Gale and Elsie Fister
  • 93 years old
  • Date of birth: Mar 8, 1923
  • Place of birth:
    Pottsville, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Date of passing: Oct 29, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Missoula, Montana, United States
Please Join Us In Celebrating The Life Of Gale and Elsie Fister.

Reverend Gale G. Fister, 83, went to be with his Lord on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at Edgewood Vista. He was born in Pottsville, Pa., to Graeff and Mamie Fister.

Gale was a graduate of Prairie Bible Institute (PBI) in Three Hills, Alberta. After graduating, Gale and his wife Elsie moved to Port McNeil, B.C., where Gale worked in a logging camp as a heavy equipment operator, preacher, barber and electrician. In 1957, he was contacted by a previous classmate and asked to come to Montana to work in rural ministries. He was a circuit riding preacher and church planter! Gale helped establish the Rocky Mountain Bible Mission as well as Camp Utmost and Camp Elohim.

Gale loved his family, music, reading, hunting, fishing and the great outdoors. He was tenacious, ornery and fun. He started Fister Electric in 1966 so he could support his family. He was a shepherd and a servant to many. He was definitely NOT A FAN but a devoted and committed FOLLOWER of Jesus Christ. One of his favorite sayings was that the two best things that ever happened to him were: 1, accepting Jesus as his personal Savior and; 2, marrying Elsie.

Gale is survived by the love of his life, his wife Elsie, of 65 years; sons, Tim Fister (Traci), Bob Fister (Tammy) and Bill Fister (Shelley), all of Missoula, and his daughter Ruth Carroll (Jeff) of Cheyenne, Wyo.; 15 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren; his sister Betty Jackson of Drummond, as well as many cousins, nieces, aunts and nephews.

Gale was preceded in death by his parents, Graeff and Mamie Fister; daughter Carol Olvera and son Jack Fister.

An open service in celebration of Gale’s life and ministry will take place on Saturday, March 22, at 11 a.m. at the Missoula Alliance Church (MAC).

The Fister/Carroll family would like to express a special thank you to the staff at Edgewood Vista for all of their loving care and support over the past 5 1/2 years. Our dad was comfortable and at home there.

The family requests that memorial gifts be given to Camp Utmost, c/o RMBM 1515 Fairway Ave. No. 200, Missoula, MT 59801.

by Ruth Fister Carroll 

Elsie M. Fister, 93, went to be with her Lord on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, at The Village Health Care Center with family by her side. Elsie was born March 8, 1923, to Joseph and Salome Soudt in Rapid City, South Dakota. She was married to the love of her life, Gale Fister for 65 years. Together they were faithful servants in ministry both in Canada and in rural Montana where they were instrumental in starting the Rocky Mountain Bible Mission and Camp Utmost. Elsie loved children and was well known for her ministry in the church nursery. She taught her family that "a real home was where family was always wercome." It was her haven, her nest and she made it theirs. Without her presence, the home was noticeably empty, only a house. Her home was impeccable inside and out. She taught her children about God, unconditional love, endurance and faithfulness. She had a shy, sweet and gentle spirit. Her beautiful eyes often spoke of her feelings where words were often lost to her. Whatever she put her hands to do, she did it with all her heart. Elsie was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Gale Fister; daughter, Carol Olvera; son, Jack Fister; sister, Dorothy Ernst; and brother, Daniel Stoudt. She is surbibed by sons, Tim Fister (Traci), Bob Fister (Tammy), Bill Fister (Shelley) all of Missoula; daughter Ruth Carroll (Jeff) of Cheyenne, Wyoming;15 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; her sister Betty Stoudt, and brother Glen Stoudt both of Myerstown, Pennsylvania, as well as many nieces, and nephews. A memorial service in elebration of Elsie's life will take place on Friday, Nov. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the Lolo Community Church with a reception following. Memorial gifts in honor of Elsie can be given to Camp Utmost, c/o RMBM, 1515 Fairway Ave. No. 200, Missoula, MT 59801 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Dun Gordy on 8th March 2017

"Dear brother and sister, greatly missed. Still have a hard time going thru Missoula and resisting the urge to go by their old house! What a haven for traveling preacher. Wonder who has that big painting with the jackrabbit hiding under the sagebrush? :-)"

This tribute was added by Bill Fister on 12th October 2015

"Dear Gale... I've been thinking about you today as it would have been your 85th birthday . Remembering when mom baked cupcakes for my 14th and your 28th birthday to celebrate at youth group. Thank you for your   faithfulness to us kids and to the Lord  in coming way up to the west end to teach us at youth group. You taught me so much. ..mainly to have my daily quiet time with Jesus. I'm remembering all the special times we had traveling up to PBI for spring missionary conference. Thank you and Mama Elsie for your love for so many years --I love and appreciate you both."

This tribute was added by Ericka Trusty on 8th March 2015

"Gale Fister the best of the best,his teaching of the word was so easy to understand I enjoyed his sermons and love the ones that he add His own personal humor he will beAs he enter heaven,love this man and his wife,remember to pray for Elsie And thank you both for being the couple who love the lord."

This tribute was added by Dun Gordy on 18th February 2015

""Just come on over to Missoula and I'll keep you busy for as long as you can stay!"  Knowing Gale, I knew he meant it and could fulfill his offer.  I spent a whole glorious week with the Fisters, sleeping on mattress in the attic of the shop and speaking in a different Bible Study, youth group or church service every night, all over his part of Western Montana. Don't think I'll live long enough to forget nor to thank God enough for his investment in my life and ministry."

This tribute was added by Carol Handy on 16th September 2014

"Gale was the one person that could talk to me about my Lord Jesus and my faith in a way that I could understand, when I was growing up.  His bible studies on Wednesday nights enlightened me to the possibilities of Gods love. Gale will be missed but by faith I will see him again.  Thank you Gale.  You were such an inspiration to every life you touched."

This tribute was added by Kristina Chapman on 26th May 2014

"Greg Fister remembers the family lunches after church and competing to see who could make the biggest ice cream cone."

This tribute was added by Kristina Chapman on 26th May 2014

"It was Summer Camp 2008 when Gale and Steve Faucett were doing baptisms that I followed God's leading and was baptized along with my son.  Cindy Baird"

This tribute was added by Kristina Chapman on 26th May 2014

"I can't put in to words how much I "absorbed" Gale's Message.  It was like God my Father kissed me on the cheek.  If I wasn't a christian already, I would have become one.  god Bless you all.  Mark Erikson"

This tribute was added by Kristina Chapman on 26th May 2014

"You wur a gud Great Grampa.  I Love you Great Grandpa.  Anikka"

This tribute was added by Kristina Chapman on 26th May 2014

"Gale was quite unique as a pastor.  He was both a teacher and preacher at the same time.  His messages appealed both intellectually and emotionally, which is why people felt he was talking directly to them. Note from Louis and Cary Levinson"

This tribute was added by Bill Fister on 3rd May 2014

"Elsie and Family,
I'm sorry this is so late, but I've been out of town.
I'm so sorry about the loss of Gale.  He was a wonderful man that had a profound effect on me, my family & my faith when we attended Lolo Church.
I know you miss him greatly, but he is with The King in Glory.
God bless you and all, and I pray for you all.
Dan and Sandy Worrell
(gift given to Camp Utmost in Memory of Gale)"

This tribute was added by Bill Fister on 18th April 2014

"Dear Fister Family,
We have such fond memories of Gale and his ministry.  It started with him coming to St. Regis High and met with young people in Tom's class.
Soon he was coming out for an adult Bible study - a summer VBS and eventually a lovely little church developed and built in St. Regis!
Heaven has received a real warrior and it makes Heaven even more precious as we wait our turn to "go home".
Tom & Deanna Warwick"

This tribute was added by Bill Fister on 17th April 2014

"To the Family of Gale Fister;
I was saddened to hear of Gale's passing, but rejoice that he is in his eternal home that he spoke so often about with eagerness.
It was my wish to attend the memorial service in Missoula on March 22, but it was not to be.  
I choose not to venture out on bad roads and we seem to continue to be plagued with them this year.
I had hoped to visit and reminisce with friends from Camp Utmost days & Garrison Youth Fellowship and Sunday school  and of course, all the VBS weeks.
I also hold in fond memory the trip to PBI with the Fisters and Jacksons along with Wes Seng, Joy Bain and Linda Rippingale and Don Rust.  So many memories, which will live on as will all the good work that Gale did in so many communities and lives!
God Bless him and God Bless you all!
Lorraine Pomeroy Watson (via a letter to the family)"

This tribute was added by Bill Fister on 17th April 2014

"To Gale Fister Family,
We just want you to know your Dad was very much loved by our family.  
Your Dad & Mom were such a blessing to us.  We will never forget the good times at "Camp Utmost" and the hunting trips with us in Lima, MT.
We are rejoicing with you now that he is home with his Lord.
We keep your Mom in our prayers and all of you.
May the Lord bless & comfort you as only He can at a time like this.
Love in Him,
Wayne & Karen Beard and family (via a letter to the family)"

This tribute was added by Bill Fister on 17th April 2014

"In Loving Memory of Rev. Gale Fister.
Pastor Fister and his work through Camp Utmost and RMBM were instrumental in my salvation and consequential Christian walk.
Undoubtedly, he was one of the most influential men in my life.
His dedication and the sacrifice of his family to provide youth meetings and camp experiences for young people in the rural areas of Western Montana and Eastern Idaho were the major 'church' experiences for many young people in the late 60's and 70's.  
Also the VBS's were a source of spreading the gospel and Christian training.
I am personally 'eternally' grateful for his (and the family's) faithful service.
In His Great Love,
Mary Ann Watkins Remington (via a letter to the family)"

This tribute was added by Bill Fister on 17th April 2014

"To Gale's Family & Friends,
What a legacy Gale has left to so many!
His youth groups, his work with kids at Camp Utmost (including mine), continuing to influence their lives into adulthood, like doing my son's wedding and so much more!
I would love to be at the service but I have a previous commitment I have to keep.
I praise the Lord that He set Gale free and he is in His presence!
in His love,
Nancy Hebner (via letter she sent to our family)"

This tribute was added by Melva Campbell on 2nd April 2014

"My husband and I came to Lolo in 1963 and started going to
Sunday School at a little white church with our two children.
On Sunday evenings Gale came with his family and preached.
It was a blessings to us to hear the Word preached and we
grew in our spiritual lives.  As the church grew---there was not
enough room and the building now used was built and many
came to the Savior and lives were changed,
     Gale never stopped with the true message and it was
obvious that he was called to tell the truth about Jesus,  There
are many stories of those who never came to a meeting but
observed him and saw that it was real---he lived the life.
      This was an example of how God uses people--all kinds of
people for his Glory.  What a Day that will be when we all
stand with the Lord and share in the blessings together.
Thank you Lord for sending Gale Fister to Montana!!"

This tribute was added by Lois Ray on 2nd April 2014

"53 years marks the time I have known Gale.  From day one he was a quiet powerful force in my life and I am certain he didn't even know it.  He was committed to serving his Lord and Savior with his whole life.  That is how it is when you are surrendered; you don't always know when God is speaking through you.  I began to love and cherish the man, Gale, but I was also learning to love and cherish the God he spoke about.
Maybe thirty years ago I read a little poem and immediately Gale came to mind:  "For years I listened to preachers who loved to preach, and then I heard a preacher who loved the people to whom he preached.  The message came through loud and clear."  I don't even remember specifics he taught in youth group (other than it always came straight from his Bible), but I always knew I was loved and accepted 'just as I am'.  He taught me what my heavenly Father is like.
Then when my world came crashing down and divorce ripped my life apart and I thought I would die; I found the center of my life was solid because Gale taught "you can survive if Jesus is the center".  It wasn't easy and I wanted to punch his face when he said many times after church "show your kids how a Christian handles pain"; but I knew he was right.  We made it and we're stronger better people because God uses sorrow to purify us if we let Him.
He was human and that made the message even better.  We have this treasure in earthen vessels...clay pots that easily crack.  The light of the "treasure" shines through the cracks.
What a day that will be when we gather in that eternal city for the reunion of the ages!"

This tribute was added by Nikki Martins on 24th March 2014

"Gale was an amazing man, his Godly influence touched my families' life from the moment we walked through the doors of Lolo Community Church back in 1983. My dad came back into a relationship with the Lord and within 2 months of attending went home to be with the Savior. Gale embraced my mom, Billye Ward, who with Lois Band Ray, started an amazing single's group that reflected Gale's passion of sharing The Good News and he celebrated what the Lord was doing through that group on a weekly basis. He loved my mom and I, it was evidenced weekly by the hugs we received from him and his willingness to help however he could with electrical needs around our home. Gale later went on to marry Bill and I, it meant so much to all of us. I know my mom was right at the gates of heaven ready to greet Gale with a great big hug when he arrived, she admired him so! We loved him and he will be missed but I am so grateful for the life he lived and the legacy he left behind, so many will be in heaven because of his sacrifices and obedience to the Lord. All our love! Nikki (Ward) Martins"

This tribute was added by kristen sohlberg on 22nd March 2014

"Gale touched my life, influenced me, and taught me more about Jesus than I can ever express, or begin to thank him for. Thank you, Lord, for a life well lived! What a man of God!"

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This memorial is administered by:

Ruth Fister
Kristina Chapman


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