The fierce, loving, and tenacious woman we called Mom, Grams, and Lorraine passed away at The Legacy Living & Rehabilitation Center in Gillette, WY on September 19, 2023, at the age of 88. Lorraine (Chavez) Tibbetts was born in Denver, CO on March 13, 1935. Lorraine was raised by her grandparents, Saturnina and Juan Chavez. During her high school years, she joined her father, Tom Chavez, who lived in Great Falls, MT.
In 1952 she met and married Virgil Walker in Great Falls, MT. They welcomed two children, Sheryl (Walker) Lee and Tom Walker. They later divorced. Lorraine then met her one and only "Tall Blonde", Ivan Tibbetts. They joyously added two children to their family: Russchal (Tibbetts) Weaver and Dwight Tibbetts. Lorraine & Ivan later moved to Gillette, WY to be closer to family as their age progressed. Ivan passed away in 1994. She missed him dearly and often talked about looking for a "Tall Blonde," knowing that no one could fill his shoes.
Professionally, Lorraine was truly a woman of her own making. Always willing to do whatever it took, whether it be grueling physical labor or long days in a hot kitchen, she created her own success. Lorraine owned and operated Robbie's Restaurant in Great Falls, MT for many years. As a successful and memorable dining location, the family still to this day runs into folks who remembers the legacy of Robbie's.
In personal endeavors, Lorraine held true to her spirit of doing and mastering anything she put her mind to. In her earlier years she enjoyed camping with her family in the beautiful Montana mountains, raising her farm critters, cooking, dancing, and enjoying the Moose Club. She loved having birds as pets and tended to them with loving and tender care. Later, she had many fond years of participating in The Senior Center activities including painting and yoga in Campbell County, WY. Always having a knack for creating lasting and humor-fueled friendships, Lorraine also enjoyed hobbies with friends and family including The Red Hat Club, sewing, pottery, and painting. Many of these friendships became family to Lorraine as she ferociously participated in her own life's interests and joys. Once Lorraine considered you family, you were always family to her regardless of circumstances.
To be an honored grandchild of Lorraine was to know unrelenting everlasting love. "Grams" was intentional and purposeful in making sure each one of her grandchildren and great grandchildren knew their worth, their value and their purpose in her eyes. By learning the very things that her grandchildren loved, she spent years spoiling us with individualized gifts and cooking our favorite things every time we visited. Due to the everlasting love of her own grandmother which helped break many negative cycles in Grams' life, we believe she embodied the very same approach with her own grandchildren to continue to leave the next generation better equipped for success in life.
Lorraine is survived by her children, Sheryl Lee of Portland, OR, Tom (Adair) Walker of Gillette, WY, Russchal Weaver of Great Falls, MT and Dwight Tibbetts of Casper, WY; many grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as many friends who became family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ivan Tibbetts; brothers Gilbert Chavez & Marvin Chavez, and a beloved Aunt Ramona.
A private family Celebration of Life will be scheduled for a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Activities Department at The Legacy Living & Rehabilitation Center, Campbell County Senior Center Activities Department, or the National Audubon Society.