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Spencer Irving Gibson

August 10, 1940 January 11, 2020
Spencer Irving Gibson
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Obituary for Spencer Irving Gibson

Our beloved Spencer Gibson, 79 (1/2), a fine, good man, passed away January 11, 2020 at our home.  

Spencer was born in Palo Alto, CA on August 10, 1940, to Frank and Annette Gibson. He was the middle child of 3 and grew up in Riverside, CA. He loved his animals, made friends with local Basque sheepherders, helped in citrus groves trapping gophers, played the saxophone and was an excellent baseball player; going back east twice to the Pony League World Series playoffs, once to Evanston, IL and once to Chicago. After high school graduation in 1958, he was offered a professional contract, but chose not to accept it.  

Spence married Delva Beth Wilken on October 7, 1961. He had taken up golf, and their first date was on a golf course (a challenging date for a girl who had never swung a golf club). He attended Modesto (CA) Junior College where he majored in Physical Education, with a minor in Science, and competed on the golf team. He worked for an ambulance service and created two wonderful children. He transferred to San Diego State College where he completed his four years and teaching degree. He taught high school for 4 years before moving to Fall River Mills, a small mountain valley in north east California, where he taught for 24 years.  

He taught everything from Physical Education, Life Science, English and Consumer Economics to Small Engines. He coached some girls’ softball, taught Driver Education after school, and taught adult evening classes in Golf. He was an excellent and enthusiastic golfer all his life until he could no longer swing a club without pain. Daughter, Kareen took up golf her junior year after visiting one of his classes; worked hard enough to earn a college scholarship at BYU. He loved caddying for her at some of her events, including a U.S. Amateur Tournament.  

After teaching 24 years in Fall River he retired from teaching and in 1995 he and Delva moved to a small ranch in Eureka, MT where they raised bison. In 2005, they moved to Lewistown.  

In Fall River he organized neighbors to help fight Western Pine Beetle, and in Eureka and here, the battle has been to combat knapweed in the “neighborhood.”  

Over the years he enjoyed improving habitat and property, baseball, golf, helping young people, hunting deer and helping to finish a Bonneville Race Car. He loved adventures in Baja, CA and Alaska, raising the bison, chasing weeds and watching any sports and wildlife. He enjoyed working on his two old cars; a 40 Ford Coupe over 20+ years and a 67 Chevy (red) over the last 7+ years and he belonged to the local classic car club, Central Montana Trail Dusters.  

He especially enjoyed meeting people. He loved to share what he had with a generous spirit and befriend everyone who crossed his path. He was always ready to lend a hand and a smile to everyone he met.  

He is survived by his wife, Delva Gibson; daughter, Kareen Markle of Meridian, ID; son, Eric Gibson of Klamath Falls, OR; sister, Leta Gibson of Eureka Springs, AR; brother, Walter Gibson of San Diego, CA; and 3 grandchildren: Devin, Casey and Darren Markle.  

He was immensely proud of his son, daughter, and 3 grandchildren and their ethics and accomplishments.  

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 31, 2020 at the Creel Funeral Home Chapel, A light lunch will follow at the Moose Lodge. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Shriners Hospitals, Central Montana Medical Center Foundation or donor’s choice.  

Arrangements are under the care of Creel Funeral Home. Spencer’s family and friends may leave condolences and share memories at

To plant a tree in memory of Spencer Irving Gibson, visit the Tribute Store.

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11:00 AM 1/31/2020 11:00:00 AM
Creel Funeral Home

601 West Main Street
Lewistown, MT 59457

Creel Funeral Home
601 West Main Street Lewistown 59457 MT
United States

Memorial Contribution

Donor's Choice

Medical Center Foundation

408 Wendell Ave.
Lewistown, MT 59457

Shriners Hospitals for Children

PO Box 2472
Spokane, WA 99210-2472

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