Maxine Gifford passed to her Heavenly home on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, MT. She was 90 years young.

Maxine was born March 23, 1927 in Sheridan to Claude and Ethel (Irwin) Bilyeu. She was the oldest daughter followed by three brothers. Maxine spent her entire life in Sheridan only leaving to attend cosmetology school in Chicago. She had many work adventures which included working at the courthouse and running the kitchen at Arrowhead before she owned and operated Maxine’s Professional Hairdressers and the Closet Boutique. She competed and judged many hairstyling competitions. She was an independent, successful woman, who’s motto was anything is possible if you just “work harder’. Maxine enjoyed gambling trips to Nevada with her husband, luncheons with her lady friends, painting, gardening, spending time with her cat Beardie, and family celebrations. She was a very dedicated Catholic. She was always fashion conscience and would never leave the house without her makeup and hair done. Maxine was a woman ahead of her time, whether it be traveling across the US for school, raising five children while managing several business ventures or being involved in local/national political issues. She was an inspiration to three generations of women in her family. She let them know that they could be their own person and make a difference in the world.

Maxine is survived by her three sons Rod (Mary), Richard and Ed Gifford, her brother Dan Bilyeu (Stacy, Chris) sister in law Mona Bilyeu (Elyn, Kyle, Dan, Keen) all of Sheridan. She also has five grandchildren Angela Trebas, Holly Irey, Heather Gifford, Courtney and Whitney Gifford. Maxine was blessed with three great grandchildren June Irey, Kassidy and Kaitlyn Geehan. She was preceded in death by parents, two brothers Keith and Quinten Bilyeu, her husband Phil, daughter Claudia Plachek, son and daughter in law Phil Jr/Linda Gifford.

Farewell services will begin with a Rosary Service at 6:30 pm, on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at Holy Name Catholic Church with Father Glenn Whewell officiating.

A Memorial Mass will follow at 10:00 am, on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at Holy Name Catholic Church with Father Glenn Whewell officiating with a Reception luncheon to follow in the Parish Hall. A Private Inurnment will be held at a later date in the Elks Memorial Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Maxine Gifford Memorial Fund at the Cowboy State Bank, PO Box 6026, Sheridan, WY 82801 or Second Chance Cat Rescue 945 Werco Ave., Sheridan, WY 82801.

Maxine was a talented woman who lived life on her own terms and did not let social roles define her. She was a dedicated mother, business woman, and strongly religious. The popular saying “believed she could so she did” certainly pertained to her. She will be missed by many.

Online condolences may be written at

Sheridan & Johnson County Obituaries