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1920 Amelia 2024

Amelia Ruth Gipe

October 25, 1920 — March 2, 2024


Amelia Borden Gipe, age 103, passed away March 2, 2024. She was born October 25,1920, at the family home in Niarada, Montana to James (Lucky) and Maude Borden.  She was the 4th of the 5 children.  A few years later, when little Grace, the last born, began to talk, she couldn’t say Amelia, so she started calling her Peep, a nickname that stayed with Amelia for her entire life.

Amelia attended the Lower Battle Butte School near Niarada, for grades 1-8. She then attended grades 9-12 at Mission High School, in St Ignatius Montana. For those years she lived with her grandmother Bilma, graduating from high school in May 1938. In 1939 she began attending college at the State Normal School (now U of M Western in Dillon), graduating in 1941.

After college she sent a letter to the Valley View School asking about a possible teaching position. Ralph Gipe’s mother wrote a letter and told her about the Valley View School and asked her to come down and interview for the position as their teacher. 

Amelia told her family this story. “My sister Grace was with me when we drove down to Valley View (southwest of Polson). The day I was to interview, all the men who were on the school board, were stacking hay. It was noon and I had to go into the house where all these men were sitting eating dinner.  They told me, ‘Well, the chairman of the schoolboard isn’t here today, so you go over and find him.’  So, we had to drive around and finally found him way out in a field, and I stood out in the road, and I hollered, ‘I’m applying for the school.’ And he said, ‘You got it, you got it!’  The chairman of the school board was Mr. L. A. Gipe, Ralph’s dad.

“So, this is how I met grandpa (Ralph), he was the clerk of the school district, and he was also the handyman that fixed all the repairs.   Our outhouse was way across the field, we didn’t have any plumbing inside, and he even shoveled the snow-covered path for me.”

Amelia taught all subjects for grades 1 through 8 at Valley View School from 1941-42.

On May 19, 1942, Ralph Gipe made the best decision of his life and married the schoolteacher Amelia Ruth Borden. Way to go! Together they raised their family of Doreen, Ron, and Harlan.

Amelia loved living in Valley View and being a ranch wife.  She was part of Valley View Women’s Club, Clay Pigeons Ceramic Club, United Methodist Women. For many years she was active in Christian Women’s Club and served as an officer. Ralph and Amelia were charter members of Polson Community Church. They had many, many laughs and good times with other ranch families. She loved cooking for threshing crews, participated with other neighbor women at quilting bees, and monthly socials at the Valley View Clubhouse.

After they retired from ranching, they moved into Polson. After retirement their travels included an Alaska Cruise and a trip to Nashville. 

What Amelia held at the top of her life would be, having a personal relationship with Jesus, putting the Lord first in her heart and life.   She was devoted to her church, teaching Sunday School, teaching Bible studies and was a tremendous “Prayer Warrior” even going so far as to keep a list of people she prayed for in a notebook beside her chair. When a prayer was answered she would put a star beside the name and sometimes a note about what the answer to prayer was.

God, family, and friends were her priorities.

Amelia is survived by her daughter Doreen (Dayle) Ratzburg – Polson; her son Harlan Gipe (Laurel who Amelia loved) – Polson; Kathy Gipe (Russ) Barber – Lakeside, MT.; and her sister Grace Thompson – Moses Lake, WA. Amelia had 12 grandchildren; 32 great grandchildren; 5 great-great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and countless friends including many young people who considered her their second mom.

 She was preceded in death by her parents James and Maude Borden; brother Tim Borden; sister Rita Borden Cochran; brother:  Rich Borden; her husband Ralph Gipe; son Ron Gipe; and daughter in law Shirley Gipe.

We are all very, very grateful and blessed to have had Amelia in our lives!  

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 1:00 pm at Polson Community Church. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Amelia Ruth Gipe, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

Polson Community Church

1814 1st St E, Polson, MT 59860

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