Earl Milton “Mit” Guss, 86, died Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, at Billings Clinic, in the company of his loving wife Maggie Barovich. Born April 16, 1936, in Mifflintown, Pa., Earl is the son of the late Karl B. and Susan Grace (Heisey) Guss.
He is survived by his wife Maggie Barovich and dog Duff (Billings), children Andrea Guss (Steve Robischon, Sierra Vista, Ariz.), Erik Guss (Darlene Martinez, Bozeman, Mont.) and Kirsten Guss (Carlisle, Pa.), along with Maggie’s family.
After growing up in Mifflintown at the family Guss Funeral Home, Earl graduated from Gettysburg College in 1958, where he majored in Political Science and was in the Theta Chi fraternity. Earl served in the U.S. Army from 1959-1961, being honorably discharged and earning the Good Conduct Medal.
Earl and Judy were married from 1961-1981 and had three children. In the spirit of fantastic adventure, in 1970 they moved west from Havertown, Pa., first to Billings, then in 1973 to the North Fork of the Shoshone River in Wapiti. Budd Hall, Circle H Ranch, taught Earl to cross the ditches in his alfalfa field at an angle by vehicle, a route necessary since the lane to the remote house was drifted shut with snow much of the winter. The children attended Wapiti School, and Cody Junior High and High schools.
Earl made his way, via many road trips including across the Arctic Circle to Billings, which he considered home for the past 30-plus years. Other adventures included sailing, canoeing, rafting, horseback riding and camping trips, anything to do with trains, and being one of the founders and continuing influencers of Yellowstone River Parks Association (yrpa.org).
Earl sold commercial real estate through various offices and ventures, retiring in 2003. He was a 60-year member of Union Lodge No. 324 F.&A.M. of Pennsylvania at Mifflintown.
Earl and Maggie were set up by mutual friends on St. Patrick’s Day 2005 and married in 2007. They were very happy to have found each other.
A 2005 cardiac event necessitated the installation of a pacemaker/defibrillator, and Earl enjoyed an extra 17 years of life, due to great medical care at Burg Cardiac Center coupled with his immense will to live. When he had had enough, Earl chose palliative care and he was himself until the end.
Earl was a huge personality and the life of any party, whether he was invited or not.
Earl is predeceased by his parents, siblings, other family and many friends.
He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, other family and many friends.
Donations in Earl’s memory may be made to yrpa.org; then, join and volunteer, and bring your backhoe!
A celebration of life will be held in summer 2023; information on this event will be posted by June 15, 2023, on yrpa.org.
Go carefully, as Dad would say.
Cremation is handled by Dahl Funeral Chapel, Billings. Memories may be shared at dahlfuneralchapel.com.