Richard “Dick” Giffin, loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, passed away at his home on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at the age of 90. He was born in Missoula, MT on March 19, 1931, to Robert and Martha Giffin and the family later grew to include his twin brothers Bill and Bob Giffin.
While working at the Missoulian, he met a pretty co-worker from Stevensville, Noma Scruggs. A movie date turned into a marriage of almost 69 years during which they were the definition of true love. Dick and Noma welcomed their only daughter, Shawn, in 1960. Throughout his life he placed family first and could be found at any of his grandchildren’s school or sports events that allowed attendance.
His childhood in Missoula was full of adventure. As a preschooler, he rode his tricycle from his home to the Missoula Mercantile downtown to see his father. Dick’s family owned the Hamburger King down by the railroad depot in Missoula. He spent many years there working and enjoying the customers. Some of his proudest moments included taking burgers to WWII soldiers on the trains that would come through Missoula. His not-so-proudest moment was spilling a milkshake down the dress of the mayor. As a young man, Dick also served his community as part of the National Guard.
Dick spent many years as a linotype operator at both the Missoulian and the Flathead Courier/Lake County Leader. He later decided to change careers and dedicated countless hours as Lake County’s Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator. Dick would often use his daughter Shawn and her friends as “victims” of disaster drills and then treat them to Richwine’s Burgerville, which was the home of his favorite burgers and milkshakes. Throughout his life he served his community as a volunteer firefighter answering calls day and night in his trusty red coveralls and rubber boots. He took real joy in driving the truck.
Dick was also an active member of many community and fraternal organizations including the Elks, Masons, and Shriners. He served as an officer and worked happily on community projects with these groups. His real love outside of his family was golf and he shared that love with his family. Dick loved to take his grandsons golfing and would begin every round with a trip through the McDonald’s drive-through window in his cart.
He will be missed terribly by us all. He loved and supported his family. He was the kind of father that took his daughter prom dress shopping and skiing with her friends even though he didn’t ski. He yelled at basketball games, knew all the best jokes, marveled at his grandsons’ golf shots, and kept their gas tanks full with his not-so-secret “money handshakes”. The pride that Dick showed for each person in his family can never be matched. He always made us feel loved and made time for us at a moment’s notice. A “family man” in every sense of the word, he lived for his loved ones until his very last day.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Bill.
Survivors include his wife Noma, his daughter, Shawn (Rod) Harris of Ronan and his grandchildren and great grandchildren - Nathaniel (Elise & Henley, Harper, Hollyn, and Hayden) Harris of Missoula, Nick (Ashleigh & Hayes and Hudson) of Frenchtown, and Nolan (Jenny & Ellie) of Helena.
Memorial Services will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at the Polson Community Church at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to your local youth golf program or your local fire department.