James "Joe" David Gwiazdon

July 9, 1943 ~ February 9, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old


James David Gwiazdon, known to everyone as Joe, age 80, of Columbia Falls, MT passed away February 9, 2024. He was born July 9, 1943 in Minneapolis, MN to the late Michael L. Gwiazdon and Mary J. (Cahill) Burns.

Joe was a well-educated and well-humored soul with a matter of fact way about him. During his childhood his family lived with their grandparents, Maude and Dave Cahill. They were a large part of Joe’s life and were very influential in his upbringing. He and his siblings would tell countless humorous stories of their lives growing up together with Maude and Dave.
Joe could be stubborn, but he was wise and independent. Joe had a gruff exterior and you either accepted that about him or you would just steer clear of him. He was a unique person who never tried to hide who he was or what he believed in. If he believed in you, he would defend you without shame. He had a heart bigger than most and it was visible in his deep love for his wife and kids, but it truly went on display for all the world to see in his unabashed adoration of his grandchildren who knew him as Pop. Joe loved his family more than anything and was very proud and protective of every one of them.

Joe enjoyed spending his Sundays during football season with his family watching the Vikings lose. Joe was passionate about playing golf and was a member of the Whitefish Lake Golf Club, where at one point in time he held the record for most rounds of golf played … least that is what he claimed. Professionally, Joe was a 3rd generation railroader and worked as a conductor/yard master for 28 years. His favorite drink was scotch and his favorite place to drink scotch was in any dive bar. Joe also served in our nations military in the Marine Corp during Vietnam.

Joe is survived by his wife of 38 years, Lin Grant Gwiazdon; children: Maude Ohs (Brian) and Tim Cahill Gwiazdon and Tim’s girlfriend Sarah Rudolph; 3 grandchildren: Whit, Livi James, and Wes; siblings: Jane Bauman of Excelsior, MN and Tom Gwiazdon of Sandy, UT; and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Joe is preceded in death by brother, Mike Gwiazdon; and sister, Ann Gwiazdon.

Graveside services will be held privately at the convenience of the family, with a Celebration of Joe’s life to be held separately this spring. To send online condolences, please visit

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Woodlawn Cemetery
2200 9th Street West
Columbia Falls, MT 59912


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