Rob St. Clair, age 66, left us to go to his heavenly home on Saturday, March 19, 2022, after a courageous fight with cancer. He was at home, surrounded by loved ones. Robert Lewis St. Clair was born December 4, 1955, in Helena, Montana.
Rob grew up and attended grade school in East Helena. He graduated from Helena High in 1974 along with two of his cousins. He was an active member of the East Helena Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) and attended their yearly summer camps.
Rob was a typical boy and loved riding bikes, playing sports, and picking on his sisters. His passion, though, was hunting. His parents were both accomplished hunters and Rob was an eager student. He honed those skills and passed the knowledge on to his younger siblings, his own children, and anyone else who wanted to learn. He was passionate about the correct use of firearms and served for over 10 years as president of the Polson Shooters Association where he was also one of the primary firearms instructors.
Rob’s other passion was automobiles. In high school he owned a white El Camino. He loved to work on that car. He and his two best friends, Ken Mergenthaler and Rich Freeman, were always working on their cars. They didn’t mind when the littlest sister would tag along. Instead, the three would teach Linda about cars and how to work on them.
Following his passion for automobiles, Rob studied diesel mechanics at the Helena Vocational-Technical Center, graduating with honors. He discovered that diesel gave him headaches, so he switched back to gas autos. After Vo-Tech, he always worked in some aspect of the auto industry: manager of various parts houses and mechanic at a variety of auto repair shops in Helena and later in the Flathead Valley. Rob was the owner of Smith’s Transmission in Helena and St. Clair’s 4 X Plus in Polson where he was well respected.
Rob traveled to Washington, D.C. to help draft national wilderness and multiple-use legislation. He led the development of the Wild Bill ORV Trails in Lakeside, MT. He traveled extensively to compete in 4-wheel-drive competitions and served as president of both the Montana 4X4 Association and the United Four-Wheel Drive Association.
He loved to go fast. He built and raced a variety of 4x4 vehicles from stock, stock modified, to X class. Then he built his funny car “Wild Thing,” and Chevy Nova “Grandpa’s Toy,” even winning the Flathead Challenge Championship in 2015.
Rob was someone who could always be counted on to lend a hand, but most of all, he was a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend.
Rob is survived by his wife Lisa, parents Robert (who died the day after Rob) and Betty, sisters Rita and Linda, brother Larry, children Stephanie, Alesha, and Layne, and grandchildren Keanen, Xavier, Caitlyn, Logen, and Braelyn, along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Ty.
In keeping with the family’s wishes, a celebration of Rob’s life has already been held in Polson.