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Edward Gary Dutton, 81

| February 11, 2022 7:00 AM

Edward Gary Dutton, 81, of Libby passed peacefully to be with the Lord on Feb. 6, 2022. His son, Gary, was by his side.

Born Jan. 30, 1941, to Edward and Lucille Dutton of Libby, Ed went on to graduate from Libby High School in 1959. He then joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Columbus, Ohio. Upon returning to Libby, he worked at St. Regis Paper Co. (later Champion International), both in the retail yard and as an over the road truck driver, where he delivered many loads across the western states and logged many miles.

In his free time Ed enjoyed dancing at the local halls, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, biking and running. He became an avid runner and enjoyed a good race, entering the Bloomsday event on multiple occasions. When the lumber mill shut down, Ed was offered training for a new profession and decided to attend Barber School in Missoula.

He then opened a shop in Plains for a short time. He return to Libby, where he started the Clear Cut Barber Shop and then went on to buy his final place of business in Kalispell, where he worked until his retirement. He loved holding conversations with different people as a barber and wished he had taken it up much earlier in life.

Ed also was extremely proud of his instrumental role in reversing a ruling on allowing dogs into barbershops. Those efforts led to an invitation to join the State Board of Barbers.

Upon retirement, Ed moved back to Libby, where he enjoyed doing the things he loved most: spending time with his dogs, hiking and hunting. Being outdoors was his passion. He loved to hike the Cabinet Mountains and was fairly certain he had seen all of the lakes and hiked all of the trails in the range. Many were impressed by — and learned from — his knowledge of the mountains. He also spent many seasons hunting pheasants at his cabin in Saco.

Ed loved his springer spaniels Fritz, Teek, Cocoa, Saco and Birdie. They were always at his side, whether hunting pheasants, hiking the cabinets, walking around Libby or curled up at his feet and recovering at home. Ed loved to read and Montana history would keep him devouring a book after a long walk or hike in the mountains. He really liked people and enjoyed conversation with friends, family or a passerby.

When it came to sports, Ed held a deep passion for Gonzaga basketball. He would never miss a game on TV and knew all the players. He was often caught cheering or yelling at the TV and forever wished they could win a championship while he was around. Maybe this will be the year? Go Zags!

Ed is survived by his son, Gary Dutton of Libby; stepson, Bob (Becky) Maiden of Libby; stepdaughter, Dixie (Randy) Baeth of Federal Way, Wash.; his uncle, Dick Dutton of Libby; sisters, Bonnie Barnett of Puyallup, Wash., and Sheila Strock of Sedro Wooley, Wash.; brother, Merritt Dutton of Libby; and many grandkids, nieces, nephews and cousins that were very important to him.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church on Feb. 18 to be followed by a graveside military salute at the City of Libby Cemetery. Reception will be held at Libby VFW Post #1548 beginning at 3:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in Ed’s name to the following: Christ Lutheran Church of Libby (libbylutherans.org), Kootenai Pets for Life (kootenaipetsforlife.com) or The Lewy Body Dementia Association (lbda.org).

Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.