William “Bill” Gaub, 85, an Eastern Montana farm boy who helped secure peace in post-World War II Europe as a GI in the U.S. Occupation Force, died of cancer on April 18, 2012.
Mr. Gaub was born to Jacob J. and Bertha (Knopp) Gaub in Marsh on Jan. 27, 1927. His twin brother was stillborn.
He attended grade school at Bossert School on his parents’ property. Upon graduating from Terry High School in the spring of 1945, he was drafted into the Army.
He traveled by troop ship to Europe, where his tour of duty in occupied Germany lasted nine months. Soon after discharge, Mr. Gaub began farming his own land.
In 1950, Mr. Gaub bought an irrigated farm in the Buffalo Rapids project near Terry. He married Mathilda Neiffer on June 18, 1950, at a rural church near Fallon.
Mr. Gaub grew sugar beets and grain on his farm in Terry. After selling that acreage, he moved his family to rural Glendive, where he continued farming until 1962 when the family moved to Miles City. He worked in the receiving department at the Tempo discount store and held other jobs until moving his family to Billings in 1967.
Mr. Gaub worked for many years at Gibson’s Discount Store in Billings and held part-time jobs after his retirement. He and Mrs. Gaub moved to Missoula in 1997.
Mr. Gaub was active in Lutheran congregations in Fallon, Miles City, Billings and Missoula. He held leadership positions, including president, at Apostles Lutheran in Billings. He sang in church choirs throughout his adult life, including at Mt. Zion Lutheran in Missoula, where he sang for a final time on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012.
He spent his final days in hospice care at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula.
Survivors include his wife, Mathilda of Missoula; six children, Dennis of Belgrade, Debra Bosse of Richmond, Va., Marah Raynock of Missoula, Mark of Brookfield, Wis., Tamara Rehborg of Cottonwood, Ariz., and Timothy of Denver; two sisters, Esther Meader, of Kirkland, Wash., and Almeda Santee, of Kenmore, Wash.; a brother, Albert of Missoula; 18 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Services were April 20 at Sunset Memorial Crematory Cemetery and Funeral Home in Missoula, with the Rev. Justin Cloute officiating. Burial with military honors was in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Missoula.
Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Montana, the Rosetta assisted living facility in Missoula or Partners in Home Care Hospice.