Life of HBH in a Nutshell
Harold was born to Edward and Margaret Holden on October 15, 1924 in a little house on the comer of Division and Alderson. Attended McKinley grade school, Jefferson and graduated from Billings Senior High School in 1942. He was captain of the 1942 State Basketball Championship Team. He enlisted in the Navy in the spring of 1943 where he served on several Navy ships, one being the original crew of the APA 144, serving most of his time in the South Pacific during WW II. He was serving on the Sea Going Tug (ATR 36) when the war ended and always laughed when he would tell the story of leaving Manila on Christmas Day and 3 months later arrived in Bremerton (short stop in Hawaii) where he was Honorably Discharged in 1946.
He received a scholarship to the University of Portland to play sports and graduated in 1950 with an Industrial Administrative Degree (business and engineering). Upon coming back to Billings he went to work for Bill Clark (Clark Drilling and Ajax Oil Company) and stayed in the oil business all the rest of his working days, drilling and completing oil and gas wells. He would like to thank a few men with whom he had business dealings: ALLEN KLINDT, LUKE WISE (Australian Ranches and Fish Creek), JIM ROUSTON & TOM HAUPTMAN (Lone Mountain Production), JACK KING & KEITH MOHL (Hancock Enterprises), BILL FULTON (Sands Oil), RALPH GAILLY (Macum Energy), and BILL BALLARD (Ballard Petroleum).
In the late 1950’s he played Independent Baseball for Billings, Fromberg and lastly with the Laurel Refinery. He played Semi-Pro Basketball for the Stockman, Intermountain Distributors, Sheridan Exporters and the Midland Bank and played years of Fast-Pitch softball. He belonged to the Montana Officials Association – MOA, officiating basketball for many years at the High School and Collegiate level in Billings, Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming. He officiated many tournaments with lots of fond memories in all these activities.
Harold played a little golf and was one of the original members of the Pryor Creek Golf Club. He belonged to the American Legion Club and enjoyed camping and fishing. He took great pride in his lawn and garden, loved to dance, always commenting that while in the Navy the girls in Santa Monica taught him to the Jitterbug and Balboa, and worked lots of cross word puzzles.
HE DIDN’T DO ANY OF THE ABOVE WITHOUT HIS FAVORITE SIDEKICK PANSY. HE ALWAYS SAID “I GUESS I DIDN’T LEAVE TOO MANY ROCKS UNTURNED.”
In 1952 he married his sweetheart Pansy Ott and raised 5 SUPER KIDDOS (TOM, SANDRA, LINDA, JAMES AND BARBARA). He has 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
He read this poem in the paper one day (didn’t know who wrote it) but kinda felt it would fit his thoughts to everyone:
I’D LIKE THE MEMORY OF ME BE A HAPPY ONE
I’D LIKE TO LEAVE AN AFTERGLOW OF SMILES WHEN DAY IS DONE
I’D LIKE TO LEAVE AN ECHO WHISPERING SOFTLY DOWN THE WAYS
I’D LIKE THE TEARS OF THOSE WHO GRIEVE TO DRY BEFORE THE SUN
OF HAPPY MEMORIES THAT I LEAVE BEHIND WHEN DA Y IS DONE
Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service is planned for Tuesday, August 25th – 11:00 AM at St. Pius X Church. He is preceded in death by his wife Pansy and oldest daughter Sandra.