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1926 David 2021

David F Newbigging

March 9, 1926 — December 29, 2021

MISSOULA ~ David Francis, the 2nd of 9 children, was born to James and Thelma (Waddell) Newbigging in his grandparents’ home, near Sheridan WY, on March 9, 1926.

He grew up in the rural ranch country of Montana, learning a lifelong work ethic mixed with the youthful camaraderie of his brothers and sisters. By January 1943, he felt compelled to quit high school and lie about his age in order to enlist and serve his country in the marines. His father had been in the navy during WWI and his older brother was already serving in the Army in WWII Europe, his other brothers would follow them into the military.

As part of the marine detachment aboard the battleship USS Massachusetts, 3rd Fleet, Pacific Theater, he was tasked to ensure all security aboard the ship and his duty station was the highest antiaircraft gun emplacement on the starboard side. Aboard the U.S. Massachusetts he experienced: Typhoon Cobra, aka Halsey’s Typhoon, various other large typhoons, kamikaze attacks, major ground, air and sea campaigns, and was part of, at least one, rescue mission of a downed pilot. The USS Massachusetts is also known for firing the last shot of WWII. He served honorably until his discharge in November 1945.

Shortly after separating from service, he met the love of his life, Donna Robb, a Missoula native working in Seattle, WA after graduating from high school. Following a courtship, they were married in 1946, returning to Missoula to start life together. Their lives were soon blessed with two daughters (Dolores Gay and Jamie Kay).

In 1951, the family moved to Huntington Park, CA for better job opportunities. The next 10 years David honed his self-taught electronic skills, moving a few more times before landing a job at Cal Tech, in the California Seismological Lab in Pasadena in 1961. During his work there, he built and repaired seismographs throughout California. He got his pilot’s license then he and his work partner bought a single engine airplane; they then could enjoy flying to the different areas in California to work on seismographs while also taking their families for fun trips. One of his greatest highlights was traveling to Peru to install a seismograph in 1967. During his work at the seismological lab, he was also honored with the task of doing high temperature/high pressure tests on rocks that were brought back from the moon in 1969.

While working at Cal Tech the family moved to Monterey Park in 1963; it was there that his love, Donna, passed away in 1966. His daughters could not have asked for a better or more devoted father, mother and family. Providing his daughters with immediate and extended family was the priority during those years. He made sure their lives were full of grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, vacations, camping, Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls. The love and support for his family was ever present.

By 1970, David’s need for companionship was filled when he met Tiffy Grant. They were soon wedded and keeping in line with the “daughters” concept, Tiffy came equipped with six of her own, three of whom still lived at home: Patty, Linda, Barbara, Jill, Jamie and “Little” Tiffy. Shortly thereafter, David’s life again changed course with a call from David’s brother-in-law, Irv, with the Elk City Land Company. He and Tiffy were presented with the opportunity to buy the general store in Elk City, ID which they bought and moved there in 1973. A couple of years later they sold the store, and bought the Elk City Hotel across the street, which he owned until his death, Tiffy having passed away in 2002. David continued to live in Elk City until 2018. He passed peacefully on December 29, 2021 in Missoula, MT where he lived with his oldest daughter, Gay, and her daughter, Michelle.

David is preceded in death by: his parents Jimmy and Thelma; his sisters Sally and Alice; his brothers Jimmy and Bill; his first wife Donna; his second wife Tiffy; and his granddaughter Harmony Amber.

A proud man of five generations, he is survived by: his two daughters and their families Gay, children (David (Toblynne) {their daughter Isabelle}, Michelle, Aaron, and Terra) and Jamie (Mike) children (Audra (Bruce) {their children Ryder (Liberty), Morgan, Logan and Naomi}, and Seth (Jen) {their children Harmony (Rance), Liberty [her daughter Liana], Truth, Love, Ember, and Skye}); sisters Penny and Barbara (Irv); brothers Rod (Dixie) and Wayne (Barbara) as well as numerous nieces, nephews.

Viewing will be held at Sunset Memorial Services in Missoula, MT on January 14, 2022 at 2pm followed by graveside burial with military honors at 4pm.

Memorial service will be at Crosspoint Community Church, 7500 Mullan Rd. Missoula, MT on January 15, 2022 at 1pm followed by a reception.

Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home in Missoula.
To send flowers to the family in memory of David F Newbigging, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Starts at 1:00pm (Mountain time)

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Sunset Memorial Gardens

7405 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808

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