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Music by the O'Neill Brothers



December 18, 1946 ~ July 19, 2018 (age 71)

     Joseph G. Arts, 71, died on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at his home in Troy of natural causes. He was born at an early age in St. John’s Hospital, in Helena Montana, December 18th. 1946. He stayed there for three months doing what babies do best until he was adopted by his parents Dr. Joseph B. and Bernece Arts.  His sister Susan was adopted two years later.  This was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

     He continued to do what little kids do until he was put in St. Helena School where he suffered through Catholic education until they put him in Cathedral High School where he graduated in 1965. 

     After that he joined the Navy where he served in San Diego on the amphibious Base Coronado and on the USS El Dorado until his honorable discharge in 1970. 

     Joe then worked for the Federal Highway Administration, Bureau of Public Roads, working on many roads in Montana and Wyoming while going to college in Missoula in the off season until he discovered one day he was a teacher!!!  After interviewing all over Montana, he finally settled in Troy in 1973 where he taught third, fourth or fifth grade for thirty three years.  Joe also drove school bus for thirty four.  Many of his proudest memories are seeing His kids (his students) grow up and become successful adults.  It still made him proud to see them as adults, with families of their own.  Many had also become his dear friends over the years

      All Joe’s life he has loved all things automotive.  He built (with the help of his talented friends) a number of cars, trucks, hot rods and race cars over the years.  He credits those vehicles with keeping him out of bars and off cigarettes for the majority of his life. 

    Joe was very lucky to have had way more than his share of good friends.  He felt privileged to have known each and every one.

     He was also lucky to have had good jobs and good bosses throughout his life, except for the last one who was one of the most incompetent people he ever knew. 

     And through all of it, Joe could truly say, “I don’t know about you, but I had a good time!!!”


Private family services will take place in Helena.  Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at



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