Gibson, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Gibson, age 105, passed away on February 10, 2019.

Elizabeth was born August 4, 1913 in Choteau, Montana to Joseph and Anna (Hofsoos) Rodolph.  Elizabeth’s extended family had roots in Rimini, MT, where she spent part of her childhood. She remembered making mud pies decorated with the white residue from the mine tailings, stating, “I guess it didn’t kill me.”

Elizabeth also lived for many years in California, where she met and married Earl D. Tarvin. Elizabeth worked as an administrative secretary for Hughes Aircraft Company in the aerospace program, and Earl worked in the Hollywood film industry.

Earl passed away in 1961, and a few years later Elizabeth and her aunt Christine returned to the family property in Rimini. She began work for the Montana Historical Society in the late 1960’s, retiring in October 1977.

On August 20, 1980 she married Kenneth Walter Gibson at La Ronge, Saskatchewan during one of their float-plane fishing trips. Elizabeth and Ken enjoyed over 20 years of outdoor adventures, including fishing, hunting, and canoeing. In addition to Rimini, they lived in Dubois, WY for a few years, in search of more open winters. The Wyoming wind blew them right back to Montana. Their initial return to Helena prompted a short stay in an old miner’s cabin on the Austin mining claim in the mountains west of Helena. This was a rather wintry spring in Montana, turning their stay into one more adventure.

After Ken’s passing in 2005, Elizabeth lived in Hunter’s Pointe retirement community for many years, enjoying friends, serving on the welcoming committee, keeping the library organized, and many other activities. She spent her last three years at Touchmark, where she was embraced by the helping hands and loving hearts of the assisted living staff, whom she dearly loved. Elizabeth will be remembered for her quick wit and humorous one-liners.

Elizabeth was a 55-year member of the Ocean Park Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star (Santa Monica).

Elizabeth is survived by her three stepdaughters, Lori (Dan) Moore of Helena, Celia (Mike) Styren of Bozeman, and Priscilla Gibson of Eugene, Oregon, as well as her cousins Kathryn Smith of Helena, and Tom Hafsoos of Milwaukee, WI.

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Elizabeth’s family wishes to express our deep appreciation to the entire Touchmark staff for the compassionate care provided to Elizabeth. We are additionally thankful for the tender care given by her home health care nurses, and by St. Peter’s Hospice. We are grateful for the kindness shown to Elizabeth and to us by Touchmark residents and staff alike.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 22 at Touchmark, 915 Saddle Dr. in Helena.  Cremation has taken place, and burial will occur at a later date at the Montana State Veteran’s Cemetery, Fort Harrison, MT.

Memorials are suggested to St Peter’s Hospice, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601. Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Elizabeth.

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