Sarah Louise H. Holte was born to Ted and Freddie Hopgood on Aug. 7, 1940, in Chester, Illinois. Surrounded by her loving family, she died peacefully at RiverStone Health Hospice House in Billings, on Dec. 1, 2017.
Spending her first years in Illinois, Sarah quickly earned the nickname of “Sass,” which she cheerfully bore for the rest of her life. In 1950, Sarah’s family migrated to Williston, North Dakota, where Sarah graduated from Williston High School in 1958. Sarah stayed in touch with many of her high school friends, and the memories they shared always brought a smile to her face.
Sarah graduated with honors from Eastern Montana College (now MSU Billings) in 1979, having achieved degrees in both general business and psychology, as well as doing additional coursework in chemistry, mathematics, computer science and biology. Her working career included the following positions: assistant to the buyer for the china and silver department of the Hart-Albin department store; secretary for ConocoPhillips Corporation; and Assistant to the Dean of Liberal Arts, EMC.
In November 1979, Sarah married Duane A. Holte. Living in Billings, they enjoyed their shared children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sarah was especially talented as a seamstress, knitter and jewelry maker. Not only did she use her skills to craft exquisite gifts for her loved ones, but she also taught her skills to her children and grandchildren. She loved plants and animals too — particularly her cats — reading, and classical music.
Sarah was preceded in death by both her father, M. Theodore “Ted” Hopgood, Sr., and her mother, Freddie Louise Kolstad Hopgood. She is survived by her husband, Duane A. Holte; her brothers, Major General Ted Hopgood, Jr., USMC (Ret.) of College Station, Texas, and Tom Hopgood of Clancy. Additionally, she is survived by her children, Carrie Anne Markie, Wendy Moria Vacca and Joshua Laurie Rice, all of Yellowstone County. Sarah is also survived by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom she loved dearly.
Respected during her life, Sarah will be remembered lovingly, and as a highly intelligent, curious, well-spoken, thoughtful, generous and kind woman. Sarah’s faith in God and her love for her family were her guiding lights.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, in the First Christian Church, 522 N. 29th St., Billings.
Sarah’s family suggests that memorials be given in her name to Family Promise of Yellowstone County, 10 S. 26th St., Billings, MT 59101.