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It's all about saying goodbye.
Collin Ray Vaira
December 14, 1950 - November 16, 2023

Place of Birth: Lambert, Montana
Residence: Sidney, MT formerly of Lambert, MT
Age: 66

Collin Ray Vaira, 66, received his wings in his sleep on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at his home in Sidney, Montana.
Collin was born on December 14, 1950 in Sidney to parents Ardelle (Gibson) and Paul Vaira. The oldest of four sons, he grew up in Springlake, north of Lambert. He attended elementary school at Poleville and Springlake before starting seventh grade in Lambert. Collin graduated from Lambert High School in 1970. He attended Dawson Community College in Glendive and Northern Montana College in Havre, before returning home to farm and ranch with his family. Active in the community, Collin served with the Charley Creek Jaycees, the Lambert Volunteer Fire Department, and the Farmers Union Board in Lambert.
Collin’s life might seem too short to many, but those of us who were touched by him understand that the quality of his existence far exceeded the quantity of time in which he lived. He brought overwhelming joy to his wife and family and to hundreds upon hundreds of children when he unselfishly gave of his time to play Santa, which he loved doing. Collin traveled extensively throughout the U.S., bringing home many interesting stories that he enjoyed sharing with others.
Collin is survived by: his father, Paul; his wife, Cheryl; his daughter, Gillette; his step-son, Justin; and his brothers, Tim (Jean), Kelly (Jen), and Pat Vaira. He is also survived by a large extended family and a multitude of special friends.
He was preceded in death by his loving mother, Ardelle Vaira.

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Paula (Meschke)Thuesen (Dagmar, MT)
Nov 17, 2017
Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear of Collin's passing! I haven't seen him in many years but I have wonderful memories of all of the "Vaira boys" and their antics that came to Sidney way back when.... God Bless him and prayers for his family.
Marilyn Larson Anderson (Brooks, Alberta)
Nov 17, 2017
No words can express what is in my heart. Collin was a great friend and like a brother to me. So many wonderful memories are swirling through my mind and heart. You will be missed by so many. Love you my friend.
Dave Strand (Great Falls, Montana)
Nov 17, 2017
My prayers go out to all the family for comfort and peace. May the Lord shed His grace on all of you. Collin was a character.
'lisa baardon
Nov 17, 2017
so sorry to hear of Collins passing, breaks my heart . your all in our thoughts and prayers xo
Ross Wilson (Sidney, Montana)
Nov 17, 2017
Shock to me to hear of Collin passing.Prayers and condolences to his family and siblings.
Mary (Legato) Haratyk (Sheridan, Wy)
Nov 18, 2017
So sorry to hear of Colin’s passing. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Joni Fredrickson Kuntz (Port Angeles, WA)
Nov 18, 2017
So sorry to hear of Collin's passing... I will always remember his laugh and smile.. Prayers to Collin's family...
Lorraine Whiteman (Richey, Mt)
Nov 18, 2017
Vaira Famil;y So sorry to hear about Collin passing away Sending Prayers
Tim & Kim Klasna
Nov 18, 2017
Prayers go to Collins family. We will miss him.
Cecilia martin (Peetz, Co)
Nov 18, 2017
To all the Vaira family, so sorry for your loss . I remember Collin always had a smile on his face . Sending prays n hugs to all .
Jim & Theresa Carda (Lambert, mt)
Nov 18, 2017
Thoughts and prayers go out to all of Collins family.
Jacki Poland (Lambert, MT)
Nov 18, 2017
When I moved to Lambert, I heard we had our own Santa Claus. One day soon after Les & I ran in to him at Reynolds Market. This was 2009. We instantly became friends, I guess because we both have odd senses of humor. My heart is broken. I won't run in to him getting gas or at the store any more. Vaira Family, I guess GOD needed a very special Santa's Helper this year with all that's happened in our country. You are in Les and my thoughts and prayers.
Dick and Debbi Propp (Sidney )
Nov 18, 2017
Dick and Collins were Santa buddies. In fact we had him here last year when he gave Dick some of his suits. He was a heck of a nice guy and a true friend. His wonderful laugh and sense of humor will be missed. Rest in peace
Kenneth
Nov 19, 2017
I am so sorry for your loss. May you know the comfort that only God can give. Our prayers are with you and your family. May God grant your family strength and serenity through this difficult moment your family is enduring. God has promised us that we will soon be reunited with our loved one. "There is going to be a resurrection," the Bible confirms at Acts 24:15. "Do not be amazed at this, "Jesus assures as, "for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out"-John 5:28,29
Marilyn and Bryce Witt (Sidney, MT)
Nov 19, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with Collin's family.
Mary Dillon (Lambert, MT)
Nov 19, 2017
My sincerest sympathy. May you find comfort knowing that we will see our loved ones again. My prayers for all of you. Mary Dillon
Bob Larson
Nov 20, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Vaira family at this time. Collin was my friend our entire lives. He was a funny guy. A lot of fond memories keep popping up at this time. From the time he pedaled his John Deere tractor over a mile across the School Section to our house so we could 'farm' together, me with our Case tractor. And the time Laura Strand hit him on the top of the head with a baseball bat at Poleville School.
A very dear friend will be missed.
Maureen Salsbury Irigoin (Great Falls, MT)
Nov 20, 2017
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. – Psalm 34:18. I have not seen Collin since our high school days but i will never forget the mock shooting role he played in Hayden Hedrick's class! Since then, I heard many stories of his Santa Claus gig. What a guy! God Bless the Vaira family.
Laura Strand Ogata (Kennewick, Washington)
Nov 20, 2017
When I think of Collin, I can’t help but smile. He was such a fun-loving person, with a positive and cheerful attitude. He seemed to really love others.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of Collin’s brothers and the extended family. The Vairas were great neighbors and friends!
Alicia Haralson (Sidney, Montana)
Nov 21, 2017
I am so sorry to hear of Collin's passing - he was one of my very favorite customers at the Cattle-Ac, always sharing stories of his adventures. I will miss seeing his smiling face, Heaven got a good one.
Rest in Peace Collin.
Mary Vaira
Nov 21, 2017
As you would always say, "...bye for now!"
Dion and Diane Ligon (Poulsbo, Washington)
Nov 22, 2017
Our sympathy and prayers to Collon’s Family.
Kristin king (Paducah, Ky)
Nov 23, 2017
I'm so sad to hear of Santa passing. I loved visiting Collin when I worked at the cattle ac, and God bless him he even came to get a manicure from me to help boost my business when he was prepping for his holiday adventures. Rest in peace my friend.
Jerry & Katy Gunderson (Billings, MT)
Nov 25, 2017
Collin will be missed by everyone who knew and loved him. Our hearts and prayers are with Cheryl and family.
Casey Klasna (Ennis, Montana)
Nov 27, 2017
Very sad to hear of Collins passing. He was our neighbor and he always knew how to get me giggling. He razzed me as a kid and up until I saw him last just a few years ago. A truly funny guy.
John and Penny Shevlin (Conrad, Mt.)
Nov 28, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers to Collin's family~
Phil and Claudia Waber (Mansfield, PA)
Nov 28, 2017
Good-bye to a great hunting buddy and poker player. Our thoughts are with your close ones.
Janice Vaira-Opp (Glendive, MT)
Nov 28, 2017
Collin always had a smile, a joke and a story. Prayers and peace to all of you.
Nancy Vaira (Sidney, MONTANA)
Nov 28, 2017
Saddened by my cousin's death. You were always full of a telling or hilarious story. You loved the Santa gig, and I loved hearing the stories. I'm not sure where you got your sense of humor, but it will be missed. God bless your family.
Elaine
Nov 30, 2017
I would like to offer my sincerest condolences during this difficult time, the loss of a loved one can be a painful experience. I hope you can find a measure of comfort in God's Word the Bible. For example, in Revelation 21:4 it mentions a time that is coming when death will be no more and in John 5:28,29 it says how all those in the memorial tomb will come out. So we will have the opportunity to see our loved ones again. For more information about this topic and much more please visit JW. org.
Joe and Donna Stoll (Mesa, Arizona)
Dec 1, 2017
We have known Collin for a short time. We are close friends with his wife Cheryl. He was one of the nicest guys I have met in a long time. Laid back, smiling guy, and soft spoken. You knew he was a good guy from the moment we met him. You will be missed Collin. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Butch Renders
Dec 3, 2017
Colin and I started the Santa thing together/at the same time we shared a lot of stories and he was always entertaining. He had a thing for deciding he wanted to go some place and they would find him a Santa position there.What a kick, he will be missed.
LynAnn Henderson (Billings, MT)
Dec 6, 2017
Sending my heartfelt condolences to you and the family, Gillette. You’re in our prayers.
Dorothy Frasca Benish (Palatine, Il)
Dec 9, 2017
So shocked and sorry to hear about Collin. Words escape me but I I'll always remember him fondly. RIP Collin. Prayers for all of his family.
Jolene Vaira Geary (Rapid City, SD)
Dec 11, 2017
Gillette and Family,
The picture on this page is exactly how I remember Collin; a bright sunny, happy smile! He had a great laugh, gave the best hugs and was just a genuine nice guy. He will be missed. I hope you find peace and strength to carry you through this-losing someone is always hard. Thinking of Collin brings a smile to my face.
Collin's Wife, Cheryl
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Niki & Geoff Johnston
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Terry, Linda, Laura, David, Adele and Doug Strand
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