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Joe Gibbons

| May 6, 2005 12:00 AM

Longtime Eureka businessman Walter Joseph (Joe) Gibbons, 84, a frequent Libby visitor, died April 30, 2005, at the Montana Veterans' Home in Columbia Falls after a long battle with cancer.

Joe was born on Dec. 8, 1920, at Kalispell to Walter S. and Ruby Arndt Gibbons.

He attended school at Eureka, graduating from Lincoln County High School with the Class of 1940.

He continued his education at Northern Montana College- Havre and Montana State University-Bozeman until enlisting in the Army Air Corps.

Joe spent time at various air bases, mostly in Florida, overseeing preparations of B-29s and B-17s for service in World War II.

He returned to Bozeman to complete his degree in mechanical engineering and met Carol, who became his wife after she graduated in 1949.

After working for a number of years as territory supervisor for J.I. Case, Joe returned to Eureka to work with his father in the family business, Gibbons' Garage, established in 1923, serving the area for more than 80 years.

Joe loved to fly and used his skill for both business and pleasure. A charter member of the Eureka Lions Club, Joe served on the Eureka School board, the Tobacco Valley Economic Development Council, the Eureka Town Council, belonged to the American Legion and was a life member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church.

Survivors include his wife Carol, Eureka; daughter JoAnn Raphele, Bozeman; son Walter and his wife Connie and grandchildren Katie, Angie and John, of Eureka; daughter Lois and her husband Brad Benedict, Katy, Texas, and grandchildren Brian and Michael; daughter Lorell and her husband Gary Reese and grandchildren Keegan and Kelsey, Columbia Falls, sister Patricia Rosenthal, Southern Pines, N.C.; niece Winifred, brothers John Gibbons, Los Angeles,, and James Gibbons and his wife Beverley, Redmond, Wash., and nieces Linda and Nancy and nephew Jim Gibbons.

The family suggests memorials be made to the charity of the donor's choice.

Interment will take place at a later date.