FLORENCE — Gayle Elton Munson, 93, passed at Kathy’s Place in Florence, on Dec. 3, 2018. He was born on a cattle ranch in Kelley, near Winnett, on Nov. 21, 1925. Gayle was the youngest of five children who had the pleasure of riding a horse to school until they moved to the Bitterroot Valley when he was in the sixth-grade. He enjoyed his middle and high school years in Florence, and was a proud (and the last remaining) member of the first Falcon basketball team. Upon graduation in 1943, he served as a Machinist Mate, 3rd Class, in the Navy until May 18, 1946. Using reclaimed wood from the two houses that existed on the property previously, and with “much friendly advice”, Gayle designed and built his parents’ house in Hamilton by hand. Gayle began work for the Dairy Herd Improvement Association as a cow tester in 1948. After being married on Oct. 11, 1949, Gayle built his second house on Sheafman Creek for his wife Beverly Watters. It was there that Gayle and Bev raised two sons, Robert (Bob) Douglas (1951) and Jody Craig (1955). In 1954, Gayle began his 12-year career at the Intermountain Lumber Company in Darby. Following Beverly’s passing he married Carol Moore, on Sept. 1, 1980. Mr. Munson retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1985 after 21 years of service to the Hamilton and Victor communities.
Gayle was a proud community servant. He delivered for Meals on Wheels for years and served in positions on the Rural Electrification Association (14 years), the Bitterroot Stock Growers Association, the Victor Cemetery Board of Directors, and on the planning board. He was a lifelong member of the Victor Community Church and was instrumental in building the Victor Senior Center.
Gayle was preceded in death by his first wife, Beverly Watters Munson; his parents, Morris and Lydia Munson; and his siblings John, Ivan, Carol, and Virgene. Survivors include his second wife, Carol (and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren); sons Bob (Debbie); and Craig (Kathy), as well as his grandchildren Michael (Steve), Colin (Amber), Cody (Bridget), Lauren (Nate), and many great-grandchildren.
Gayle’s “Munson humor” and friendly spirit will be missed greatly.
A memorial service will be held at the Victor Community Church on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at 1 p.m. Condolence and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.