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314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
Phone 406-777-5711 | Fax 406-777-0181
Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Douglas Jon Sabol

Died: Sat., Dec. 19, 2015

Memorial Mass

11:00 AM Sat., Jan. 09, 2016
Location: St. Ann Catholic Church

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Missoula - On Dec. 19th, 2015, Douglas Jon Sabol departed this life leaving his loved ones and friends feeling an indescribably sense of loss. Doug was born in Great Falls, Mt. On Feb. 17, 1958. His surviving family members are his mother, Sherry Connolly of Missoula, his sisters Crystal Kingston of Dixon, and Leslie Kaldor of Missoula, his brothers Daniel Sabol of Chicago, Ill, Shannon Connolly of Missoula, and his uncle Mike and wife Joy Stafford of Great Falls. His daughter Alexandra Sabol, age 6, was his only child, and was unquestionably the most important person in his life. Other family members are nieces and nephews, Denise Nelson and her children Kayla and Piper, Madison Davis and her children Michael and Aurora, Renee and Simon, children of his sister Leslie and Kyle Johnson, son of his deceased nephew Russell. He was preceeded in death by his father, Mike Connolly on April 1st of this year. Doug began playing the guitar while a sophmore in high school. While his siblings complained about practicing, Doug practiced with a vengeance. By the time he was a junior in Shreveport, La, where his father was stationed in the A.F., Doug was playing where and whenever he could...tour buses, restaurants, nursing homes, and school functions, and church. He was taught in classical music, but learned songs like Classical Gas, and James Brown rock for school functions. Whatever the occasion, he dropped everything for the chance to play his “geetar.” Doug loved to ski and was fearless on the slopes. Every weekend for years in the winter and whenever possible he and his family were up and packed for the day at the ski hill. Every vacation it was a given that it would be a ski trip. Another military assignment led the family to Shreveport, La. Finding a ski hill was impossible but at Jesuit High School, Doug found a replacement for his love of skiing. The school was a powerhouse for their baseball team. Doug was catcher on the team that took the state title the year he was a Junior. Another transfer from the military where the family could not go and so they returned to Great Falls, where Doug went to school and graduated from Great Falls High. Doug was accepted into the group called the Cary Singers. May Carol Zeman was a well known teacher and actress in Great Falls who told Doug he was playing the wrong kind of music and was a natural blues and jazz player. She was right and anyone who was ever lucky enough to hear Doug play the blues never forgot it. Not long ago, he played for all his nieces and nephews and although they were all under 15, they sat in silence and awe and perfectly still to hear the blues perhaps for the first time. When he finally stopped playing they asked for more. His mother and he shared his love of the blues and jazz and spent many hours together over the years listening to the old masters, with Doug playing along with them. His LP record collection of these old masters was extensive. College had been in the plans for years, but Doug shocked his parents when he told them he had other plans. With long, blonde hair flying behind him, two suitcases and his guitar he got on the bus in Great Falls and headed for San Francisco. Within the hour of arriving he was playing on the street for money. As he told it, he was approached by two beautiful girls who asked him if he had a place to stay. He said no, and they invited him to where they lived which was explained as a “cool” place for lots of “cool” people to hang out. He was thanking his lucky stars and followed the girls with anticipation. Arriving at the complex he was fed and introduced to these “cool” people. First thing he was asked was if he had money and if he was willing to give up his guitar. When he objected, he was asked if he would play at functions and he said yes. He never saw the girls again, and after 3 days of carpet cleaning and lectures he was asked to leave. “You ask too many questions” he was told. It wasn't until he was almost out the door that someone told him he wasn't cut out to be one of the “Moonies.” Back to the street he went to play, and had quite a crowd around him when one of the listeners gave him a $20 bill and a note with a name. The man wrote that he knew a guitar player who was having a hard time finding a replacement guitar player for his group. Doug contacted this graduate of Julliard, a world known art and music school and after playing one song was immediately hired. He played with this group for many years, mostly in New York and California. While in New York the group was interviewed on the radio. Doug got the most time and attention when he mentioned he was from Montana. In 1985 Doug's father retired from the Air Force and his parents moved back to Montana settling in Missoula rather than Great Falls. Doug came for a visit and within a week decided he wanted to stay in Montana which he loved. He was nervous about where to start looking for work, but soon landed a job as a salesman. His warm personality and huge smile led him to a successful career in sales. He eventually took a position in advertising in Ohio. His last employer of ten years wrote a letter of recommendation for Doug and wrote on the letter, “I wish I had 10 of him.” Doug left this job to come home to Montana to fight for custody of his child. He was relentless in this fight and underwent the most trying of circumstances with everyone telling him he couldn't possibly succeed in gaining custody. He was a single father of a young daughter whom the state had taken possession of because of abuse and neglect. He was successful in the end, and Ali came to live with him in January 2015. He loved her with a passion that was unequaled, and she, for the first time in her life had a stable and happy home with Doug and his family. To see them together always brought a smile to the observer. Please pray this family who once again is fighting for custody of Alexandra through the court system can accomplish what he did to keep her in a safe environment where she is passionately loved and cared for always. Doug died suddenly and unexpectedly at home of natural causes. Cremation has taken place. There will be a funeral service and Mass for the repose of Doug's soul at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Bonner at 11:00 at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Bonner on Saturday, January 9,, 2016. Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville is handling the arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.

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Judy & Cliff Walker
   Posted Fri January 01, 2016
Sherry & family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this hard time. We are very sorry for your loss.

Mike Goss
   Posted Thu September 01, 2016
I am very sorry to hear that Doug had passed. We were close friends in Oscoda. We ran the neighborhood in our own little pack.
I have tried to find him or Danny over the years, but unfortunately couldn't until now.
You will be missed ole friend

Mike Goss

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