Photography

Toby S. Holmlund

January 7, 1945 ~ January 7, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Toby Holmlund Obituary

“Toby”, Henning Steven Holmlund, left Heaven’s Half Acre in Lost Creek for the last time on his 79th birthday. His wife and best friend of 56 years, Billie, was by his side as always.  Toby had been diagnosed with vascular dementia and it had taken its toll on this friendly, charming, genuinely happy man.  Toby could always find “blue sky” no matter the day.

Toby is survived by the love of his life, Billie.  Daughter, Heidi Ungaretti. Favorite Son-in-Law, Joe Ungaretti, his One and Only Grandson, Ricco Ungaretti, his Sis, Mary Helen (Don) Rangitsch, Niece Mary Ann (Ed) Benz, son Adain. Nephew Kevin (Candace) Rangitsch, daughters Kendell and Taylor, Sisters-in- law Bobbie (Dennis) Dippel, Teena Galle, Nieces Chris (Jeff) Crisler, son David, Cheri Rangitsch, Daen (David) Reyna, Denise Wolfsteller, Charlene Kempton, Dawn (David) Reyna. The Bradley Girls, Lost Creek family Deedra Mackey, Ryley and Spencer Heffernan.  First cousins Mary Ann Riley, Joanne Sirginson, Ruth Mix, John Frankovich, Nancy Connors, Kathy Parks, Jane Hawthorne, Patsy Bieber, Gary Frankovich, Debbie Kunkle, Joe Podobnik, Lynn Lahren. He joins his parents, infant son John William, Sister Rose Ann (Stan) Bradley and Brother Joe Christie. 

As a young boy, he lived in Goosetown and could be seen running around with his older brother

Joe. At times, the two small boys would hitchhike to Georgetown Lake and fish. However, fishing in Warm Springs Creek was his best pastime. And “little old ladies” would regularly buy his fish. Toby also spent a great deal of his early summers with his cousin David, Uncle Don, and Aunt Rosie at Mussigbrod Lake camping. The trouble those two boys could get into and the stories that Toby could tell.

Later, Toby’s family moved to Lost Creek.  Toby and his friends would drag race down Lost Creek Road. His good friend Sonny was often seen sitting beside him. Once Toby was stopped by the Sheriff. The sheriff demanded Toby’s license only to be informed that the 15-year-old did not have one.  Billie, who lived on the Galle Ranch, remembers being able to recognize the dust cloud from Toby’s car as it came down the road. Billie still smiles and sighs when she says that she loved him from the moment she first laid eyes on him. Friends would affectionately call the two “The Bickersons. There is nothing Toby would not do for Billie. This included working Art in the Park Booths, attending Folk Festivals, and navigating weekend garage sales and many Toastmaster functions. He would often ask, what’s on the agenda today.

Toby attended St. Peter’s School, Lincoln School, and graduated from Anaconda Senior High School in 1963. He then enlisted in the army and was stationed at Fort Clayton, Panama Canal Zone for most of his service time.  He wasn’t much of a traveler but he did go on a cruise to Alaska and then one to Panama, and a fantastic family trip to New York and Washington D.C. and many gambling junkets. Billie would often say that Toby would start to hyperventilate when he left Deer Lodge County. 

After returning to Anaconda, he worked on the Smelter until it closed.  He was part of The Last Crew that worked on the Smelter until 1982. Of the 17 members of the crew only three remain: Cal Stanley, Sonny Langer, and Mel Schnabel.  When the Smelter finally shut down, Billie and Toby decided that Toby would not leave home to look for work. He spent a few years working in the spud fields in the valley which he enjoyed tremendously. He then went to work for AFFCO and eventually retired after 14 years. The most remarkable time at AFFCO was working in AFFCO Supply where he made many new friends and was able to help so many.

Over the years, Toby enjoyed spending time with friends and family, hunting on the Who, snowmobiling in Mill Creek, camping at the Blow Hole, riding motorbikes, playing pool, dancing at the Embassy, playing live keno at the Haufbrau and playing cards. Toby enjoyed hauling wood to keep their home warm. Each log and load had to be perfect.  He also enjoyed hosting barbecues in his beautiful backyard. Fond memories are shared by many who attended those no matter the weather get-togethers.

When Heidi married Joe in 1994, the Ungaretti Family embraced and included the Holmlund family in every family gathering. It wasn’t long before Mario’s (Ungaretti) fish fry was held in the Holmlund backyard.

During the 70’s CB craze, Toby was known as The Bad Rabbit. He enjoyed saying, “I ain’t bad, but the bad don’t mess with me.”  Toby always had a song in his heart. He loved 70’s country music and right up to the end he was still singing those heartfelt ballads along with the funny little jingles he would make up. It was one of those little jingles that almost got his grandson Ricco booted out of daycare. 

Toby could do and build anything, but his passion was welding. He was a true artist when it came to iron. His goal was to have something on every block in Anaconda.  His handiwork can be seen in can smashers in local bars, handrails around town, cemetery hangers and snowplows. One masterpiece that he was especially proud of was an estate entryway gate that he lovingly made for Cheri and Larry Wilson in Auburn, Washington. He spent many, many hours, and months, working with Bob Mackey getting the Lost Creek Fire Hall built right down to the firetruck mailbox.

His favorite Irishman, Eddy McCarthy, even talked him into “little” projects for the AOH Hall.  Toby made the Shamrock Sign above the door, the statue cases for the Patron Saints of Ireland, the coat hangers, the basement door, and the ice buggy. These “little” projects earned Toby the first Honorary AOH membership. He enjoyed his time with the Irish.

Most recently Toby and Billie enjoyed walking and afterwards going to the Metcalf Senior Center for lunch. Occasionally they would go to JFK with Bob and Marilyn for pizza and a bucket of beer. He enjoyed playing the machines, but that got to be too much for him. Most afternoons he would like to wind down watching Gunsmoke reruns while sitting with his dog Angel.  

We are going to miss Henning, Toby, Honey, Bad Rabbit, Dad-D-Dear, Grandpa Toby, more than you can imagine.  Dementia may have taken his beautiful mind but could not touch his loving heart or his precious soul.

Special Thanks are given to the health care staff of Anaconda Community Hospital and especially the Anaconda Pintler Hospice. They are true angels on Earth. Without them Toby would not have been able to spend his last days at home.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Anaconda Pintler Hospice, or donor’s choice.

A funeral Mass for Toby will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 217 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Anaconda, MT with military honors rendered immediately following Mass. A one-hour visitation will take place prior to the Mass, beginning at 9:30 a.m. A luncheon will be held in the Hunthausen Center of Holy Family Catholic Church, following the rendering of military honors.

A funeral Mass for Toby will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 217 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Anaconda, MT with military honors rendered immediately following Mass. A one-hour visitation will take place prior to the Mass, beginning at 9:30 a.m. A luncheon will be held in the Hunthausen Center of Holy Family Catholic Church, following the rendering of military honors.

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Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Service has been privileged to care for Toby and his family.

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Services

Visitation
Wednesday
January 17, 2024

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
217 W. Pennsylvania Ave.
Anaconda, MT 59711

Funeral Mass
Wednesday
January 17, 2024

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
217 W. Pennsylvania Ave.
Anaconda, MT 59711

Military Honors
Wednesday
January 17, 2024

11:30 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
217 W. Pennsylvania Ave.
Anaconda, MT 59711

Luncheon
Wednesday
January 17, 2024

11:45 AM
Hunthausen Center in Holy Family Catholic Church
217 W. Pennsylvania
Anaconda, MT 59711

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