CHESTER - Clifford Lybeck, 84, of Chester died Saturday, June 11, 2005, at the Liberty County Hospital in Chester.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m.
Wednesday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Chester. Burial with military rites will follow at the Chester Cemetery.
Cliff was born Nov.
27, 1920, at
Great Falls to Karen Koll and Hans Christian Lybeck. Cliff grew up on the family homestead 38 miles north of Chester and received his formal education at country schools near the farm. In the few years that followed, he worked with his family on the Lybeck ranch.
In 1942, Cliff was inducted into the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He served in France, Rhineland and Central Europe and was trained as a flight maintenance gunner. His main role as a member of the 385th Bombardment Group was gunner in the top turret of B-17 airplanes. His squadron was on their 22nd mission in 1944 when they were shot down over Germany. Cliff was held as a P.O.W. at Stalag 17-B in Krems, Austria, for 13 months. As the war ended, he was demobilized back to the United States. Cliff had attained the rank of technical sergeant at the time of his honorable discharge in 1945.
He returned to Chester and worked various jobs around the community, including ranch and road work and was employment at a local elevator and service station.
Cliff met the love-of-his-life, Shirley Hader, and they were married Feb. 8, 1947, in Havre. They made their home on the Lybeck ranch near the Sweet Grass Hills, where they began raising a family of eight. In addition to farming they sold commercial cattle.
In the late 1980s, Cliff and Shirley began spending their winters at Lake Havasu City, Ariz. In 1997, all of their children traveled to Arizona to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with them. After 12 winters at Lake Havasu and some declining health problems, the Lybecks purchased a home in Chester for their retirement years. They enjoyed their full-time residence in Chester and continued to remain active in the community. After 56 years of marriage, Shirley died unexpectedly on Nov. 13, 2003. Cliff continued to live at home, but Shirley's death left a sad, lonely void to overcome. Cliff's health continued to deteriorate and he was recently admitted to the Liberty County Hospital in Chester.
Cliff helped establish the Sage Creek Water District and had served as past president. He was a member of Chester V.F.W. Post No. 3997. He had served on boards of the Laird Country School, the Sweetgrass Lodge in Chester, and the Farmer's Home Administration in Shelby. He had also served as a 4-H leader when his kids were young.
Cliff was an avid reader and enjoyed the daily news and weather. He had a good mind for retention and he kept it sharp with his reading skills and brain-teasers. He loved to play cards, especially pinochle, whist, cribbage and bridge. He also enjoyed raising potatoes on the farm. In his younger years, he liked to go fishing and snagging salmon. He was essentially a self-taught man who could fix just about anything. Cliff loved everything about the ranch, be it a hard day's work or a casual trip to salt the cows or check out the crops. In the early 1970s, the three Lybeck brothers attended a two-week veterinary course in Fort Collins, Colo., where they learned how to do C-sections on cattle, a skill Cliff could apply at the ranch.
In 1992, Cliff and Shirley made a memorable trip to England for the 50-year reunion of his military platoon. Not only did Cliff renew old friendships and relive those experiences of World War II, he also touched down and finished that 22nd mission.
Cliff was loved by his family and earned many endearing nicknames, including Dad, Grandpa, Pap and Papa C.
Survivors include his children, Lynda Colbry of Portland, Ore., Lonna (Butch) Tempel of Joplin, Janis Hanson of Spokane, Wash., Judy (Russ) Tempel of Chester, Kip (Delia) Lybeck of Joplin, Colin (Julie) Lybeck of Chester and Chad (Jayna) Lybeck of Cheyenne, Wyo.; brothers, Willard (Shirley) Lybeck of Kalispell and Ray (Tommy) Lybeck of Kalispell; 23 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.
Cliff was preceded in death by his parents; wife; son, Calvin in 1995; sister, Cora Sievers, and brother, Harold Lybeck.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.