Gail Walma was born December 5, 1954 in Bozeman, Montana to Jim and Patty Goodrich and passed away on December 5, 2017 in Wickenburg, Arizona surrounded by the love of her life for 44 years and family and friends. She was an accomplished horse woman throughout her entire life and believed the best things in life happened in the saddle.
Gail grew up on the family owned 320 Guest Ranch in Big Sky, Montana and attended Ophir School and graduated from Bozeman Senior High School. She attended Montana State University, Bozeman and married Jim Walma on December 21st, 1973. She and Jim ran the family owned 320 Ranch and started Buffalo Horn Outfitters during the infancy of Big Sky. Together they were concessionaires in Yellowstone National Park, operated stables at Huntley Lodge, Bucks T4 and the Almart Lodge and were famous for their sleigh ride dinners, back-country pack trips, elk hunting and warm western hospitality.
Gail loved barrel racing, team roping, trail riding and was passionate about teaching others quality horsemanship. She authored a book on the Life of Dr. Caroline McGill and wrote a column for the Lone Peak Lookout. She was a model for Artic Cat snowmobiles and scouted and coordinated photo shoots for Marlboro and Ford/New Holland.
In 1976 the second love of her life, her daughter, Jamie Marie Walma was born. In 1996 Gail, Jim and Jamie moved to Meeker Colorado to build and run the Buffalo Horn Guest Ranch, cattle ranch and hunting operation. They ran 1200 mother cows and harvested 100 elk per year at the luxury guest ranch for 13 years.
Gail and Jim loved visiting Arizona to team rope during the cold northern winters. In 2000 Gail and Jim bought a vacation home in Wickenburg and loved it so much, they eventually retired here. Gail was not good at sitting still and in 2004, started Buckshot Babes Ltd,. "Western Gifts for Gals with Grit" with her sister Carrie Ward Compton. She was an accomplished interior decorator and retail buyer. IN 2004 the apple of her eye, her only grandson, David "Doc" McDonald Massey III was born. Gail loved watching him team rope at the Hidden Hacienda, and cheering him on at Wickenburg Wrangler football games and Wickenburg Christian Academy Basketball games.
Gail enjoyed breeding and raising miniature Australian Sheppard and loved her faithful dogs and many pets. Gail volunteered at Desert Caballeros Western Museum, the Humane Society of Wickenburg, and was a member of Las Senoritas and Las Damas.
Gail is survived by her husband Jim Walma, daughter Jamie Walma, Grandson Doc Massey, Sister Carrie Ward Compton (Don Compton) Nephew Terry Grooters all of Wickenburg, AZ, Aunt Nadine Loetzer of Rio Rancho, NM and many cousins and amazing friends.
In Lieu of flowers Memorials may be made to Soldier's Chapel, Big Sky, Montana, PO BOX 161042, Big Sky, MT 59716.