Alumni Spotlights

A Love for Learning

Bill Goesling ’63 Thankful for SAE’s Life Lessons

After spending 24 years as a naval officer and aviator, 13 years as a financial consultant, and earning two master’s degrees and his doctorate, the easy thing to do for Bill Goesling ’63 would have been to take it easy during retirement. Slowing down didn’t interest Bill, though.

Helping others has always been important to Bill and serving in the Idaho State House of Representatives has allowed him to do exactly that. After losing the District 5A Republican Primary race by less than 200 votes in 2016, he won with a convincing 60.3 percent of the vote in 2018. Bill then edged the democratic nominee by less than 400 votes to win the general election.

“It was a very interesting election. The city of Moscow is democratic, but the county is republican and then Benewah County is more solid republican,” Bill said. “They’re more far right. Just being a common-sense candidate was my pitch. My belief is what seems right needs to be done. I took positions that made the most common sense.”

After accumulating 6,500 flight hours during his service, Bill has racked up countless hours on the campaign trail. Being able to make a quick but thorough decision has been critical to Bill’s success, and that was a quality that Montana Beta instilled in him.

Although Bill’s military career made it difficult for him to stay in touch with his Montana Beta brothers, the atmosphere of the fraternity helped prepare for all of life’s journeys. Bill remembers how differing opinions would come up in the meeting room, and how the chapter would come together to deal with positive and negative issues.

“I think that goes all the way back to the fraternity house with being able to talk to people and understand different ideas and where they came from,” Bill said. “In Montana, there is such a wide variety of geographical area, but also the makeup of its citizens. It was interesting to meet individuals from different parts of the city, community, and state.”

Even before Bill entered the political scene, education was one of his greatest passions with previously serving on the Moscow School Board, Idaho State Charter School Commission, and Idaho State Board of Education. Bill is a firm believer that today’s youth is the country’s most valuable asset. His rare downtime is often spent with his three grandchildren or working on the ranch.

“My philosophy is that when you stop learning, you stop living. I’ve watched a lot of people retire, not have anything to do, and just sort of go downhill. I’ve always been driven from the earliest age to expand my horizons,” Bill said. “When I got into education and the military, education was the key and the opportunity that was presented. I looked to that as a pay it forward sort of philosophy to do whatever I could do to help the next generation.”

 

Jon Krutar ’66 Takes Pride in Family Homestead Ranch

It goes without saying that the state of Montana means everything to Jon Krutar ’66. Jon was raised at his family’s ranch in Ovando, Mont., which his parents purchased in 1949. He established his roots on the ranch throughout his youth while he went to a one-room schoolhouse nearby.

Jon’s roots remained in Big Sky Country when he went off to college at the University of Montana. As he adapted to life in Missoula, he found a family feel at the fraternity house of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The Montana Beta Chapter helped instill several core characteristics in Jon that he used later in his life.

“I think it was a good experience in terms of leadership,” Jon said. “We had a cross-section of individuals in the house during the years that I was there. We had everything from athletes to academics that you could find. It was a good experience.”

Going from a one-room schoolhouse to a state college was a big step for Jon, but he had the comfort of only being about an hour away from home. Jon took a big step out of his comfort zone when he went to Michigan State for graduate school, as the campus had 40,000 students.

One of the important experiences that Jon took away from his time at UM was during his senior year when he acted as the EA of Montana Beta. The leadership that Jon learned from that role came in handy when he served in the Air Force and worked in the Montana governor’s office.

“It was during a period of time when Montana was undergoing a lot of change as such as coal development and so on,” Jon said of his experience in the governor’s office. “It was quite interesting working with the legislature.”

The majority of Jon’s career was spent as a professor at Carroll College in Helena. Jon taught at Carroll for nearly two decades before retiring in 1994. His wife, Diane, retired from teaching at Carroll that same year.

“I taught economics and accounting. Economics was my main specialty,” Jon said. “I was very inclined to courses that involve policy—monetary policy, physical policy, and so on.”

Jon and Diane moved to the family ranch permanently following their respective retirements. One of Jon’s biggest projects on the ranch started in 2001 when he built the Krutar Homestead with his sons, Eric and Chad. Krutar Homestead, which provides visitors stunning views of the mountains, opened to the public in 2002.

“It’s my roots. I grew up there and went to grade school two-and-a-half miles from the ranch,” Jon said. “There are a lot of memories. That country has changed a lot, too, of course.”

You can email Jon at khomestead@blackfoot.net or visit the Krutar Homestead website at www.khomestead.com.

 

To read more spotlights click the links below.

Spring 2019: Bill Goesling ’63, Jon Krutar ’66
Fall 2018: Richard “Dick” Barney ’58
Spring 2018: Scott Thompson ’83
Fall 2017: Douglas “Doug” Banks ’79
Spring 2017: Gary Fish ’62
Fall 2015: Hal Gillet ’53 and Dick Ford ’64
Spring 2014: Bob Higham ’58
Fall 2014: Don Krumm ’64
Spring 2014: Bob Higham ’58
Fall 2013: Jim Wilits ’64, Kurt Ingold ’14
Spring 2013: Bob Haynam ’65, Max Boese, Oregon Gamma ’62
Fall 2011: Tom Ross ’62
Spring 2011: Dennis Stevens ’64
Fall 2010: Lawrence “Tony” Wertz ’65
Summer 2010: John L. Olson ’62, David Bell ’96
Spring 2009: Bill Bouchee ’63
Fall 2008: Kenneth C. Mlekush ’60

Our Mission

The mission of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is to promote the highest standards of friendship, scholarship, and service for our members based upon the ideals set forth by our Founders and as specifically enunciated in our creed, "The True Gentleman."
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P.O. Box 3343, Missoula, MT 59806