Harold Richard Haven Jr., 81, passed away at home on Wednesday, Nov, 27, 2019, surrounded by family and friends, following a hard-fought battle with COPD.
Harold was born on July 25, 1938, to Harold and Elva Mae Haven in Kalispell. He grew up in Evergreen and was proud to be part of the class that selected the Wolverines as the school mascot. He showed an interest in mechanics from an early age, having bought, fixed up and sold cars before he was old enough to drive. He worked at the local Phillips 66 station while in high school, and was known at times to forget to go to school after his early morning shift. Fortunately, he met the love of his life, Sandra Ann Gibson, which motivated him to stay in school, graduating with his Class of 1956.
He married Sandy on June 18, 1958, and they enjoyed 53 years together while raising four kids. He worked as a mechanic throughout his life and after retiring from Anaconda Aluminum Plant, he opened Harold’s Auto Service, where he worked into his late 70s. He grew a steady, loyal customer base who relied on his advice for the remainder of his life.
Harold was active with youth organizations throughout his life, as a baseball coach, baseball league president and president of the Flathead Braves Athletic Booster Club. He was a fixture at sporting events throughout the Flathead Valley. His positive attitude, wit and keen sense of humor, combined with his ability to relate to young and old, resulted in lifelong friendships. He was a dedicated, loving father and grandfather. He would take the early shift at work in order to see his kids sporting events and never missed a concert or play. In addition, he traveled the world for graduations, engagement parties, promotions, retirement ceremonies, and weddings. Grandpa Haven was known for his stories and jokes, and quite often was the center of attention. He gained a loyal following of admirers among his kids and grandkids friends.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Elva Mae Knudsen and Ardyce Dubia, and his loving wife Sandy.
He is survived by siblings, Cliff (Karen) Haven of Kalispell, and Glenys Bowerman of Boise, Idaho; son, Jeff (partner Stefanie Maroney) Haven, of Kalispell; daughter, Laurie Nordstrom, of Kalispell; son, Doug Haven (Diane), of Ramstein, Germany, daughter, Sharie Haven, of Kalispell; grandchildren, Jason Nordstrom, Kaci Haven, Dan (Lindsay) Haven, Richard (Kerra) Haven, Tyler (Rachelle) Haven, Kayla Haven, and great-grandson Leyton, along with a number of nieces, nephews and surrogate grandchildren.
Harold lived well, laughed often, loved deeply and will forever be remembered for his kindness and the positive impact he had on the lives of so many.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home where there will be a visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. A graveside service will be held at noon Saturday, Dec. 7, at C.E. Conrad Memorial Cemetery, welcome to all. A celebration of life will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene at 2 p.m. Saturday, with a reception to follow. Casual wear in the form of Flathead Braves or MSU Bobcats is encouraged, but fans of other Montana teams’ wear won’t be turned away.
In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged in Harold’s name to Alzheimer’s .org.