Jun 11 2018
LeRoy Allen Holden Jr., 57, son of the late LeRoy Allen Sr. and Dorothy Kurth Holden, had zest for life. He put his family first and would give the shirt off his back to anyone. His unexpected passing to be with our Lord on Jan. 22, 2015, stunned our world.
Born June 1, 1957, LeRoy was the youngest child and only boy in a family of five girls. Even doctors celebrated LeRoy and Dorothy and the long-awaited boy at his birth in St. Patrick Hospital because he represented the first of LeRoy Sr.’s line to carry the Holden name into the fifth-generation in Missoula and Bitterroot valleys.
LeRoy literally cruised, rode and raced into life. At over six feet, he stood tall in stature and in moral values. Baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church, he grew into a cowboy gentleman. He owned 30 head of horses and 35 of cattle on Mullan Road land, where a Milwaukee train took the life of LeRoy Sr. only three weeks after LeRoy Jr.’s 18th birthday and Hellgate High School graduation in 1975. Shortly after, his mother Dorothy passed. Yet, he had plenty of Holden girls’ sisterly advice.
As a child, LeRoy enjoyed deep-sea commercial fishing with his uncle, Harold Kurth. He chuckled that it turned him off to eating fish for years after eating fish all that first summer.
LeRoy loved motorcycles and converted his first Harley into a chopper with parts placed carefully on a tarp in his mother’s front yard. Fascinated, other bikers, friends and family hung around. So LeRoy pitched his childhood Boy Scout pup tent from which he could guard treasures.
This young man raced into love and marriage to Mollie Ann Wilson. They shared life as parents to LeRoy Allen Holden III, Krystel Lorraine (Brian) Pickens, and Kasey Lynn (Nicole) Holden. By age 40, LeRoy Jr. rode into being a grandfather. Then, by age 57, he cruised into life as a great-grandfather, fully aware of his strong love for his family of Holdens.
No father could be more proud of the athletic abilities of sons Allen in karate and Kasey in wrestling. He also busted off a lot of buttons over “Hotrod” Allen’s artistic talent and attention to detail in art or car repair and restoration.
A father, so very proud of his U.S. Air Force daughter Krystel, honored her military achievements by wearing her keepsake pins on his shirt or cowboy hat for special “dress-up.”
“Uncle LeRoy” was close in age and heart to each of his many nieces and nephews. He lived next door to Scott and Craig Petersen and Carrie, Rob, and Jody Netzer from their births through together attending Willard Grade and Hellgate High schools. Also, later, he lived just down Mullan Road from cousins Bob and Rick Larson.
His values were further exemplified when he became godfather to niece Richelle Rice at her baptism with his sister Sandy as Godmother.
He was one of the biggest fans of his sons Allen’s and Kasey’s motorcycle racing and Petersen Racing Team. Also, LeRoy drove miles to see athletic events and awards of Petersen, Netzer and Rice kids plus Shawn, Donnie, Ryan and Bob Wetzel and Jeris and Lindsay Bray, in addition to his own children and grandchildren. .
A natural teacher, he shared determination and skill with everyone whether it was to load a raunchy steer or horse into the back of a pickup, ride motorcycles, work an engine, weld, wire, fabricate, swim, camp, fish, drive car or tractor, haul hay, or shoot gophers and win their tails.
LeRoy is survived by his beloved Mollie; their three children; grandchildren Domanik James Holden, Natosha Kay Holden, Donavin Allen Holden, Gage Krystifer Holden Somerlott, Emmett James Pickens and Payton Scott Jenkinson; great-grandson Jaycob James Holden; mother-in-law Lorraine Alexander; five sisters, LeEtta (Monty) Petersen, Sandra Netzer, Cheryl Rice, Linda Wetzel and Dorothy “Dee” (Randall) Bray; brothers-in-law Otto (Carolyn) Wilson and Vince (Misty) Alexander; sister-in-law Helen (William) Hanner; Aunt Bettijane Kurth Larson; Uncle Warren Holden; and generations of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
LeRoy was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law Glen Wilson Sr.; and brothers-in-law Rob Netzer, Jack Rice and Glen Wilson, Jr.
Services and reception will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, Missoula’s Garden City Funeral Home Interment will be at Missoula’s Sunset Memorial Gardens at noon.