Jack Martinson Gies , 72, of Lewistown, passed away in the presence of his wife Denise at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, MT on the morning of Saturday, August 3rd. Jack fought the hard fight with strong determination and will be deeply missed by all his family and friends.
Jack was born August 24th, 1946 in Missoula, Montana the youngest child of Anthony (Tony) Vincent and Jean (Martinson) Gies. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Fergus High School in 1964. Jack enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 1968 and served in Okinawa, Japan as a warehouseman. He was a proud marine and patriot. Upon discharge Jack attended the University of Montana, graduating with a B.A. in History in 1973. Soon after, Jack was fishing on a small creek outside Missoula when he came across a little cabin. He found a sense of calm in this tucked-away spot and sat down to contemplate his life after graduation. It was there he decided to move back to the Judith Mountains and build his own cabin where his great grandfather Vincent Gies had homesteaded and mined in the late 1800’s. As a history major, he loved his deep Montana roots and thus began his lifelong passion…
He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Denise Ziolkowski on June 25, 1983 at the cabin. He was blessed with son Vincent Robert in 1984 and daughter, Emily Jean-Etoile in 1986. He loved his family, the outdoors and was deeply devoted to their life in the mountains. “The Cabin” served as the solid foundation to raise their children close to all things Montana. He was an avid hunter and hosted many weekend hunts at the family property. It was there he found himself the happiest, and those memories will be cherished forever. He was a true mountain man and will be remembered for his practical wisdom, good advice, gift of storytelling and practical jokes. Jack loved listening to music, reading a good book, cooking and was famous for his blue cheese “Roquefort” dressing.
In 1985, as history would have it, Jack followed in his great grandfather’s footsteps to re-open the Gies Gold Mine. Always willing to learn a new trade, Jack started as a greenhand and went on to become the superintendent until it closed in 1991. The years he spent mining were some of his best as he found great pride in carrying on the family mining history.
Jack was a talented builder, providing custom carpentry through his business Judith Mountain Cabin Company. He especially enjoyed building cabins in the mountains and sharing his knowledge about living self-sufficient. His carpentry can be found in the very woodwork of this community, from St. Leo’s Church to the front door of the Lewistown Public Library. Jack also found a great deal of fulfillment working with the Medicaid Waiver program for over 25 years, handicapping homes and making a big difference in the lives of so many clients.
Jack is survived by his wife of 36 years, Denise and son Vincent both of Lewistown, daughter Emily (Mike) Coates of Billings, his sister Toni Gies of Lewistown, numerous beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Karl A. Gies.
Graveside military services for Jack Gies will be held on his 73rd Birthday, Saturday, August 24th at 11:00 a.m. at Mount Calvary Cemetery, with a Celebration of Life to immediately follow at the Judith Mountain Lodge. The Cloyd Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Friends are asked to make memorials to the charity of their choice and they may be left with the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com