Corvallis – Mil Kibbee, 82, of Corvallis, passed away in the loving arms of his ‘Bride’ of nearly 50 years, December 9th at Discovery Care Center, Hamilton, of lung cancer.
Mil was born January 21, 1931 in Rhinelander Wisconsin, to parents Milne and Lois Kibbee. Mil was the youngest of four children, sisters Lois and Betty, and brother Jim.
Mil was born into a show business family. His mother Lois grew up performing on a showboat on the Mississippi River entertaining passengers. His father Mil was a character actor performing in regional theater, and later in film. His sister Lois enjoyed acting success in film, theater, and most notably on daytime television as Geraldine Whitney Saxon on “The Edge of Night” where she earned four Emmy nominations.
The family moved to Hollywood, CA in 1932 to pursue acting opportunities, where his father, known as Milton, acted in B-Westerns. Mil, however, didn’t follow in the family’s thespian footsteps. Mil graduated from Hollywood High in 1948. Growing up during World War II, and raised by fiercely patriotic parents, Mil sought to enlist in the U.S. Air Force in 1949 at a Hollywood recruiting office, but was turned away. He heard that they were recruiting cadets in San Francisco, so he promptly hitchhiked to S.F. and successfully enlisted in the Air Force. Mil never saw the world, but instead was trained as a teletype mechanic and stationed in New Mexico.
Early in 1964, Mil met Betty McClatchy on a blind date arranged by a mutual friend. It didn’t bother Mil that Betty was divorced and had two young sons. They were married six weeks later on March 21, 1964. Mil loved his bride, and gladly took on the role of Step-Dad to sons ‘Tad’ and Troy.
Mil worked as a purchasing agent in aviation, electronics, and metallurgy. He became a serial entrepreneur in the 70’s & 80’s, instilling a ‘can-do’ work ethic in his sons along the way. The Kibbees moved to Corvallis, MT in 2004, following their son Torin and wife Diane Dixon who moved to MT in 1998. Mil was an avid reader and amateur historian, and loved to read anything about Abraham Lincoln.
A devoted lover of his Creator-God, American, Patriot, and Veteran, a loving Husband and Father, a gentle Granddad to many, Mil is greatly cherished and will be missed by family and friends.
Mil is survived by his bride of 49 years, 9 months, Betty Kibbee, his son Torin and wife Diane Dixon, youngest son Troy Kibbee and wife Brenda, seven grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the dedicated caregivers who have helped Mil and the rest of the family through his prolonged illness: Aspen Hospice, Discovery Care Center, Hillside Health Care Center, Dr. Kirk Crews, and the physicians at Montana Cancer Center. They would also like to thank the church family from the Bitterroot Valley Church of the Nazarene, as well as many friends and neighbors.
A celebration memorial service was held at the Bitterroot Valley Church of the Nazarene in Victor on Friday, December 20 followed by a reception. Following the reception, a military interment ceremony was held at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery, Missoula. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts be made to The Wounded Warrior Project, www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.