Schnider Funeral Home Great Falls Montana


Peter D. Bleskin
Peter D. Bleskin


Peter D. Bleskin

Feb 02, 1941 - Sep 22, 2017

Peter D. Bleskin, the son of a Kalispell logger who put down vast roots in Great Falls and whose familiar first name became a business trademark known to generations of car owners in central Montana and beyond, died Friday night, September 22, 2017 after a lengthy illness. He was 76.

He was a devoted father and grandfather who valued relationships with customers and earned respect as the “Godfather of the Automobile Business in Great Falls” through his more than five decades of ownership with “Pete’s Auto.”

Visitation is planned Thursday, September 28, from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel, 1410 13th St. S., next to Schnider Funeral Home. A celebration of life is scheduled Friday, September 29, at 11:00 a.m. at Central Assembly of God, 2001 Central Ave., with Pastor Alan Warneke and Joe Peters officiating.

Pete was born February 2, 1941, in Kalispell, where he grew up and graduated from Flathead High. He moved to Great Falls to attend the University of Great Falls and went to work at Albertsons. In 1964, thanks in part to the guidance of his uncle, Jerry Peters, Pete opened his own used car lot. “Pete’s Auto” has been part of the Great Falls business landscape ever since.

Highly competitive and blessed with a strong work ethic, traits that were passed on to his six children and his 25 grandchildren, Pete was successful in business and acquired large holdings in real estate, especially on 10th Ave. South in Great Falls. He was known for his excellent business instincts as well as his philanthropy. Pete generously donated to many charities in Great Falls, among them: the Boys and Girls Club, the Rescue Mission, the Animal Shelter, St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen, Foothills Christian School, Public School Pantries and various sports organizations.

Pete had a big heart with a particular soft spot for customers who were somewhat down on their luck. A true “People Person,” customers returned time and again because of the treatment they received from Pete.

He had a special affection for pets, including his dog, Jerry.

He loved the outdoors. Hunting and fishing, as well as the sports activities of his children and grandchildren, became particular pastimes. Above all, though, Pete loved to work. He spent long weeks at “Pete’s Auto” until he was in his mid-70s, setting a great example for employees and family.

Indeed, family was of particular importance to Pete. All of his children spent time working at “Pete’s Auto,” and two sons, a daughter and a grandson remain full-time employees to this day.

His competitive spirit was often on display at his business. It was not unusual for sales personnel to receive “encouragement” on a daily basis. Yet, said his daughter Nancy, who is a fulltime employee and has been for more than 30 years, “Dad never so much as raised his voice to me. Not once.”

Pete treated his children with respect and love. Once, his son Dan recalls, several of the youths were with their father at a guest’s house when it was suggested that a pizza party for the kids and steaks for the adults would be a good plan. “Dad said no. If they were going to eat steak, so were his kids.”

When another son, Tom, decided to quit working for his father and open his own car business, Pete was not altogether happy. Pete loved a good battle with his competitors, and Tom was not immune when it came to vying for deals to pass on to customers. That caused some difficult times, but never hard feelings that lasted. Because family was everything to Pete.

He was married three times, including a union with high school sweetheart Janet Tappan. Pete and Janet had six children together. They divorced but remained good friends the rest of his life.

Pete later married Patty Dixon. They had one child together and eventually divorced.

Pete is survived by his wife, Anna.

Also surviving is a sister, Marcia Ouellette; and his children, Nancy (Jack) Gray, Shannon (Roy) Dormady, Dan (Peggy) Bleskin, Tom (Jona) Bleskin, Dave (Adell) Bleskin, Toad Bleskin and Shawn Dixon; his grandchildren, Jessica, Tanner, Jake, Zac, Ezra, Shayla, Isaiah, Ben, Luke, Kelsee, Rudy, Dustin, Dylan, Beau, Wyatt, Hadlee, Alyn, Kayla, Daniel, Kali, Caden, Kenna, Patrick, Salisa and Jessie; and his great-grandchildren, Kienn, Kassie and Kieralynn.

Pete was preceded in death by his parents, Albin Bleskin and Margaret Bleskin; his brother, Mike Bleskin, and son Toby Bleskin.

Memorials in Peter's name may be made to the Boys and Girls Club, PO Box 652, Great Falls, MT 59403 or the Rescue Mission, 326 2nd Ave. S., Great Falls, MT 59405

Public Guest Book

Sep 26th
Roberta Diegel
I am so sorry to hear about Pete. He was a great guy and will be truly missed. Hugs and prayers to all the family. Your westside cousins.
Sep 26th
Bleskin families and Anna
so sorry for the loss of a great friend and distant relative. Pete was a great supporter of the community - and his office door was always open to visit and help all. He will be greatly missed.
Sep 26th
Gary Thompson
To a great individual that will surely be missed by all.
May you finally rest in peace!

Sep 26th
Jerry Olson
Pete, you will be missed. I always appreciated your close family bonds. You raised great kids who also raised great kids. You were a great role model. Rest in Peace.
Sep 26th
Great Falls Police Department
Shannon and family, we are so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved father. We are grateful for your service to the community and know that your dad's passing will have a lasting impact on those that loved and cared for him. We hope you find peace as you celebrate his life.
Sep 26th
Rob Stainsby
My condolences to Petes family on the loss of a great man. His quick wit and honesty will be missed. Never has there been a smarter, kinder, more generous businessman. Godspeed and thanks for everything you have done.
Sep 27th
Sandra Pepos
Hadlee and family~ I am sorry to read about the death of your grandfather. Grandpa's are special people. You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Sep 27th
Randi Peterson
Thinking of you all during this difficult time. Love and prayers, Peterson Family
Sep 27th
Ron and Alice Marko
Our thoughts and prayers to Pete's family. He will be missed by so many.
Sep 27th
Gayle Raunig-Corrigeux
Sorry for your loss. Will keep your family in my prayers.
Sep 28th
Kelli Cook
Thinking of the entire Bleskin Family, sorry for your loss!


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