Louis Anton Holoubek Jr. was born in Billings on June 9, 1942. A descendent of Gypsy, French, English, Dutch and Melungeon ancestry, Louie was by nature a happy wanderer. Known as Louie to his friends, Little Louie to his family and Lou to his co-workers, Louie grew up knowing what hard work meant.
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He was 9 when he began selling peanuts and popcorn at Cobb baseball field in Billings. This job set the stage for a lifetime in retail sales. His career began on the sales floor and as a receiving clerk, but he quickly advanced to merchandise buyer and manager, assistant store manager and store manager. He worked for: The Hub Clothing store, Joe's Bargain Center and Albertson's Suburban Clothing in Billings…then to Buttery's Suburban in Great Falls and Missoula…then to Buttery's Skaggs in Missoula, Spokane, Burley Idaho, and Bozeman… then to Gibson's in Bozeman, Helena, Billings, the Dodge City Home Office and back to Bozeman… and finally, he completed his career working for American, Harts and Ashley furniture stores in Bozeman.
Louie was introduced to his future wife, Myrna Long, by Dorothy Kiefel, his girlfriend at the time. Louie often said that the minute he saw Myrna, he fell in love with her and knew he was going to marry her. And he did – on December 30, 1960 in Billings. They enjoyed nearly 50 years of marriage before Myrna passed away on May 28, 2008, from a cancerous brain tumor.
Louie, Myrna and Dorothy remained good friends throughout their lives. Dorothy was one of Myrna's bridesmaids when she married Louie. They often shared Thanksgiving and Christmas together with their families. Louie and Dorothy kept in contact during and after Myrna's illness and talked on the phone at least weekly.
The first week of January, 1961 Louie shipped out for basic training with the Navy. When he returned, he and Myrna moved to San Diego, Calif. for the remainder of his military career. He served as a Medical Corpsman from January 1961 through January 1963 and was honorably discharged.
Louie and Myrna had two sons; Gregory Alan and Douglas Dean. Louie was very proud of both sons and never missed an opportunity to share their individual accomplishments with family and friends.
Louie suffered for many years from COPD and needed continuous care. Greg lived near his parents and cared for his Dad when he lived alone. They became best friends before Greg passed away on August 10, 2011, at the age of 47, from esophageal cancer.
After Myrna and Greg passed, Louie moved to Arizona to be close to, and cared for, by his two sisters, Claudia Plotnick and Anita Varone and their families. Louie loved his apartment at Amethyst Gardens, in Peoria, Ariz. He was happy there and made many wonderful friends - who loved him in return.
Louie passed away peacefully on September 21, 2012 from lung cancer. He died the way he lived, on his own terms. He knew he was very ill but hid it from his family until it was too late. When asked why, his answer was, "Because I wanted to." He said he missed Myrna and Greg and wanted to be with them. Now he is.
Louie leaves behind his son, Doug, who lives in Kansas City, Miss. Doug called his dad weekly and visited him several times in Arizona. Doug was at his Dad's side when he passed as were his sisters, his nephew Paxton and his dear friend from Bozeman, Becky Smith. Doug brought Louie's ashes back to Bozeman to be reunited with Myrna so they will be together forever.
He also leaves behind his sisters and their families: Anita and Mike Varone, niece Jaydee Varone Sullivan and her sons Conner and Benjamin; Claudia Plotnick and his nephew Paxton Mihalovich. He also leaves behind his dear Bozeman neighbors, Becky and Jason Smith and their children Kailey and Trent. Louie said that Becky was the daughter he never had. Louie also leaves behind his beloved Bichon dogs, Kiki and Nikki, who are now in the loving home of his sister, Claudia.
Louie was also preceded in death by his mother, Betty Louise Nelson Holoubek and father, Louis Anton Holoubek Sr.
Louie's one and only passion, other than his family, was his infatuation with cars. He always had a new car and a collector car in his garage. His first car was silver 1949 Mercury. His good friend, Avon Whitehead, painted a picture of a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater near the gas tank (a #1 song in the 50s). He and his car were the envy of all of Billings Senior High School (including the teachers!). Some of his other favorites were a 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible, a Pontiac Firebird T-top, a white 1975 25th Anniversary Edition Corvette T-top and a red 1995 45th Anniversary Edition Corvette convertible. Myrna never knew when Louie would simply show up with a new purchase, proud of the deal he made.
Louie always said he graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. He was one of those people that others gravitated to. He always saw the glass full, not half full. The genuine smile on his face and his simple friendly personality verified that he meant it. He lived his life that way and died with dignity, exactly the way he wanted to.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 14, 2012