Gay E. Fischer
June 30, 1928 – December 6, 2020
Gay Estelle (Huffman) Fischer passed away at the age of 92 on December 6, 2020, at Bozeman Lodge Assisted Living Home in Bozeman, Montana. At the time of her passing and throughout her life, she was dedicated to her family, Catholic faith, community, and friendships.
Gay was born June 30, 1928 to Rod and Star (Neu) Huffman in Philipsburg, Montana, the youngest of three children. She attended Philipsburg schools and graduated from Granite County High School in 1944, valedictorian of her class. Following high school, she studied nursing at Carroll College for one year before returning to Philipsburg and working in a local attorney’s office. Gay had many good memories of her school days and remained close to several of her classmates throughout their lives.
Gay met her future husband, Robert (Bob) Fischer, at a dance at Echo Lake Lodge. Bob had recently returned from World War II overseas duty with the Army Air Force and was working with his father at the family business, Fischer’s Lumber Yard, in Hall.
Bob and Gay were married on July 10, 1948, at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Philipsburg. She and Bob lived the first two years of their married life in Drummond, where Gay worked for H and H Mining Company as a bookkeeper and Bob continued working for his dad at the lumber yard in Hall. During these years, their first son, Bob, was born. In 1950 they built a house in Hall that was to be their home for the next 50 years. The young family was soon joined by a second son, Clint, and daughter, Marilyn. There they raised their three children and together operated Fischer’s Lumber Yard, a small-town ranch supply, farm implement, and building materials business that is still in operation. In 2000, they moved to Helena, where Gay resided until 2017.
Gay was an active member of St. Michael’s Parish in Drummond until she and Bob moved to Helena, where they became members of St. Helena Cathedral Parish and later St. Mary’s Parish. During her years in Hall and Helena, she was active in her church and community, serving for many years on the Granite County Hospital Board and making friends in the Red Hat Society during her later years in Helena. She maintained close contact with friends and family throughout the country and visited almost daily with several of them. The telephone was her most-used instrument of technology, and she wore out many of them over the years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister Dorothy Sorensen of Philipsburg, and brother Cliff Huffman of Anaconda.
Survivors include son Bob (Donna) of Helena, son Clint (Chris) of Polson, and daughter Marilyn (Len) Roth of Bozeman. Grandchildren are Kelby (Marah) Fischer of Helena;
Clay (Amy) Fischer of Whitefish; Casey (Nick) Emerson of Polson; Cari (Cody) Brown of Polson; Cody Fischer of Missoula; Kirk (Aubrey) Roth of Bozeman; and Brett (Rachel) Roth of Bozeman. Great grandchildren include Harlie and Skylie Fischer of Whitefish; Hunter, Holden, and Hadley Emerson of Polson; Cashton and Colton Brown of Polson; Ellie and Abby Roth of Bozeman; and Owen Roth of Bozeman. She is also survived by numerous beloved nephews and nieces.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private funeral mass will be held in Bozeman, attended only by the immediate family. A celebration of the lives of both Gay and her sister Dorothy, who also passed away in 2020 during the pandemic, will be held in Philipsburg at a time next summer yet to be determined. Interment for Gay will follow at Valley Cemetery, north of Hall, alongside Bob, her husband of 53 years.
Gay’s family wishes to acknowledge and thank the staff at Bozeman Lodge for the special care they provided during Gay’s final years. Great appreciation is also given to the Stillwater Hospice Program nurses and staff who were invaluable during the difficult last month of Gay’s life.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be made in Gay’s name to a favorite charity or organization. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service www.dokkennelson.com