Gilbert Welles Washburn passed away at his residence in Columbia Falls on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, at 73 years of age.
Gil was born in Kalispell on March 4, 1946, to Bernice Barry (Downes) and John Washburn. He was raised in Apgar Village, spending a portion of his childhood working in his family’s hotel business.
He served in the National Guard in 1964, and then enlisted in the United States Navy, serving for a total of eight years with two tours of duty in Vietnam where he received a Purple Heart.
Gil married Patricia (Fisher) Washburn in 1968. They raised a family and ran their business together until her passing in 2005.
Gil had a love of the outdoors, spending many years fishing, hunting and camping, however, his most cherished of years were the ones he spent with his family on Hungry Horse Reservoir making memories that will forever be held dear in our hearts.
Gil had an outstanding mind when it came to mathematics and numbers which led to the success of his furniture business. He started a lumber and secondhand store in 1979, eventually moving to two different locations and overcoming an electrical fire which consumed his entire business. He persevered and rebuilt Gil’s Store, Inc. into the successful business it is today and was involved with its management until his final days.
Gil’s passing was preceded by his wife, Patricia (Fisher) Washburn, his father John Washburn, mother Bernice (Downes) Barry, and brother Jack Washburn.
He is survived by his son Donel Washburn (Tashia) of Columbia Falls, daughter Kimberly White (Sean) of Helena, his grandchildren, Carson, Baylee, Eliot, Samantha, Kyle and Kinzie, a brother Mick Washburn (Marilynn) of Columbia Falls, sister Cheryl Kemppainen (Tom) of Columbia Falls, many extended family members, friends, and his loyal family at Gil’s Furniture.
Gil will forever be known for his “one of a kind” sense of humor and his unique way of telling inappropriate jokes right up until the end. There will always and forever be only one Gil.
A celebration of life will be held at Gil’s residence from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. There will be an Honor Guard tribute at 2 p.m.
Memorial donations can be made to Frontier Hospice at 42 Bruyer Way, Kalispell, MT 59901.
Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for the family.