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Terence 'Terry' Gembala, 67

| May 22, 2022 12:00 AM

Terence “Terry” Gembala passed away unexpectedly at his home on Jan. 14, 2022, at the age of 67.

Terry was the oldest of two children born to Leonard and Ilene Gembala. He was born in Loup City, Nebraska, on Nov. 9, 1954, and moved to Bigfork as a young child.

After graduating from Bigfork High School in 1972, his love of the outdoors led him to work for the U.S. Forest Service, and then a decade-long career in logging. It was around this time he began a lifelong dedication to firefighting. He was an active member of both the Ferndale and Polson Fire departments and spent more than 45 years serving the community as a firefighter.

In 1983, Terry married Zoerene. He was the proud father of three children, son Patrick, and daughters, Kristen and Paula.

Terry and family moved to Polson in 2001, where he was actively involved in the community as a member of the fire department and worked for 16 years for the City of Polson in the street department.

Terry was a lifelong Montana Grizzlies football fan. You could find Terry at most home games tailgating and cheering on the Griz from his seat in the North End Zone.

Terry is survived by his wife of 38 years, Zoerene, son Patrick (Shawn), daughters Kristen (Steve), and Paula, grandchildren Callie, Kaitlyn, AJ, Brinley and Jordyn Gembala, and Ava and Brenna Walker, sister Kathy (Dan) Dennison, niece Daphne Dennison, nephew Dustin Dennison and family, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A reception for family and friends to celebrate Terry’s life will be held on Sunday, May 29, from noon to 3 p.m. at the home of Dan and Kathy Dennison, 295 Swan Hill Drive, in Bigfork.

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