David Gibson was a quiet man with the bluest of eyes, a heart of gold, and a gentle soul. The Crazy Mountains were his cathedrals, and early morning was his favorite time. Always ready to help, he shared his vast knowledge in all aspects of agriculture with anyone eager to learn – and even with those not so eager to learn but who needed to be taught the cowboy ways. He was an inventor, a mechanical genius, and a fixer of all things who held a patent on the Gibson Round Bale Feeder.
He was born on July 25, 1941 in Livingston, MT to Percy (Bud) and Jeanette Bishir Gibson, and he received his education at Springdale School and Park County High School. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and proudly served as a mechanic keeping B-52s flying on their missions. He received an honorable discharge and returned to the family ranch north of Springdale. On August 22, 1964, he was united in marriage and life to Joann Ricci at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Livingston. They became the proud parents of Rick, Bonita, and Don, and they raised their family on the ranch he so dearly loved. In the winter after “the work was all done,” snowmobiling in the Crazy Mountains was a favorite activity for the family and friends, and usually several of his children’s friends came along. Weeknights were the time to repair snowmobiles for the next run. David officially retired in March 2016 but never stopped working. He always had a project going or was helping others with their cattle, fencing, farming, and anything else that he knew needed doing.
David is survived by his wife Joann of Livingston; son, Rick (Sandy Rahn-Gibson) Gibson of Livingston; daughter, Bonita (Matt) Cremer of Melville, MT; son, Don Gibson of Billings, MT; his brother, Grant Gibson of Dillon, MT; brothers-in-law, Francis Ricci of Laurel, MT; Michael (Margaret) Ricci-Roberts of Smith Center, KS; Roger Johnson of Belgrade, MT; sister-in-law, Jan (Roger) Hinther of Missoula, MT; his grandchildren, Chelcie (Caleb) Cargill of Burns, OR; Justin Cremer of Melville, MT; Meghan Gibson and Shane Gibson of Livingston, and bonus grandchildren, Kylie, Kelbie, and Kolton Letasky, Blake and Ty Shreffler, great-grandchildren, Teagan Marie and Hadley Joann Cargill, Kylie’s children, and the numerous nieces, nephews, and friends he considered family. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law, Carolyn Gibson, sister-in-law, Arlene Johnson, sister-in-law, Kay Ricci, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and a special niece, Becky Stricker.
David had a private nature and because of COVID-19, which he took very seriously, there will be a private family gathering to celebrate him at a later date. The best way to honor David is to work hard, keep your word, accomplish a task with excellence, then enjoy a cheeseburger and a glass of iced tea!
David died on September 30, 2020 from congestive heart failure. Condolences may be sent to Joann Gibson, PO Box 855, Livingston, MT 59047. A memorial scholarship has been established to be awarded to a Park High School student wishing to attend a vocation/trade school. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the scholarship account at Park County Community Foundation, PO Box 2199, Livingston, MT 59047. Please make checks out to Park County Community Foundation with David Gibson Memorial Scholarship on the memo line. Or, if preferred, please give to a charity of the donor’s choice in his memory.
Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.
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