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Hollister A. Larson

August 20, 1922 - March 26, 2021

An icon of the community, Hollister “Holly” Alexander Larson, passed away as he danced into heaven on March 26, 2021, at the age of 98 at the family home in Kalispell. This Kalispell legend always considered himself a young man because he had not yet reached 100 years of age. Hearing about his passing, many of his friends and family have since proclaimed it is the end of an era.

Holly, as he was known by throughout his life, was born on Aug. 20, 1922, in Kalispell, the youngest child of Norwegian logging immigrant Hans Fredrik Cornelius and Alma Helmina (Johnson) Larson. Born during the Depression, Holly spent his early youth picking rocks off logging roads. He rode the log jams from Dayton, Montana, to the Somers Lumber Company — fishing along the way. During the Depression, young Holly lived at Lake Mary Ronan with his grandfather TJ Johnson. He spent his time protecting his father’s logging camp from the many transients passing through. They lived off potatoes and fish. Fish continued to be his favorite culinary delight throughout his life.

Holly attended Central School in Kalispell. He graduated from Flathead County High School in 1940. He excelled in mathematics, girls, basketball and dancing. During high school he dated his best friend’s sister, Jean Evans, whom he later married in 1944. He drove a red convertible during his high school years that was his “chick magnet.” After high school he moved to Los Angeles with three of his high school friends and began working at Lockheed Air assembling P-38s. These young men remained friends throughout their lives and eventually all moved back to the Flathead.

In 1941, Holly enlisted in the Army Air-Corps at Butte to become a pilot. He was stationed at many training sites in the U.S., including North Carolina, California, Colorado, Washington and Texas. He completed the Army Air Corps College Training School at the State College of Washington in Pullman. He completed his Basic Training at Lemoore Army Air Field. As one of the longest living World War II pilots in the United States, he flew B-13s, AT-10s, and AT-17s. He flew single and multi-engine aircraft transitioning to Transports and Bombers. Throughout World War II, Holly flew C-47s and flew needed supplies to his air base in Okinawa. Due to his level of skill, he was assigned to transporting generals to their posts. On one occasion he flew through the eye of a cyclone, transporting a top brass to safety. The general personally shook his hand and gave Hollister his thanks for safe passage. He crisscrossed the Pacific, flying many dangerous missions, answering the call of duty. He always said the bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved his life and the lives of men with whom he served. Holly was most proud of being a World War II pilot and captain of a C-47 as well as his service to his country. He was equally proud of his Viking heritage and his Norwegian family roots.

The Larson family established logging businesses that have made a positive impact on the logging and timber industry as well as the economy of Northwest Montana. Holly founded Royal Logging Company, which was at one time one of the largest independent logging companies in the United States and was vice-president of Plum Creek Timber. He was a partner in the American Timber Company started by his father. He was president and owner of Mountain Manufacturing Company, which built and shipped wheel skidders internationally, which was new technology at that time in history. Often working behind the scenes, he provided seed money to assist community members who were starting new businesses that supported the logging and timber industry.

He was essential in developing a pre-trade agreement with Canada that assisted local sawmills in obtaining a viable log source. He was a leader in the Montana Loggers Association and the Timber Products Manufacturers Association.

When he retired from Plum Creek, he worked for Western Forest Industries Association representing independent sawmills and over 200,000 forest related jobs throughout the Pacific Northwest to the Senate Energy Committee hearings by lobbying in Washington, D.C. He hosted politicians and Forest Service policy makers educating them about Montana’s successful forest management practices through on-site tours in Northwest Montana. He traveled to Japan and Germany and brought back the latest innovative strategies and practices to be able to establish the plywood and particle board plants in Columbia Falls creating new jobs in the Flathead.

He enjoyed servicing as the “captain” of the Rough & Tumble, a 36-foot Stancraft boat owned by Plum Creek Timber and he escorted many dignitaries, political figures, lumber men and international guests coming to the Flathead Valley on tours of the Hungry Horse Dam and Flathead Lake.

Holly and his CPA business partner, J. Austin Miller, developed several housing projects together. Northridge Heights was the first of such projects followed by Craigmoor on Flathead Lake. Holly and Francis Bitney later developed the Many Lakes Neighborhood in the Creston area. He built the First & Main Building in downtown Kalispell and founded Title Guarantee Company.

Holly’s father, Hans Larson, donated Flathead Lake property to Bethlehem Lutheran Church designated for the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp. Holly and his sister Adeline expanded the family’s philanthropic vision over the years donating more lake front property to the camp.

Holly served on the following state and national committees: Montana Chamber of Commerce, Governors’ Industrial Development Committee, Montana Nature Areas Advisory Council, National American Lumber Standards Committee, Western Forest Industries Association where he also served as president. He served on the University of Montana Council of 50, and the Advisory Council of the School of Business Administration.

He was a charter member of the Grizzly Riders International for the University of Montana and well into his 80s participated in every annual “ride” except the inaugural ride. He loved Montana and promoted it throughout his life. He called it Camelot.

He was the oldest continuous living member of the Kalispell Rotary Club involved for over 56 years and recently was presented with the Paul Harris Foundation Award. In prior years he competed on the Rotary curling team that played in Canada. He was the oldest living member of the Northwest Montana Hoo-Hoo 187 Club where he was awarded the Woodpecker of the Year award in 1985. Thursday nights found Holly at the Buffalo Hills Golf Course playing on a league team. For 71 years he was a member of the Elks Club. He also was engaged in the Eagles, and Sons of Norway.

Together he and Clyde Smith founded the Advanced Life Support Emergency Rescue Team (A.L.E.R.T.) where he served on the board since its inception. He was passionate about saving the lives of loggers who were injured.

Holly was recently a special guest of honor at the sendoff gala of the Museum of Mountain Flying for the Miss Montana to Normandy fund raising event held in Missoula. He was one of three World War II veterans in Montana honored at this event.

Holly annually supported many charitable organizations including Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Kalispell Exchange Club, ALERT, FVCC, Alpine Theatre Project, Hoo Hoo Club, Elks, Rotary, Montana Logging Association, and Flathead County Deputy Sheriff Association. He was an annual sponsor of the Flathead Jazz Festival. He made donations to many causes that impacted the quality of life in the Flathead Valley. He was raised in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Kalispell where he supported faith=based programs throughout his life. He had a generous heart for helping other people succeed and enjoyed seeing people better themselves. Through the Special Friends Advocacy Program, he touched the lives of persons with disabilities spending time with them and helping them learn skills that they might not otherwise have learned.

Holly treasured spending time with his family, children, grandchildren, and many friends. In his mind there not a better place to live than the Flathead Valley. No matter how busy he was, he made time for his family, dancing with his granddaughters, tinkering and fixing things in the garage and creating innovative ways to repair things with his grandsons. His grandchildren felt that he believed in them and made them feel like they were the most important persons in the world.

Holly was preceded in death by his high school sweet heart, dance partner, and loving wife of 52 years, Jean Elizabeth “Betty Jean” Larson. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1994 at a gala event held at the Outlaw Inn.

Holly leaves a legacy of love and many memories of an amazing man with a life well lived to his sons, Thomas (wife Kathy) Larson, David (wife Michelle) Larson; and his daughter Holly Jean Larson, all of the Flathead Valley. He cherished his grandchildren, Hollister (his namesake) Jay Larson of Kalispell, Kymberly Larson of Mexico/Spokane, Eric Larson of Kalispell, Jeff (wife Lisa) Larson of New Jersey, and Courtney Larson of Vancouver, and Tessa Kiesz of New York. His great-grandchildren include Kiley (wife Ashley) Poole of Spokane, Ashley Arden Elizabeth Poole of Spokane, Abigail and Audrey Larson of New Jersey, and Ayomide and Simisola Ademousu of Vancouver. He is also survived by cousins L. Peter (wife Sallie) Larson and Kurt (wife Carol) Larson of Kalispell, Dick (wife Dorothy) Thomas and Robert Tillman (Buzzie) Thomas of Florida and Robert Sparling of Tacoma, Washington, as well as Sandra Rosetti of Kalispell and the mother of his first three grandchildren Sherry Stevens (husband Doug Houtz) of Kalispell.

Holly had a big personality but could be gentle and caring. His family members say that he didn’t get cheated out of one minute of his life. All of his grandchildren say it’s hard to imagine a world without him in it. The impact on their lives and the community will be felt for generations. He was known as the life of any party with a genuine sense of humor that included playing elaborate practical jokes on his family and friends that were often “paid back” full fold. He was full of life and energy right up to his last day on earth.

Because of his quick wit and charisma Hollister was asked to emcee a wide variety of events throughout his life.

Known as a colorful character, he treated everyone equally and didn’t judge anyone. He was upbeat, loved life to the fullest, and danced at every opportunity — even at home. He loved jazz and the Big Band era music. He enjoyed playing golf, traveling, a good glass of wine, dancing with women who also loved to dance, and annually hunting pheasants in Eastern Montana. He made people laugh and feel good about themselves. He was truly part of “the greatest generation.”

His daughter Holly Jean and his grandson Holly Jay who provided care for Hollister during the last years of his life made up “the 3 Holly’s” as they were fondly known when they were together. Holly Jean cared for her father for over 25 years.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the ALERT - Advanced Life-Support Emergency Rescue Team at 310 Sunnyview Lane, Kalispell, MT in honor of Hollister’s dedication and service to the mission of ALERT; or the University of Montana Grizzly Riders International Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 3176 Missoula, MT 59808-3176.

Due to COVID-19, a private graveside service and celebration of Hollister’s life will be held at the C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery for family and close friends on Tuesday, April 6, at 2 p.m.

If you listen carefully you can hear Holly singing ... “Off we go into the wild blue yonder.”

Our Fallen Heros






Flathead County

Fallen Heros






Spanish American War



PVT FRED G. WHEATON



World War I



CPT ORVILLE ANDERSON

PVT ORVILLE BECHTEL

PVT OTTO F. BOESE

PVT GEORGE E. BOWERS

PVT WILLIAM BREMEN

PVT MAINEY A. BRICKEY

PVT JOHN V.O. COMFORT

PVT FRED T.E. CRANE

PVT PERRY E. DODD

PVT LAWRENCE E. FLEMMING

CPL JOE GRAMMER

PVT ROBERT HALL

PVT ALEX L. HARDWICK

PVT EDWARD J. HARDWICK

PVT LLOYD HARMON

PVT SELMER IVERSON

PVT MELVIN JENSEN

PVT ROY KIRKPATRICK

PVT BENJAMIN LANDIS

PVT JACOB J. LEIN

PVT ALBERT I. MARKEN

PVT REX MEACHEM

PVT IVAN MYERS

PVT ELMER L. PARKER

PVT JOHN A. PERTERSON

PVT HARRY L. PHANCO

PVT JOHN RAAEN

PVT JOSEPH RISING

PVT VITO S. SCALERA

PVT OTTO J. SCHULTZ

PVT CLARENCE G. STOWE

PVT JERRY SULLIVAN

PVT WALTER SWEENEY

PVT JAMES H. THACKABERRY

PVT ARTHUR E. WINKLER

PVT LORENZO W. WOLF



World War II



1LT FRANK L. ADAMS, JR.

SGT MERLE D. AHRENS

SGT ROBERT R. ALEY

PFC SANFORD R. ALLISON

PVT SIDNEY BAESCHLIN

1LT CHARLES S. BALDWIN

PVT FRED BANGEMAN

PVT WILLIAM A. BANNING

PVT INGWELL BARTLESON

TSG HARVEY H. BELL, JR.

TEC5 HUGH R. BELL

PFC NORMAN A. BENTON

1LT RICHARD N. BERRY

SGT HARRY L. BILLSBOROUGH

PFC CARL R. BONDE, JR.

PVT EDWARD A. BREADEHOFT

CPL DONALD A. BRINKERHOFF

LTGT EDWARD L. BROADWATER

PFC KENNETH R. BRUST

PVT W.J. BUNDROCK, JR.

FC1 KENNETH ARCHIE CAMP

PVT CLARENCE CHESSMORE

2LT ELWIN E. CLAPPER

TSGT RICHARD CLARK

TEC5 LLOYD A. COLBY

PVT DONALD COMBS

CPL JOHN W. CONNOLLY

PVT DONALD COVEY

2LT JACK L. CRAVEN

SSG THOMAS G. CRAVEN

2LT WILEY J. CROSWELL

2LT NED J. DE VRIES

SGT AARON K. DICKEY

TEC4 ALFRED DOFELMIRE

PVT BILL DROLLINGER

PVT HOWARD J. DUTRO

TEC5 JOE C. DYER

PFC DONALD H. EGHOLM

PVT ARCHIE A. ELDER

FC1 FRED WHITNEY ELSASS

1LT REESE P. EVANS, JR.

SGT KENNETH E. FELIX

PFC CHARLES FISCHER

2LT ROYAL E. FORRESTER

PFC CLARENCE FUQUA

PFC GLEN F. GOOD

TEC5 ROBERT F. HADDOW

PVT WILLIAM R. HAHN

SSG MELVIN L. HAMNER

SGT NORBERT HANS

GEORGE HARDY

1LT CARL HARNDEN

PFC PAUL R. HAUGEN

PVT FRANCIS E. HEATH

2LT NORBERT W. HERRIGES

2LT CHARLES J. HILL

PFC HAROLD E. HISSONG

SGT ORVAL B. HOLAND

SSG BERNHARD T. HOLMES

CPL RICHARD J. HOWKE

PVT HARRY H. HRABIK

SGT DONALD HUCK

PVT WILBUR L. INGRAM

PFC LAWRENCE C. JOHNSON

PVT LEO R. JOHNSON

S2 LOUIS KABER

PFC HARRY KAZARIAN

SSG WARD W. KIRKPATRICK

WO1 E.L. KNAPP

SSG FRANK C. KRALICEK

MM1 EDWARD KRANTZ

CECIL LARSEN

ROGER LARSON

PVT TIMOTHY J. LAWLOR

AD3 LEON LEISTNER

TEC3 ELDRED W. MADDEN

SGT ERNEST A. MAIER

PVT JACK T. MCWILLIAMS

CPL JAMES D. McILHARCEY

SSG FREDERICK F. METCALF

PFC CLARENCE MITCHELL

SGT ELMER F. MONTGOMERY

PFC WILLIAM J. MURPHY

HENRY NYGARD

PFC ALFRED W. ODEGARD

SGT ELLIS W. OLSEN

1LT JOHN D. O'NEIL

PFC LELAND A. PETERSON

AD2 HARRY WALDO PIERSON

CPL JOHN C. PROCTOR

CPL HAROLD E. PULLIAM

2LT WARREN L. PUTMAN

PVT JOHN L. QUINLAN

CPL JAMES E. RAY

SSG DONALD D. REESE

1LT JACK REIDER

TEC5 DELBERT A. RHODES

PVT REX S. RITTER

TEC5 CHARLES H. ROGERS

2LT KENNETH B. ROGNSTAD

SGT HAROLD W. ROUSH

TSG BERT A. SALING

TEC5 MYRON L. SCHOOLEY

PVT LEWIS H. SEARCH

DOUGLAS SMITH

SSG WALTER D. STEINMETZER

TEC5 GEORGE A. SUNDAHL

2LT JOHN C. SUNDAHL

SSG CALMER O. THOMPSON

PVT DELBERT L. TILTON

RAY A. TODD

TEC5 OSCAR TORGERSON

SGT EDWARD M. UNWIN

PVT CALVIN T. VANOVER

SSG NEIL A. WAGNER

1LT WAYNE A. WENDT

PVT FRED W. WHEATON

SSG ARCHIE B. WILHELM

S1 RICHARD L. WILHELM

S1 THOMAS WINTERS

TSG WILLY H.W. ZEECK



Korean War



CPL HAROLD AMUNDSON

1LT JERRY BALDWIN

SSGT BOB BULLMAN

PFC ROBERT E. DERR

PFC GEORGE L. LINE

PV2 CLIFFORD NORRIS

PFC ALVA OSTROM

HM3 CHARLES E. POPE

SGT CHARLES SCHLEGEL

CPL JAKE VOERMANS

PFC THEODORE A. WAGNER



Vietnam War



LCPL MITCHELL LESTER ANDERSON

PFC JOSEPH BENSON

PFC ANTHONY BURDETTE BLAIR

SP4 RICHARD JAMES BEST Jr

CPL DUANE LEE COTTET

PFC DAVID WALTER DORRIS

PFC RODGER DEAN ECKSTEIN

SP4 LARRY DOUGLAS ENGEBRETSON

SP4 RICHARD MICHAEL JOHNSON

CPL WILLIAM GREGORY LITTLE

CPT PHILLIP ARTHUR NICHOLS

PFC TIMOTHY CHARLES ROBINSON

SP4 ANTHONY GENE HARNESS

CWO MANFORD LLOYD KLEIV

LCPL DOUGLAS GERALD STREET



Desert storm



MARK R. CRONQUIST



Operation Iraqi Freedom



EDWARD MATTHEW SALTZ

KANE F. FUNKE






Flathead County

Fallen Heros






Spanish American War



PVT FRED G. WHEATON



World War I



CPT ORVILLE ANDERSON

PVT ORVILLE BECHTEL

PVT OTTO F. BOESE

PVT GEORGE E. BOWERS

PVT WILLIAM BREMEN

PVT MAINEY A. BRICKEY

PVT JOHN V.O. COMFORT

PVT FRED T.E. CRANE

PVT PERRY E. DODD

PVT LAWRENCE E. FLEMMING

CPL JOE GRAMMER

PVT ROBERT HALL

PVT ALEX L. HARDWICK

PVT EDWARD J. HARDWICK

PVT LLOYD HARMON

PVT SELMER IVERSON

PVT MELVIN JENSEN

PVT ROY KIRKPATRICK

PVT BENJAMIN LANDIS

PVT JACOB J. LEIN

PVT ALBERT I. MARKEN

PVT REX MEACHEM

PVT IVAN MYERS

PVT ELMER L. PARKER

PVT JOHN A. PERTERSON

PVT HARRY L. PHANCO

PVT JOHN RAAEN

PVT JOSEPH RISING

PVT VITO S. SCALERA

PVT OTTO J. SCHULTZ

PVT CLARENCE G. STOWE

PVT JERRY SULLIVAN

PVT WALTER SWEENEY

PVT JAMES H. THACKABERRY

PVT ARTHUR E. WINKLER

PVT LORENZO W. WOLF



World War II



1LT FRANK L. ADAMS, JR.

SGT MERLE D. AHRENS

SGT ROBERT R. ALEY

PFC SANFORD R. ALLISON

PVT SIDNEY BAESCHLIN

1LT CHARLES S. BALDWIN

PVT FRED BANGEMAN

PVT WILLIAM A. BANNING

PVT INGWELL BARTLESON

TSG HARVEY H. BELL, JR.

TEC5 HUGH R. BELL

PFC NORMAN A. BENTON

1LT RICHARD N. BERRY

SGT HARRY L. BILLSBOROUGH

PFC CARL R. BONDE, JR.

PVT EDWARD A. BREADEHOFT

CPL DONALD A. BRINKERHOFF

LTGT EDWARD L. BROADWATER

PFC KENNETH R. BRUST

PVT W.J. BUNDROCK, JR.

FC1 KENNETH ARCHIE CAMP

PVT CLARENCE CHESSMORE

2LT ELWIN E. CLAPPER

TSGT RICHARD CLARK

TEC5 LLOYD A. COLBY

PVT DONALD COMBS

CPL JOHN W. CONNOLLY

PVT DONALD COVEY

2LT JACK L. CRAVEN

SSG THOMAS G. CRAVEN

2LT WILEY J. CROSWELL

2LT NED J. DE VRIES

SGT AARON K. DICKEY

TEC4 ALFRED DOFELMIRE

PVT BILL DROLLINGER

PVT HOWARD J. DUTRO

TEC5 JOE C. DYER

PFC DONALD H. EGHOLM

PVT ARCHIE A. ELDER

FC1 FRED WHITNEY ELSASS

1LT REESE P. EVANS, JR.

SGT KENNETH E. FELIX

PFC CHARLES FISCHER

2LT ROYAL E. FORRESTER

PFC CLARENCE FUQUA

PFC GLEN F. GOOD

TEC5 ROBERT F. HADDOW

PVT WILLIAM R. HAHN

SSG MELVIN L. HAMNER

SGT NORBERT HANS

GEORGE HARDY

1LT CARL HARNDEN

PFC PAUL R. HAUGEN

PVT FRANCIS E. HEATH

2LT NORBERT W. HERRIGES

2LT CHARLES J. HILL

PFC HAROLD E. HISSONG

SGT ORVAL B. HOLAND

SSG BERNHARD T. HOLMES

CPL RICHARD J. HOWKE

PVT HARRY H. HRABIK

SGT DONALD HUCK

PVT WILBUR L. INGRAM

PFC LAWRENCE C. JOHNSON

PVT LEO R. JOHNSON

S2 LOUIS KABER

PFC HARRY KAZARIAN

SSG WARD W. KIRKPATRICK

WO1 E.L. KNAPP

SSG FRANK C. KRALICEK

MM1 EDWARD KRANTZ

CECIL LARSEN

ROGER LARSON

PVT TIMOTHY J. LAWLOR

AD3 LEON LEISTNER

TEC3 ELDRED W. MADDEN

SGT ERNEST A. MAIER

PVT JACK T. MCWILLIAMS

CPL JAMES D. McILHARCEY

SSG FREDERICK F. METCALF

PFC CLARENCE MITCHELL

SGT ELMER F. MONTGOMERY

PFC WILLIAM J. MURPHY

HENRY NYGARD

PFC ALFRED W. ODEGARD

SGT ELLIS W. OLSEN

1LT JOHN D. O'NEIL

PFC LELAND A. PETERSON

AD2 HARRY WALDO PIERSON

CPL JOHN C. PROCTOR

CPL HAROLD E. PULLIAM

2LT WARREN L. PUTMAN

PVT JOHN L. QUINLAN

CPL JAMES E. RAY

SSG DONALD D. REESE

1LT JACK REIDER

TEC5 DELBERT A. RHODES

PVT REX S. RITTER

TEC5 CHARLES H. ROGERS

2LT KENNETH B. ROGNSTAD

SGT HAROLD W. ROUSH

TSG BERT A. SALING

TEC5 MYRON L. SCHOOLEY

PVT LEWIS H. SEARCH

DOUGLAS SMITH

SSG WALTER D. STEINMETZER

TEC5 GEORGE A. SUNDAHL

2LT JOHN C. SUNDAHL

SSG CALMER O. THOMPSON

PVT DELBERT L. TILTON

RAY A. TODD

TEC5 OSCAR TORGERSON

SGT EDWARD M. UNWIN

PVT CALVIN T. VANOVER

SSG NEIL A. WAGNER

1LT WAYNE A. WENDT

PVT FRED W. WHEATON

SSG ARCHIE B. WILHELM

S1 RICHARD L. WILHELM

S1 THOMAS WINTERS

TSG WILLY H.W. ZEECK



Korean War



CPL HAROLD AMUNDSON

1LT JERRY BALDWIN

SSGT BOB BULLMAN

PFC ROBERT E. DERR

PFC GEORGE L. LINE

PV2 CLIFFORD NORRIS

PFC ALVA OSTROM

HM3 CHARLES E. POPE

SGT CHARLES SCHLEGEL

CPL JAKE VOERMANS

PFC THEODORE A. WAGNER



Vietnam War



LCPL MITCHELL LESTER ANDERSON

PFC JOSEPH BENSON

PFC ANTHONY BURDETTE BLAIR

SP4 RICHARD JAMES BEST Jr

CPL DUANE LEE COTTET

PFC DAVID WALTER DORRIS

PFC RODGER DEAN ECKSTEIN

SP4 LARRY DOUGLAS ENGEBRETSON

SP4 RICHARD MICHAEL JOHNSON

CPL WILLIAM GREGORY LITTLE

CPT PHILLIP ARTHUR NICHOLS

PFC TIMOTHY CHARLES ROBINSON

SP4 ANTHONY GENE HARNESS

CWO MANFORD LLOYD KLEIV

LCPL DOUGLAS GERALD STREET



Desert storm



MARK R. CRONQUIST



Operation Iraqi Freedom



EDWARD MATTHEW SALTZ

KANE F. FUNKE

Contact Us

VFW Post 2252
330 1st Ave W
Kalispell, MT 59901
P: (406) 752-2611
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