Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

Edwin Nassau Koss


March 14, 2018

MALTA - Edwin Nassau Koss, 85, a rancher, died Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Phillips County Hospital, surrounded by family.

The family received friends at 7 p.m. Friday, March 9 at the Kirkwood Memorial Chapel for sharing of stories. Memorial services were 1 p.m., Saturday at the Kirkwood Memorial Chapel. Interment will be at a later date. Condolences may be left at

Edwin was born October 8, 1932, to Berniece and Charles Koss. He was the fifth of nine children, Gerald, Eleanor, twins Wesley and Wiltse, Edwin, Marjorie, Paul, Katherine, and Kelly.

At the age of 14, Edwin rode 20 miles to the Etchart Ranch to gather strays with a 3-day supply of food. After a week of being gone his father, Charlie ,drove around to find the whereabouts of Edwin. Come to find out, since he was such a good hand, he had been hired by Etcharts to help them finish gathering and had just left for home with Charlie's pairs. He made the same ride the following year with his 10-year-old brother Paul, who was too young to work but wrangled horses for the riders.

Being such a good hand at an early age, he was sought after by many, being offered more than the going rate for an adult, but chose to stay home as he was sorely needed on the family ranch. As one of his first jobs aside from the family ranch, he was hired by Tweet Oxarart to test all cattle in South Phillips County for brucellosis.

In 1951, Edwin, along with his brothers Gerald and Wesley, purchased the Wilson Ranch. In 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1955, he was honorably discharged due to the passing of his two brothers that he owned the ranch with.

On July 2, 1966, he married the love of his life, Doreen. Together they raised three children, Bonny, Wesley, and Bridget.

He served as a State of Montana brand inspector and was also deputized to serve as law and order for the functions at First Creek Hall. He grew up on a horse and would argue that he had never been bucked off. In spite of numerous broken bones and ailments, he always enjoyed the ride. He passed this on to his children and grandchildren, making sure all had the opportunity of learning to ride.

Edwin ranched in South Phillips County all of his life, enjoying all aspects of ranching, helping neighbors and teaching life lessons.

He became a pilot, purchased a plane with his brother Paul, and always enjoyed the wind beneath his wings.

Edwin was also an avid reader with Louis L'Amour westerns being his favorite. He was always up for a jigsaw puzzle or a hand of cards with his grandchildren.

Edwin is survived by his wife Doreen; daughter, Bonny (Doug) Ost of Malta; son, Wesley (Renee) Koss of Malta; daughter, Bridget Koss-Woods of Billings; nine grandchildren; Mykel (Aaron) Vifquain of Rapid City, S.D., Scott (April) Ost, Malta, Zach (Kyla) Ost of Salt Lake City, Utah, Tony Ost of Malta, Edwin Ost of Billings, Tyler Ost of Fargo, N.D., Kathy Koss of Malta, Kari Koss of Bozeman, Marcus Woods of Malta; and numerous great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Gerald, Wesley, Wiltse, and Kelly; sisters, Marjorie and Katherine.


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