Charles (Chuck) Holland passed away Tuesday May 9, 2023, at the young age of 85, surrounded by his family, after an extended illness. Chuck was born in Great Falls, Montana to Charles (Charlie) and Helen(Raunig) Holland on March 16, 1938. He joined his sister, Pat, and was soon joined by brothers Jim, Mike, and Dan.
Chuck spent his early years growing up in Stockett, Simms, Fort Shaw, and the surrounding areas. The family then moved to Great Falls, where the “Holland Boys” may have stirred up a bit of fun and trouble around the town. After graduating from Great Falls Central Catholic High School in 1956, Chuck entered the Air Force Reserves and the Army Reserves. In 1958, Chuck enrolled in the College of Great Falls and graduated with a degree in History in 1962.
Chuck then moved to Seattle and later Portland while working for the Aetna Insurance Company when he met Bridget Halloran on a blind date. Bridget and Chuck later married on June 12, 1965. In 1966, their first daughter, Caitlin (Caity) joined the family. In 1968, while living in Boise, son Charles (Chip) joined the family. After moving to Helena, daughter Amy rounded out the family in 1972.
Chuck was well known for his sense of humor and a bit of sarcasm. These skills served him well working in the insurance industry in Helena for about 20 years. Chuck worked for Montana International Insurance and then Burrington Insurance before going to work at the Montana State Auditor’s Office regulating the insurance industry until his retirement in 2011.
During their life together Chuck and Bridget loved to hit the ski slopes. Chuck served as a professional ski instructor for many years. He taught Caity, Chip, and Amy to ski at a very young age. Chuck was also an avid fisherman. He spent many weekends with friends and family trolling his favorite spots around Hauser Lake in search of the perfect fish. In the wintertime, he could be found at the same places, trying to pull one of those fish through a hole in the ice.
Perhaps Chuck’s most well-known talent was his artistic ability. There was very little in the world of art
Chuck couldn’t do from drawing caricatures to stained glass. But without a doubt, Chuck’s ability to create beautiful pieces of furniture from oak was his favorite. People were always bringing Chuck furniture projects to restore and repair. But the furniture Chuck built from scratch is beyond compare. The list of furniture Chuck built is endless, but he found a special appreciation (perhaps led by the size of his small shop in the basement) for building child and doll size oak furniture. Many of his family and friends have pieces of Chuck’s woodwork in the form of tables, chairs, highchairs, rocking chairs, and more. What a treasure that they can hold onto forever.
But anyone who knew Chuck knew that, without a doubt, his most intense passion was his love for his family. He most loved watching his kids and later his grandkids in all their sports and other adventures. Chuck and Bridget could always be found at a nearby football, baseball, hockey, softball, lacrosse, or other event with Chuck “taking stats”, saying “C’mon Ladd”, or ringing his siren to cheer on the team. The office in his home is covered with action shots, school photos, posters, and the like of his grandkids and their adventures. He was also immensely proud of their academic and life accomplishments.
There was only one Chuck Holland, and there will never be another one like him. Chuck always had great words of advice for those who knew him: “Use your head!”, “Save your money!”, “Shoot the puck where the goalie ain’t!”, “Hit the ball where the outfielders ain’t!”, and so many more. After Chuck lost his thumb to a run-in with a jigsaw, he’d been known to scare little kids in the grocery store to stop sucking their thumb by showing them what happens when you do (showing them what was left of his thumb).
His smile, his wit, and his love will be missed so very much by all who knew him.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents Charlie and Helen Holland, his siblings Pat, Jim, and Mike, Bridget’s parents Bill and Jane Halloran, Bridget’s brother Pat, and his best pal Ike (Miniature Schnauzer).
Chuck is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Bridget, of Helena, and his children Caity (Greg) Clark of Hayden, Idaho, Chip (Paula) Holland of Montana City, and Amy (Pat) Sassano of Helena. Chuck is also survived by his 11 treasured grandchildren Madison (Tanner) Roberts, Ross Clark, and Kyle Clark; CJ (fiancé Kady) Holland, Tylar Holland, Taryn Holland, Casey Holland, and Cade Holland; and Colin Sassano, Cale Sassano, and Cohen Sassano. Missing their daily (or more) treats are his pals Sophie and Jimmy. “Uncle Suck” also left behind several nieces and nephews, as well as a few cousins and many great friends.
If Chuck could leave one piece of advice to everyone, it would be “Smoking seems like a good idea at the time, but don’t do it!“
A celebration of Chuck’s life will be held at a later date, to be announced.
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