MISSOULA — Gina Marie Boland Wolff departed this life unexpectedly and quietly in her sleep on May 12, 2020 after enriching the lives of numerous friends and family over her 48 years. Her departing words were probably “I can’t believe that damn cat outlived me!” referring to one particular friend of a dozen or so species that she adopted or agreed to care for indefinitely, and that considered her their best friend and mother.
Born April 5, 1972 in Missoula, and marching to her own drum ever since, she was known in her earliest years for following parade floats down the street, making “snow” out of bean bag chair contents, and challenging her brother every possible chance she could. Playing “school teacher” to a five and six-year-old paid off when the current COVID-19 crisis made her the best teacher out of all the parents now charged with home-schooling. Even from that early life, Gina developed a patience, understanding, and support for lost causes from somewhere other than her DNA that smothered all those she knew with the type of love and kindness rarely seen on this planet anymore.
Gina was many things to many people during her too short life, but her most exceptional quality by far was earth mother and caregiver. She always put her children (or any children) first. She loved her friends, neighbors, extended family, and devoted her life to making sure that all of the lives around her were so much better for having known her. Old dogs, stray cats, puppies, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, and lizards considered her mother, friend or babysitter, but her most cherished lives were those of her three children, Hailey, Avery, and Emmett.
Gina could make sun out of a rainy day and find laughter in sadness. She enjoyed Montana outdoor adventures including newly discovered fly fishing, and never let anything limit her. She always had a strong faith in a power greater than herself.
Gina is survived by her parents John Boland, Mary Miester (& Doug Anderson); three children Hailey Hill (& father Mike), Avery Wolff and Emmett Wolff (& father Scott); her brother Erik (Janice) Boland and nephews, Brandon and Cody Boland; special friend Darrin Traver; numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, step-family members, friends new and old; her faithful old canine companion, Jeep; a very sleepy and ancient cat Gracie, and many other adopted critters.
Son Emmett wrote “My mom was nice, she was very thoughtful, giving, and she was an EXPERT parent. She would take lots of pictures to remember us.”
Daughter Avery wrote “My mother was the best mom anyone could’ve asked for. She was kind and caring and had the most contagious laugh. When you were having a rough day, she would make you feel a thousand times better. I’m going to miss our late night dance parties, our midnight talks, and everything about her. She was the best mom ever!"
Daughter Hailey wrote “You are my best friend, my rock, my voice of reason, my hand when I’m scared, my faith when I’m broken, my light when it’s dark. You are my everything. The world won’t shine as bright without you.”
Gina, we will continue to tell you about our adventures even though you will be watching over us, but will need to wait for your replies until we meet again. We miss you, love you, and you will remain in our hearts forever.
A celebration of Gina’s life will take place later, when conditions allow. Donations can be sent to the Gina Wolff Memorial Fund, c/o First Interstate Bank, 2500 N Reserve St, Missoula MT 59808.