Virgil E. Gust

February 19, 1921 — December 1, 2021
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Virgil E. Gust

The century has passed, and with it, Virgil E. Gust. Virgil left this world on December 1, 2021, at the age of 100. The second youngest of eight children, Virgil was born on February 19, 1921, in Reliance, SD. to Hilda Finck Gust and Leonard Gust. He had five sisters and two brothers.

Always willing to serve, Virgil entered the US Navy on July 4, 1942. He served on the USS Bagley Destroyer and was honorably discharged on December 7, 1945. One could clearly understand Virgil’s love for a celebration given these significant dates in his life. A celebration last year on his 100th birthday included recognition for 75 years of membership in The American Legion.

Virgil married Mary Jane Cole on August 4, 1949, beginning their legacy in Big Timber as volunteers and pillars in the business community. During their 57 years of marriage, they felt Big Timber was the perfect place to raise their family. They were very welcoming to friends and customers. Virgil served in numerous organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, SGHS Board and The American Legion. Family, friends, and community loyalty were his priorities.

Famous for his perch in the Crow’s Nest at top of Gust’s Department Store, Virgil greeted his customers as friends. Always a smile, a welcoming greeting, and an appreciation for your presence in the store. He dedicated 74 years there and until quite late in life, walked back and forth to the store nearly every day.

Jane passed on May 23, 2006. Virgil scaled back on his time at the store, but the arduous work ethic was simply transferred to his garden. He had ten green fingers and could grow anything he touched. Virgil wanted absolutely nothing for himself. His devotion was to his wife and children first. He ensured they were well cared for and happy.

Survivors include all three children and their families. V. Edward Gust, Sara Gust McFarland (William) and Susan Gust St. Germain (Terrie). Grandchildren include Benjamin McFarland, Elizabeth McFarland (Matt Myers), William McFarland, John McFarland, Thomas St. Germain, Joseph St. Germain, and Christopher St. Germain.

Per his wishes, gravesite services with military honors will be held in the early summer, followed by a celebration of Virgil’s life. His family will enjoy having you share your special memories at that time. Memorials may be made to The American Legion Post #19, PO Box 51, Big Timber, MT 59011.

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