Robert William ‘RW’ Holst, 81, passed away peacefully at home in Bigfork on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 after a battle with cancer.
A lifelong Flathead Valley resident, he was born to Ray and Helen Holst in Redding, CA, on January 20, 1941. Ray was employed there for a short stint in the shipyards. They returned home to Montana shortly after his birth where he attended grade school in Kalispell and graduated from Flathead County High School in 1959. He then attended Montana State University where he graduated with a bachelor degree in business. He was a lifelong Bobcat supporter and sports enthusiast.
RW and a friend journeyed to Alaska where he worked on an oil rig for a year and a half before returning to Montana. His father Ray purchased B&B Beverage on Center Street in Kalispell in 1962. He then went to work with Ray and his brother, Dallas. From that warehouse they successfully sold Olympia beer and other brands for many years until they sold the business in 1982. He then sold real estate for a short time and was briefly a representative for Seagram’s. He spent the remaining years enjoying his farm in Bigfork. He was married to Winona Lee Hall, and later Diane Stevens, until her death in 1992.
His greatest passions were farming and all things outdoors. He made countless horseback trips into the Bob Marshall barely missing a year through his adult life. Summer fishing trips, fall elk hunting, camping and wagon rides were most important to him. From fishing in Alaska, snowmobiling in Yellowstone to bird hunting in eastern Montana, he had many great adventures which he enjoyed with many friends. In later years, he spent time going south to Mexico, Arizona and a few trips to Hawaii. He was probably happiest however on his farm in Bigfork.
He was a great storyteller and had many adventures to share with friends and family. One of his greatest adventures, although not necessarily on purpose, was narrowly surviving a wild ride with one of his friends through Meadow Creek Gorge, in the days before rafting equipment was made for such attempts. Another time, when he was in college, he won a bet by walking 50 miles in under 13 hours. He and his comrades did this because they read about a girl scout troop doing it. He said it was an excruciating experience in his red wing boots, and only later learning that the girl scouts did it over several weeks, a few miles at a time.
He was preceded in death by his parents Ray and Helen, and his brother Dallas.
He is survived by his sister Sandy (Harry) Haroldson, sister-in-law Ann Holst, daughter Heather Raye Holst (Noah Harrell) of Fairfield, Mt, son Bo (Lisa) Holst of Bigfork, step-children Ginny Eacker, Julie (Pat) Meeker, Lynn (Marcy) Hall, and grandchildren Axel and Bailey Bladholm and Aly Meeker.
RW you will be missed!
A memorial service will be on March 25th at 1:00 at Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home, followed by a Celebration of Life from 2:30-6:00 at the Eagles Club in Kalispell.
To send flowers
to the family or plant a tree
in memory of Robert W. Holst, please visit our floral store.