Cheney Free Press -

Labish long-time area resident


Tom (left) and his son Tim Labish represented their locally-owned dairy farm "The Double T Dairy" as an entry in the Cheney Rodeo Parade, circa 2002-2003. The Labish family handed out cold milk to parade goers along the route.

Thomas Labish, 98, of Cheney, passed away on July 4, 2017 in Spokane. Tom was born in Barnesville, Minn. on Feb. 26, 1919.

He came to the Cheney area in 1937 and worked milking cows in Sprague and later in the Tyler area working harvest and sewing sacks of wheat. He later moved to Cheney where he operated his dairy farm for over 40 years. After he retired from milking cows he continued to farm the land and take care of beef cattle with his son, Tim.

The army drafted Tom in 1941 during World War II where he served in New Guinea for three years before being wounded and sent back home. He traveled home by boat as he didn't want to fly. He said "I figured if they (Japanese) shot that plane down, I don't have a chance of living, on the boat there are life savers. You might float a while."

Tom's greatest legacy is his family and the many friends he made through the years. He is survived by his three children: Marlene Gilbreth (Gary), Steve Labish (Donna) and Tim Labish (Debi). Six grandchildren, five great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and his beloved dogs, Prince, Bruiser, Mason and cat, Jumper. He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Lorraine and nine siblings.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Union Gospel Mission, 1224 E. Trent Ave., Spokane WA 99202 in Tom's memory.

A funeral service was held July 14. A granddaughter, Jessica (Labish) Discher sang "Ava Maria" and "Amazing Grace" as part of the service.

Thomas was laid to rest at Spokane Memorial Gardens Cemetery with U.S. Army military honors.

Visit Tom's online guestbook at


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