race, a board game, or who could be the loudest , funniest guy in the room. He was a sport enthusiast and enjoyed playing basketball and softball. He also watched any sort of motorized race he could get his eyes on.
Randy was one of the hardest workers anyone knew. He started Kreiter Construction in 1992 and he would never turn down a horse-trade for labor as long as it was a “screamin’ deal”.
Randy was a generous, genuine and caring man with a sense of humor to make you laugh even at the most inappropriate times.
Randy is survived by his sons Zak Kreiter, Nathan Kreiter, Riley (Whitnee) Hughes, Tyson Kreiter; sisters Cheryl McLaughlin and her son Tom Dempsey, Sandi Erickson and her children Debby and Matt; brother David (Sandy) their daughter Sarah and her children Shawn, Xandria & Jaxon, son Andrew (Kelli), brother Kent (Lisa) and their family Katie, Kimberlee, Connie, Carter & Allison; numerous extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and nephew Steve McLaughlin.
A Celebration of Randy’s life will be 1:00 p.m. Friday, October 23, at the Elks Lodge 934 Lewis Ave. Inurnment of ashes will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.
In Memory of Arnie Brey
Arnie Brey (1937 – 2014), former Billings motorcycle dealer and lifetime BMC member and supporter, passed away on the morning of January 9th, 2014. Arnie was a life long motorcycle enthusiast and started selling Montesa and Ducati/Norton motorcycles in 1964. His dealership was ‘Barney’s Cycle Shop” located on Moore lane in Billings Montana. After getting the Honda franchise from Satre Motor Service in 1970; the business became “Billings Honda.” Arnie was a very generous man and even gave me my start in hill climbing and Dirt Track racing in the mid 60’s. Rest in Peace, Arnie.
Rest in Peace, Hank Gabel
BMC looses another great member…
Hank Gabel goes to ride in a better place
Sadly the Billings Motorcycle Club must say good-bye to another special life member. Hank Gabel passed away last week. Hank was the founder of Hank’s Body Shop and a staunch supporter of the BMC for most of his life.
Any one who knew Hank, knew him as one of those guys who just got things done. He knew people all over the area and because he was such a standout guy, he was able to do a lot to build our club. His friendship with the Zimmerman’s resulted in many work parties out at the Zimmerman ranch branding cows, mending fence and taking care of things with the help of Kenny Glenn, Gary Frank, Ron Price and Don Devitt. After the work was over the guys would do what all good club members would do – off-load their rides and tear up the dirt. Many of our old timers will remember the best cross country races, great camp-outs with singing and story telling and some beer drinking but in the center of things was Hank and his infectious grin that Dale, Herb, Nicholas and Jared all inherited.
Hank, Kenny Glenn, Gary Frank and Mark Chamberlain were instrumental in coordinating events at Mount High. They put together 100-mile cross country runs that are still talked about today. Hank was the reason that Dale and Herb became serious riders that grew up on their bikes and could blow past anyone on the track. When Don Devitt would get the water truck stuck in the ditch, Hank would make a call to Hanser’s and get it handled. When a truck needed to be welded back together or repainted, Hank took care of it at the shop (something Dale and the boys still do today). Hank was a doer and as a result the BMC benefited. We cannot say thank you enough.
Hank was one of those members who joined the BMC with his whole heart. He saw it as more than just a club, it was family and friends getting together to work hard, build something that would last and make some great memories doing it. We can all learn a lesson from a guy like that. Every time you come through the gates it is an opportunity to do something worthwhile, share a laugh with a buddy, teach your children lessons they will hold onto for life or just enjoy a day on a bike in the sun.
Hank led a wonderful life surrounded by the love of Betty Ann and an awesome family and we were all richer for having been blessed to call him a friend. He will be missed but like the others we have lost, his legacy will live on in our memories and in our club. We wish him Godspeed and thank him for all he gave while he was with us.
David Henry Kidd
David Henry Kidd, 83, passed peacefully December 12, 2013 at Ponderosa Pines Health Care in Billings, MT. Dave was born January 30th, 1930 to David Henry Kidd and Enid Leola Fife Kidd in Salt Lake City Utah. He was the second of their four children. He lived in Billings since he was a boy. He graduated from Billings Senior High School. Preceding him in death are his parents; his siblings, Geraldine (Kidd) Hopkins and Jack Raymond Kidd; his son, Stephen Paul Kidd; and his grandson, Alan Lewis Noble. Cycling was his passion.
Dave was the oldest member of the Billings Motorcycle Club having joined in 1949. He always loved the hill climbs and building custom motorcycles for himself and others. He was very proud that he won the Billings hill climb in 1960. Dave and his younger brother, Paul, had a lifelong competition about who was in better shape with their bicycles and who had the nicest bicycles. Dave was an amazing mechanic and taught his children and grandchildren how things worked and how to fix them when they didn’t. Dave worked for the Billings Gazette much of his life starting as a paperboy. He was Billings’ premier pressman and apprenticed his son, Pat. He was a dog-lover and was loved by his dogs. Dave loved the outdoors and camped, hiked, fished, hunted and even did a bit of farming. He is survived by his younger brother Paul Fife Kidd; Dave’s children David Rodney Kidd, Janet Alaine (Kidd) Carter, Clarissa Ann (Kidd) Noble, Kathleen Marie (Kidd) Yapuncich, Patrick John Kidd, Eugene Dale Kidd; fifteen grandchildren and twenty-three great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.
Tony Scott Bracy
Tony Scott Bracy began his life as the third of four children of Norris and Georgia (Thompson) Bracy. Born on his parents’ wedding anniversary on June 8, 1965, they always declared he was the best present they could have asked for.
Tony discovered a lifelong passion when he learned to ride motorcycles at the age of 5. Many happy weekends were consumed by racing with his father and brother in competitions across Montana and adjoining states.
Tony attended the Lockwood School System and graduated with the Billings Senior High Class of 1983. In 1984, he married Jennie Fitzsimmons, his high school sweetheart. Although they later divorced, they had three children together: Tony Ray “TJ,” Jayde Ann, and Jacob Ryan, all of whom he adored.
After high school, Tony moved with his wife to California. He, along with his brother Todd and his mother Georgia, started and were partners in a moving company called Budget Relocation Systems. He also started a company with a friend called JET GEAR after he was captivated by the exhilaration of jet skis.
Nevertheless, while in California, Tony continued his motorcycle racing, and was known as “Racy Bracy” in the flat track scene. He loved his colorful life and was loved by many!
Tony moved back to Montana following his parents in 2007. He was his dad’s right hand man on their acreage. Together, Tony and Norris started buying, repairing and selling old cars. For a hobby, the Bracys had three Scottish Highlander Cows for whom Tony enjoyed caring.
But motorcycles remained Tony’s passion. As soon as he had returned to Montana, he sought a membership and began racing with the Billings Motorcycle Club.
He was racing motorcycles on April 28, 2013, when he suffered devastating, irreparable injuries that later led to his passing. He left this world to go shake up Heaven on May 2, 2013. He continued to be a hero in the end by choosing to be an organ donor.
Thorwaldson was a BMC member from the 50’s to the 80’s and was a big time rider and supporter of BMC. He raced, hill climbed and later, after his competition years, caught on the hill and supported events with above and beyond energy.
Larry was a lifetime member of the Billings Motorcycle Club, holding proudly his BMC number 44. His favorite ride was around Deer Creek. Larry’s passion was riding his trials bike and his KTM 300 with many close friends out at the club and in many of the regions open riding areas. Larry was always a very happy, thoughtful and compassionate person, which was evident by the numerous friends he had wherever he went: at the Squire, in the South Hills or out in the mountains that he loved so much. He often said, “everything is okay as long as you have a smile on your face.” Larry, “Mr. Clean,” took pride in keeping everything clean and polished from his motorcycles and cars to keeping the best yard on the block. God speed Larry… “Who Dat!”
The BMC will never forget one of its staunchest supporters. Mark Chamberlain passed away in 2010 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Chamberlain joined the BMC in 1965, and quickly saw that the sport of motorcycling was a great opportunity for many. He became immersed in club activities, bringing motocross to Montana by promoting races when this type of event was in its infancy, assisting Kenny Glenn with the building of the Montana State Championship (renamed to the Great American Motorcycle Hill Climb) into the event it is today, and filling in wherever and whenever needed. He was the “voice of reason” in the club, serving on the board many times. Mark was one of the new era of members who recognized that if we were going to have places to ride in the future, we needed to secure our own property. He, along with Gary Frank and Kenny Glenn encouraged the club members to use money from our major fundraiser, the Great American Championship Motorcycle Hill Climb, to purchase the Sagebrush property. When the South Hills land became available, he and our other future planners quickly went to work finding a way to finance the land we all use today and often take for granted. Not surprising, you will find his name on the Outstanding Member award.
Mark’s wife, Darlene stood by his side at hundreds of events and helped run operations at the Great American. Mark’s brother, Merritt, was a nine-time champion of the Montana Championship/Great American and helped inspire Mark’s son, Shannon Chamberlain to take up the sport and become a champion himself. Mark and Darlene were in the pits to encourage Shannon every step of the way as he competed and when he won three Great American Championships. The Chamberlains are a great example of the close knit families found in the BMC.
Mark Chamberlain was a great example of the kind of BMC member that makes the Billings Motorcycle Club such a strong organization. He was a great husband and father, a good businessman, and a wonderful friend and supporter of our club. His friendship and advice will be sorely missed by many. His contributions to the sport of motorcycling in Billings will be appreciated by thousands, for decades to come.
Donna Rae Cardwell
The wife of Bob Cardwell and long time supporter of the Billings Motorcycle Club, Donna Cardwell, passed away in 2008. The Cardwell ‘clan’ has for years been one of the largest and most active families in the BMC, with Mrs. Cardwell there for her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for those many years. God Speed.
Richard Jerome ‘Dick’ Slagowski
Richard Jerome “Dick” Slagowski left us in 2008 and was a very active lifetime member of the Billings Motorcycle Club. He was a member of the Rainmakers Motorcycle Club and GWRRA and thoroughly enjoyed riding his Goldwing “SLUGO” motorcycle. He had a true love for his family, motorcycles and old cars.