Martin Christian “M.C.” Kreis, Deer Lodge

Martin Christian “M.C.” Kreis made his last bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative gesture on June 23, 2023, and in his words, “Kicked the Bucket.” He was “93.3 years young”, also his words. 

His doctors told him to quit smoking, but as the years rolled by, he retired a wonderful Cardiologist, a grumpy Pulmonologist, and his Primary Care Doctor. It was then that everyone realized that apparently his method of “I do not inhale” actually worked. Or maybe he was just lucky. At any rate, the smoking didn’t kill him like we told him it would! But no one saw the appendicitis coming. 

“M”, as he was known to those close to him, was born to the late Louis Kreis and Edith Bardill Kreis on 03/14/30 at home in Wartburg, Tennessee. He fell smack dab in the middle of 7 children and grew up a good Lutheran boy. 

He met the love of his life, our Mother, Corinne Scott Kreis, on the Roettger Farm or the “Strawberry Farm” as he always called it. Her family was purchasing a milk cow from Grandpa Louis. He was 15, she was 12. He loved her his entire 93.3 years. 

He would see action in the Army in Korea where he crossed the Yalu River under heavy fire carrying a heavy gun. The clincher was that he never learned how to swim! 

Being born during the Depression etched a work ethic in him that never ceased. He worked in the family dairy in the 40’s, log woods in the 50’s, hauled cars out of Detroit in the 60’s, was an oil man in the 70’s & 80’s and worked for Hittman Transport in the 90’s & 2000’s. “Pappy” was 76 when he retired from Hittman on July 25, 2006, holding a record as the oldest driver, with the oldest truck and the most mileage at 2.2 million miles. 

Growing up in M.C.’s household was never dull because he LOVED kids and the entire football & basketball teams would sleep over, some staying on as his full-time children, like Terry Clark! 

A special thank you to Terry & Sue Clark for his last big adventure, to Susan LaRue for the long talks and short rides through the woods, and to “Dan-Boy” Susak his right hand, cigarette finder, and biggest ally! 

Besides his beautiful wife, Corinne, and son “BIG Earl” David Kreis, Dad was pre-deceased by his parents, his sister Juanita Smith, and brothers Johnny, Arnold, and Clayton Kreis. 

Left to ponder their reasons for living are his son Marty Kreis of Austin, Texas, daughter Melissa Kreis & partner Dan Susak of Deer Lodge, and daughter-in-law Cathy Kreis. 

He loved his role as Popa to grandchildren Greg Schoonover, Trevor, Promise & Shayne Kreis, Kaleb Kreis, Somer Stephens, John Martin Stephens & Halle Stephens Duncan who now realize the cussing came from him. His great-grandchildren include Brandon, Brody & Tatum Schoonover, Tyler & Kailey Kreis, Camden, Caiden & Lincoln Smith. Great-great grandbabies Nevaeh & Zachary Kreis and Maxine Stephens. 

Left with decades of colorful memories are his brothers Everett Kreis of Lancing and Bill Kreis of Deer Lodge, and his incredible sister-in-law Susie Kreis also of Deer Lodge. Margaret Cooper, sister-in-law by proxy, who never forgot his birthday and always supplied him with a German Chocolate cake or black walnut cookies, Barbara Scott Goodman, and Loretta & Don Adams completes our family. I hope!  There are a slew of nieces and nephews whose names are withheld to protect those with a warrant. 

What would have made him the happiest is for you to have a laugh with him, a cup of coffee, a cigarette, a sip of sweet red wine, or moonshine. Visitation will be held on Friday, June 30, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church from 9:00 am-11:00 am with funeral services following at 11:00 am-12:00 pm.  

He will be interred with full military honors next to his wife in the Kreis Family Cemetery in Deer Lodge. Sorry, Mom, we did the best we could to take care of him for as long as possible and keep him from cramping your style in heaven. But guess what? So good luck, the ball’s in your court again. 

Directly after interment, we will have a Celebration of Life at the Weidemann Hotel in Deer Lodge. Dress comfortably and bring a lighter. Everybody has an “M” story and we want to hear them all. We thank this incredible, sweet man for the wonderful life he gave to us. 

We are completely devastated.

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