Cover photo for Clinton Edward Kibbey's Obituary
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1937 Clinton 2020

Clinton Edward Kibbey

February 25, 1937 — December 15, 2020

Edward Clinton Kibbey, 83, of Bozeman, passed away December 15, 2020, surrounded by his wife Heidrun and daughter Cindy. He was born February 25, 1937, in Long Beach, CA.

Although Ed officially retired from three different careers, he refused to sit on the sidelines. Ed’s resume reflects a rich life of public service, travel and ambition. While in the Navy, he was hired to work for the White House Communications Agency as President Lyndon Johnson’s teleprompt operator for all of his speeches. Ed would laugh when recalling accidentally running one of the speeches backwards, forcing Johnson to improvise. This was the first time a president had ever used a teleprompter, and Ed made such an impression he was eventually asked by President Johnson, while they were making a trip aboard Air Force One, to move to Johnson City, TX and manage construction operations at Johnson’s Texas ranch. Ed constructed buildings, built a movie theater and even helped Lady Bird Johnson plant her famous bluebonnets.

Ed left the ranch after six years once President Johnson’s term ended, and took an assignment with the Navy at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. There he worked to handle the message traffic for most of the agencies in Washington, DC, including the State Department, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the White House.

After making his mark in Washington, he retired from the Navy for good and took his experience into the private sector, starting a career in radio broadcasting in Palm Springs, CA. He met the love of his life, Heidrun, at one of the radio stations. Ed loved being on the radio and he eventually became the News Director where he reported the news all over the valley. His deep radio voice became ubiquitous in the Palm Springs area, and his communication skills led the City of Palm Springs to hire him as the Disaster Preparedness Director. Instead of retiring after a successful radio career, Ed decided to become the Executive Director of the So. California Bldg. Industry Association where he spent 13 years helping to build a successful program.

Ed and his wife moved to Big Bear, CA, after retiring from his final paid job. That didn’t stop him, however, from staying engaged and active. After the move, he grabbed his hammer and built his second house, equipping this one with a working passenger elevator, and also promptly signed on as a volunteer with the Big Bear Sheriff’s Department. He helped with a variety of tasks such as citizen patrol, all which helped keep the deputies engaged in their primary duties.

Ed finally moved to Bozeman in 2011, where he spent his remaining years. Once again, his desire to serve was paramount. After attending one of Bozeman Police Department’s first Citizen Police Academy, he approached the police department to become a volunteer. For the next six years he spent approximately 35 hours per week doing whatever was asked. Ed’s volunteer work was legendary, his tireless efforts were unmatched and he helped keep the rest of the police department out in the field to focus on public safety.

At the age of 81, Ed turned in his volunteer uniform to spend his time at home with Heidrun. His last two years were spent gardening and enjoying his wife’s company. He will be missed by his family and friends. Truly a life well-lived.

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