Manny McKay Kalfell: 1993-2016 |

Manny McKay Kalfell: 1993-2016

Manny McKay Kalfell was born March 31, 1993, in Miles City. He spent his first years in Terry, moving to Bozeman with his mother at age three. He began school at Morning Star Elementary then Emily Dickinson, before middle and high school in Bozeman.

Manny’s love of sports began at a very young age, participating in “Midget” football, soccer, basketball, tennis and golf. He was also an avid dirt biker enjoying the rides with Uncle Rhett and continuing to enjoy “racing” from Soap Box Derby to dirt bikes to motorcycling. His love of the outdoors, sports, and adventure also found him on the ski slopes, snowmobile trails, and hunting wildernesses.

Manny was an excellent student, not only in his academics but as a friend and fellow classmate. Even Manny was unaware of the many lives he touched with his kindness to and support of others. His study and love of languages allowed him the opportunity to visit four European countries on a students’ abroad trip while he was in middle school. His adventures during this time lead to his continued study and mastery of language and planted the seed for his business management degree — perhaps adding international studies.

At age 15, one of Manny’s greatest loves entered his life: his new baby sister, Keirra, whom he adored, spoiled and loved beyond all bounds.

Manny learned the “lawn-service” business from his dad, Ryan, and spent his summers “mowing” and “manicuring” many yards in Bozeman, even adding the Audi “Circles” in the lawn in front of that dealership. Manny later also worked part-time for the Security Title Company — a job that continued into his college days.

Football became a major focus for Manny in high school, where he was the Hawks’ #8 wide receiver, being a part of that team’s State Championship in 2010.

Manny graduated from Bozeman High School in 2011 and started college at MSU to become a “forever Bobcat.” Manny was a walk-on football player as a freshman who earned his way to his starting position in his junior year and continued to be a contributing figure to the Bobcat program.

Manny did his internship study in business management at the IX Ranch in Big Sandy. This experience lead to his increased love of the “ranch” life and his developing “cowboy” spirit. Manny was to start work at the IX Ranch in February. Manny graduated from MSU with honors in December 2015. He was currently working at Bart Farms-MSU.

Manny, that we all know and love, had an infectious smile, a wonderfully caring heart, and a deep love for and dedication to his family, his friends and his God. Within all this, there was also a darkness that Manny struggled with for some time. Manny was touched by a sermon at church one Sunday; “seeing the light in all the darkness — looking through the tunnel to find the light…” Manny now has found his light through the darkness. Our Manny who was the light for so many of us has his own light now. We know he rests in the warmth of that light and no longer dwells in the darkness.

Manny leaves behind his parents, Ryan and Janya Ballenger, and sister, Keirra, all of Bozeman; maternal grandfather, Randy (Renee) Kalfell of Billings; maternal grandmother, Joyleen Kalfell of Bozeman; paternal grandparents, Gale and Gayleene Ballenger of Las Vegas, Nevada; maternal great-grandparents, Bruce and Merry Kalfell of Terry; paternal great-grandmother, Evelyn Ballenger of Spearfish, South Dakota; uncles, Reece (Trisha) Kalfell of Billings, Rhett Kalfell of Bozeman, Erik Ballenger of Las Vegas; aunts, Tessa Kalfell and Caitlyn Jordan of Seattle; cousins, Grayson, Bridger, and Raider; biological father, Danny Lassle and brother, Bodhy Lassle of Havre; grandparents, Eldon and Connie Lassle of Pinehurst, Idaho; aunt, Kim (Chad Jefferson) of Wallace, Idaho; and cousins, Jordyn, Taylor, and Hogan; and numerous great-uncles and -aunts; as well as a host of workmates, classmates and friends. His dogs, Romo and Chief, also mourn his passing.

Manny was preceded in death by maternal great-grandparents, Manuel and Barbara Dukart; paternal great-grandparents, Harry Ballenger, Charles and Alta Bruggeman, and Clarice Buckingham.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at 10 a.m. on the MSU Campus, Strand Union Building Ballroom. A reception will follow at Club Level at the Bobcat Stadium. Visitation will be held Thursday, Jan. 28, from noon to 8 p.m. at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service in Bozeman.

A memorial at Stockman Bank in Manny’s name has been established for mental health and suicide prevention.

“Give sorrow words. Grief has need to speak…lest the o’er fraught heart…break.” – William Shakespeare