These are some things you’ll want to know about Gary Tallman. He & I have enjoyed 28 years together before he passed on Saturday, September 11th. He was 89.5 years old. He was strong and full of life and wit right up to the last couple of days. He could be home surrounded by his 3 living children and me. I’m Marilyn Tallman
This Whitefish Montana native and me came along to Monarch Montana when it came time for us to see to my parents needs in 1992. He was a brilliant energetic artist, outdoorsman & athlete. He could ski like nobody we ever watched ski,.. an Olympic contender when he was 16-20 years old because of those Big Mountain Whitefish roots & University of Washington Ski Team. Gary thought every child in the Flathead Valley should have a chance to ski. He dedicated 30 years to teach every age to ski, and time to provide the help for the annual downhill races and coach to get those racers to compete across the state,… and finally to develop a Ski Foundation for Big Mountain intending to raise enough money to fund these efforts. He & many started an annual Wild Game Dinner to bring in the funds.
Gary took pictures starting with a Brownie Camera and on to ski movies for Jim Rice of Whitefish. Many of you received his annual movies portraying the beauty of Tillinghast Creek and the Little Belt Mountains. All edited and set to music.
Oh but he could visualize what any pretty little piece of wood could be fashioned into,… a trinket box, a book end, a bowl, a handle, a drum, an Indian flute. The wood could be Pine, Russian Olive, Juniper, Aspen. And then there were the fall wood piles and their rainbow of colors. Always the artist, Gary fashioned owls designed into the woodpile. 8 different owls over 8 years in a mosaic of shades in interesting scenes.
One cold winter he began to write poetry that could hold us in it’s grip, with his truth and fantasy, his hopes and memories. Gary was a wonderful wordsmith.
He was a big game & bird hunter, a fly fisherman, a diver into the world under the sea. We traveled around the Americas to pursue these sports.
This man we have loved was born on April 13, 1932 and was adopted into the family of Paul & Sylvia Tallman of Whitefish. His younger brother in the family is Glay Tallman of Olympia Washington. To his earlier marriage to Jeanne Tallman of Whitefish are his children, Shannon Tallman, Kimi Nebres, Brett Tallman, and Heather Tallman Ruhm. There are many grandchildren and a few great grandchildren.
In the past few years there has been a good deal of effort by Gary’s children and Gary himself to locate & become acquainted with his birth siblings and families. This has been a fruitful and joyful experience for all concerned. I’ll mention by name Bud Backen, Howard Backen, Mary Hogan, Linda Lozano & Butch Backen. Butch the youngest & his wife Marilyn could also be with us during Gary’s last days.
Preceded in death are his adopted parents and oldest daughter Shannon plus his birth mother & brother Bud.
I am thankful for Gary and his ways. We are thankful that Monarch is our home. I am thankful for family, neighbors and friends.
The spreading of Gary’s ashes will be at our ranch, 40 Tillinghast Creek Lane on October 3rd, a Sunday afternoon. We’ll be gathering at our home at 2 pm to get to the site for this ceremony, then back to our home for more conversation and supper. This is a casual affair. Wear a jacket and sensible shoes. Call if you need more directions.