Joseph E. Gaab, 94, of Livingston, went to ride his horse, ski, enjoy the wilderness and spot wildlife from a higher vantage point on Jan. 1, 2013.
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Memorial services will be Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 at Holbrook United Methodist Church, 5th and Lewis Streets, Livingston, Mont. at 2 p.m.
Joe was born on Oct. 6, 1918 in Canton, Mont., the son of William Edward and Edna Mary (Ragen) Gaab. When the Missouri River was dammed to form Canyon Ferry Lake, the family moved to a ranch in Townsend, Mont. After walking or riding his horse to school in Townsend, Joe graduated from Broadwater High School in 1936. As a member of the agricultural fraternity Aha Gamma Rho, he attended Montana State College, Bozeman, Mont. from 1936-1940, graduating with a degree in animal husbandry. He served in the United States Army from 1941-1945, mostly in the South Pacific. Joe proudly served with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department as a Biologist, Game Warden in Park County, Warden Sergeant and Wilderness Liaison Officer. His distinguished career spanned over 32 years.
Joe was married briefly to Nancy Diehl Dear, having one daughter, Barbara Dear Pepper, of Simms, Mont. He married Virginia Jane Smith, daughter of Vard and Carolyn Smith of Livingston, Mont., on Nov. 30, 1949. They had two daughters, Carolyn Gaab Bronson and Shelly Gaab Blatter. He and Virginia have two grandchildren, Travis Joseph Blatter and Kelsey Christine Blatter.
Joe was a member of Rotary International for over 20 years, serving as president in both Townsend and Livingston, and was a member and past president of the Livingston Roundup Association, including Director of the Parade. He also served as President of the Livingston Saddle Club, Director of the Livingston Chamber of Commerce and President of the Montana Game Warden's Association. As an avid skier, he also proudly served two four-year terms as a member of the Bridger Bowl Board of Director.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, and wife, Virginia. He is survived by his daughters, Carolyn, Shelly and Barbara; his grandchildren, Travis and Kelsey; and the many associates and friends, whom he so dearly appreciated, which he had developed over the course of his amazing lifetime.
Joe loved riding horses, herding cows, spotting game, riding in the mountains, skiing, attending rodeos, and visiting with his friends. He and Virginia traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Spain, Alaska, Hawaii and Joe enjoyed a skiing trip to France and Switzerland.
Memorials can be sent to the Joe Gaab Memorial Fund, c/o American Bank with instructions to be directed to: the Bridger Bowl Foundation, Canton Church, or Park County FWP Big Horn Sheep Research Project.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 11, 2013