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1927 Lester 2022

Lester Donald Tabish

January 16, 1927 — April 12, 2022

MISSOULA ~ Heaven peacefully welcomed Lester D. Tabish on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at the age of 95.

Born on January 16, 1927, in Missoula, Montana to Joseph and Sadie Tabish, Lester was one of eight children. He attended Missoula County High School and during World War II, worked on his family large truck farm. Lester married his high school sweetheart, Lydia, and they moved to Spokane, Washington where they welcomed, Pamela, the first of their four kids. Shortly after, Lester and his young family returned to Missoula, where he started an excavation business that would support his family for a generation. He and his eldest son, Ken, worked together and over the span of nearly four decades, they would excavate a good portion of then, small-town Missoula.

In his early adulthood, Lester treasured the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting and took his kids fishing after church on Sunday afternoons. Lester was active in league bowling. His collection of bowling trophies was a testament to his athletic prowess and skill. For decades, Lester fostered an appreciation of the outdoors in his growing family—hiking and fishing with his youngest son, Derick, well into his 70s. With the advent of travel trailers, Lester purchased a Shasta camper, transforming their family camping trips. This would be the beginning of his life-long love affair with recreational vehicles. As a motorhome enthusiast, Lester made a hobby of buying and selling motorhomes. He was charming and he enjoyed people. Lester had a knack for sales and he loved a bargain. Once, he arrived on a job site to excavate a car lot and went home with the entire inventory. He is fondly remembered for traveling with his car title “just in case” he came across a deal he could not resist. He often returned home from vacation in a different vehicle than when he left.

Lester was socially engaged in the Missoula community and developed a reputation for his integrity and work ethic. He made friends easily and was well respected by his family. Following his retirement, he and Lydia embarked on a late-life adventure and spent five sunny years in Southern California next door to their eldest daughter, Pam, and her family. While the experience was meaningful, his heart was in Missoula. After returning home, he went back to work part time for his eldest son, Ken, and continued operating heavy equipment into his early 70s. Lester remained active and enjoyed longevity for decades. Lester was married for 51 years, and after his wife passed, he never remarried. In his twilight years, he lived independently with the help and support of his youngest daughter, Diane, and his eldest son, Ken. Lester touched generations with his kindness and tender heart. He was comical, fiercely loyal, dedicated to his family, and had a deep love for God and his church community.

Lester was preceded in death by his parents, his seven siblings, and his wife, Lydia. He is survived by his children; Pamela Bell (Richard); Kenneth Tabish; Diane Byrne (James); and Derick Tabish (Lucinda); his grandchildren, Chad Zavarelli, Cortney Franklin, Riley Byrne, Erica Williams, Zachary Tabish, Anna Dickinson, and Aaron Tabish; and his great granddaughter, Sophia Franklin.

Graveside service for the immediate family; Celebration of life, Summer 2022.

We can only imagine celebrating Easter with our Lord.

Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory in Missoula.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lester Donald Tabish, please visit our flower store.

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Sunset Memorial Gardens

7405 Mullan Rd, Missoula, MT 59808

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