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Services & Obituaries

Wayne Edsall
March 22, 1929 ~
February 08, 2019
Date of Service: February 25, 2019

Eugene Thomas Brodeur
September 14, 1938 ~
January 13, 2019
Date of Service: March 01, 2019

Tim Stiller
February 18, 1960 ~
February 20, 2019

Grace Robinson
September 29, 1923 ~
February 19, 2019

William Bridger
September 6, 1934 ~
February 19, 2019

Ryan Naffziger
May 4, 1984 ~
February 16, 2019

Alice Sarrazin
September 26, 1922 ~
February 13, 2019

Anne Dykema
November 26, 1934 ~
February 09, 2019

William Johnson
March 10, 1928 ~
February 08, 2019


Robert Gibson, Jr.

July 3, 1933 ~ September 25, 2018

Robert (Bob) Stephens Gibson passed away at home on September 25, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. He gave it a great Butte fight, but finally succumbed to heart failure.

Bob was born to Martha and Bob Gibson, Sr., on July 3, 1933, in Everett, Washington. They settled in Butte, Montana, when Bob was two years old. Growing up in Butte meant a lifetime of great stories he loved to share. Bob was always proud to say he was a “Butte guy”. 

Bob enrolled in Forestry and Land Management at his beloved University of Montana where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Forest Management.  He began working for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) during his summer school breaks. He continued with the USFS until he retired in 1990.

While at the University, he met his beautiful wife, Carol Kronmiller. They embarked upon a journey transferring across the Big Sky country with the USFS. During that time, they had three children who had the advantage of enjoying all the Montana forests had to offer.

After first assignments in Dillon and Lima, Bob was promoted to Bozeman District Forest Ranger in June 1963. This District has very diverse usage, among them Bridger Bowl Ski Area.  The introduction of the avalanche control guns was made that first winter and it was known Bob had ski experience from high school (unknown was that he broke his leg and hadn’t skied since).  During the installation of the avalanche control guns, the ski ranger took Bob to the top of the mountain…“So I could kill myself skiing to the bottom!”

Later Bob twice attained his goal of becoming a National Forest Supervisor (Helena and Gallatin forests). Montana Society of Forests elected him “Forester of the Year” and the National Society of Foresters elected him “Fellow”.

During the 1988 Yellowstone fires, much of the winter elk range had burned. As a result, 20,000 elk were in need of winter range. Bob knew the three government agencies (MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks, US Forest Service and Yellowstone Park) would never cooperate. He brought in the fledgling private Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) to spearhead the effort to bring all three government agencies together. And, it worked! Through their cooperation, RMEF was able to acquire a vast track of critical winter elk range.

After retirement Bob served two terms on the RMEF board of directors and was an avid volunteer for that group.

University of Montana Forestry School awarded him Distinguished Alum status in 2003.

Throughout his life, Bob maintained a commitment to his family, his passions of gardening, hunting, fishing, and land and wildlife management issues.

Bob and son, Mike, discovered the joys of hunting elk out of wall tents (crackling wood stoves, card games, World Series via radio, so-so cooking, hunting lies and such). They each had their own tents and were avid woodworkers.  Hence, the off-season dissolved into a friendly competition of who could build the coolest stuff for their respective camps.  Bob’s hunting buddies loved it, as they reaped the benefits of these two goofballs’ rivalry each hunting season.

Bob’s family was a divided one, as in Grizzlies vs Bobcats.  There were many years of good-natured ribbing, one-dollar wagers with Jim on THE Annual Game, and general trash talk.  Bob’s truck, with the UM plates, drew plenty of attention throughout the Gallatin Valley for many years.  One year, Bob surrendered to “Cat Fever”.  He acquired some leftover Bobcat stadium artificial turf.  Bob placed the turf over the winter snow so his dogs could relieve themselves in comfort. ☺ 

Gardening in Bozeman presents many challenges, but Bob never gave up on maintaining his yard, growing delicious vegetables, and caring for his apple trees.  He planted thousands of trees in his lifetime, believing that “those who plant trees love others besides themselves”.  He was making hard cider from his apples long before it was considered popular.  He happily shared his bountiful harvest with his neighbors. Much to his teenage sons’ chagrin, every spring meant pickup loads of “premium manure” from a secret Gallatin Valley location. That good manure meant the “richest soil in all of Montana”.  For the teenage boys, it meant another disrupted Saturday.

Bob is survived by his loving wife, Carol, who has cared for and loved him for 65 years; his daughter, Linda Romain (son-in-law Clay Romain); sons, Mike and Jim Gibson (all MSU grads); six grandchildren (3 MSU grads); and eight great-grandchildren.  He sustained a devoted interest in all of them and took pride in their accomplishments.  Bob passed on the traits of honest, hard-work and commitment to family.  We will miss his quick wit and zest for life!

Private family services were held.  

In lieu of gifts and flowers, please donate to one of the following organizations that Bob whole heartedly believed in:

•             Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation - 

•             Gallatin Valley Land Trust -

•             University of Montana Alumni Association -

•             Montana State University Alumni Association -

•             Bozeman Deaconess Hospice -

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