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Whitesitt Funeral Home
& Cremation Service

Family Owned & Operated Since 1902
314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
Phone 406-777-5711 | Fax 406-777-0181
Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Warren Gilbert Holden

Died: Wed., Jan. 28, 2015


Graveside Service

1:00 PM Sat., Jan. 31, 2015
Location: Maplewood Cemetery


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MISSOULA – Our Heavenly Father called Warren Gilbert Holden, 92, the night of Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. His loving niece and caregiver, LeEtta Holden Petersen, held his hand. Warren entered the family of Reuben John Jr. and Octave Olive Shaffer Holden as the youngest of their seven children on April 22, 1923. Born below St. Mary Peak west of Stevensville, under U.S. President Warren Gilbert Harding, Warren shared an everlasting love and remembrance for family. When any of his brothers walked the hall into his room, he recognized their footsteps long before they spoke. This keen ear also picked up a love for music. In February 1926, while his father Reube worked the mines in Butte, Warren’s mother “Ottie” passed with pneumonia. Born blind, his father placed Warren with family friends – sisters Pearl Psenda and Libby Neal. Libby had accompanied Warren to Los Angeles for an unsuccessful eye operation. Because Warren’s oldest sister, Clara Ilene, passed in 1915 at age 3, Reube placed the remaining children with maternal grandparents, George and Martha Burton Shaffer, in Florence until Reube could return. After November 1938, Warren’s brother and his bride, LeRoy Sr. and Dorothy Kurth Holden, shared their home, and later, two young children, LeEtta and Sandra, with Warren and Reube. By World War II in 1942, with the added responsibility of a hired haying and milking crew of 16, Warren was placed in Boulder School for the Blind to gain formal education. When a Great Falls division for the school opened, not wanting to leave his friends in Boulder, Warren would not verbally answer and could not write so was considered unqualified for admittance. The slipping through the cracks of institutional life began. At age 65, Warren returned to the Bitterroot to Stevensville Nursing Home, then Hamilton’s Tammany Group Home and, finally, Missoula’s Village. Warren absolutely loved ice cream, bus rides, flying in a plane, attending Creamery Picnics and being around the family. He is survived by cousin Alvina Cyr and generations of nieces, nephews and cousins. Preceded in death are his parents and siblings, Clara Ilene, William Sr. (Ida Manning), Grace (Harry “Pat” Ramer), Kenneth (Norma Stohl), LeRoy Sr. (Dorothy Kurth) and Mary (William Nichols). Graveside services are pending at Maplewood Cemetery, Stevensville, near Warren’s parents and sister Clara.

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