Food Culinary 17


June 14, 1936 ~ July 28, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old


Don (Gilly) Gilbreath, 87, passed away peacefully in Douglas, Wyoming on Friday, July 28, 2023 at the Douglas Care Center.  He was born Monday, June 14, 1936, in Willow, Oklahoma the son of Audrey Cullen and Willie Eunice (Cunningham) Gilbreath and lived in Arizona and Nebraska as a boy.

He loved sports and played football in high school and at Scottsbluff Junior College.  Gilly worked for Coca-Cola and Quaker Oats Company before becoming an entrepreneur in the restaurant business.  He was a partner with the first McDonald’s in Helena, Montana; owning his own stores in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and Fort Collins, Colorado.  He was a founding member of the first Denver Ronald McDonald House.  His love of Mexican food, drove his ambition to start a small chain of Mexican food restaurants, called Dos Banditos.  He later moved to Helena and enjoyed a new business venture, Gilly’s Casino.  He belonged to many organizations supporting the communities in which he lived.  He was an active member of the Helena Chamber of Commerce and was integral to the start of the Helena SWISH Basketball Tournament, Octoberfest, and Bullfest. 

Gilly loved to have a good time telling and laughing at many funny stories, dancing to country music and watching his children and grandchildren’s sporting events. He enjoyed playing cards and had many fun games with family and friends in his youth and through his senior years.

He retired to Palm Springs, California and later moved to Douglas to be near family.

Survivors include Monty and Harla Gilbreath of Douglas, Todd and Barbara Gilbreath of Helena, Dawn Davis of Helena, and Twila Gilbreath of Loveland, Colorado; six grandchildren; and eleven great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 36 years, Patricia Gilbreath; his parents; and three siblings.

A private memorial service will be held later this year.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Gilly’s name are suggested to the Douglas Senior Center P.O. Box 192, Douglas, Wyoming 82633 or Douglas Care Center, 1108 Birch Street, Douglas, Wyoming 82633.

The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.

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