On December 7, 2022, YuVonne “Dee” Hoovestal passed from this life to the next after a long and valiant battle with cancer. She was in her own home, laying in her own bed, and was surrounded by a multitude of friends and family when she passed.
Dee was born on March 8, 1942, in Custer, South Dakota, to Charles (Charlie) William Parker and Katherine (Katie) Emily Berry. Charlie had worked as a blaster on Mount Rushmore; specifically, Thomas Jefferson’s nose. When Dee turned two years of age Charlie was drafted into the United States Army and deployed to Europe to participate in the invasion of Normandy in 1944. Dee’s mother was a member of the Gros Ventre Tribe of Indians and the family moved to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Harlem, Montana, when Dee turned the age of ten. Dee grew up riding horses and living a life steeped in Native American culture and heritage. Upon his return from the war, Charlie worked for the Ft. Belknap Tribal Police and then transferred to Crow Agency where he remained employed as a tribal police officer while Dee attended school in Hardin.
After high school Dee moved to Billings to attend cosmetology school. It was at this time that she met a handsome young cowboy from Sanders, Montana, named “Gary” who had just been honorably discharged from the Army and was going to school at Eastern Montana College. Dee would spend the rest of her days on earth with this handsome young cowboy, having countless adventures and traveling to the ends of the earth with him, but always returning to her beloved Montana and her humble beginnings. In their early years Dee and Gary moved to California where Gary finished his studies at Fresno State, and then to Lovell, Wyoming, and Wolf Point where Gary taught high school Spanish and coached sports. They finally settled in Helena where Gary worked as a Spanish professor and football coach at Carroll College, with a year sabbatical in Pamplona, Spain. Over the next 53 years, Dee and Gary became Carroll Saints, raised a family, built an international construction company, and created a sizeable herd of high-qualityquarter horses upon their ranch in the Helena valley.
Dee and Gary formed a landscaping company in 1978 to keep Gary occupied during the summer months. This endeavor eventually persuaded Gary to resign his position at Carroll College to pursue other opportunities and the company became Greenway Enterprises, Inc. Today Greenwayperforms construction contracts all over the world.
Dee was profiled in June of 1992 as one of Entrepreneur magazine’s “51 American Success Stories” which culminated in an invitation from then President-elect Bill Clinton to a conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, to discuss the “best ways to deal with both the short term and structural economic issues facing our nation.” Dee accepted the invitation and delivered a summary of her thoughts on these issues to the members of the conference, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and some members of President-elect Clinton’s proposed cabinet.
From countries such as Spain, Morocco, and France, to Romania, New Guinea, and Australia, just to name few, Gary and Dee explored the world together. Dee’s true love, however, was being at home in Helena and enjoying time with her friends, family, dogs, horses, and plants.Both Dee and Gary thoroughly enjoyed quarter horse racing, with Dee and her ranch manager, Missy, training the youngsters and caring for the herd while Gary picked the genetics of each horse bred and raised. She loved to ride her mare, Peachy Keen, and travel with her dog, Toi.
Dee was preceded in death by her parents and her brother William “Squeaky” Parker. Dee was survived briefly by her husband, Gary, before he decided to follow her to the next world. She is survived by her sons Palmer (Shelley), Jon (Molly), and Lance (Carol), numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, brother Joe Parker (Patsy) and sister Jackie Roberts, sisters-in-law Myrna Van Luvanee (Omer), Janice Brown (Harold), brother-in-law Dennis Hoovestal (Michelle), and numerous nieces and nephews.
A special thanks goes out to Missy Quigley, Dee’s sidekick and constant companion, as well as Heather Wenzel, Stephanie Lavinder, Michelle Lavinder, Marie Lavinder, and Marieta Smith.
A joint celebration of Dee’s and Gary’s lives is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Monday, December 19, 2022, at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave., with food and refreshments to follow the service at the funeral home. Dee and Gary will be buried next toeach other at the cemetery in Hysham, Montana. A joint burial service will be held graveside on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Dee.
The Hoovestal family lost its patriarch on December 12, 2022, when Gary Edward Hoovestal, an old man satisfied with life, breathed his last at a ripe old age, and was gathered to his people.
Gary Edward Hoovestal was born in a railroad section house in Sanders, Montana, on January 14, 1939, to Palmer Arthur Hoovestal and Neva Pearl (Muller) Hoovestal. Gary developed pneumonia shortly after birth and nearly died when life for him had just begun. But a country doctor making his rounds fortunately brought sulphur to the house which they used to treat his pneumonia. This sulphur treatment fortunately restored the newborn Gary back to health.
Sometime later Gary’s father, Palmer, purchased a country store just across the road from the section house in which Gary was born. In those days the Sanders store was an important landmark in Treasure County where local farmers and ranchers and their families would go to pick up their mail, buy a newspaper, purchase groceries, or just socialize. General merchandise ranging anywhere from clothing, farm equipment and feed to saddles, ammunition, and firearms, were available for purchase at the Sanders store. Gary’s father, Palmer, was a gregarious and friendly man and more often than not customers would come to the store just to play a game of cards or checkers or drink a bottle of pop and visit. This upbringing had a profound impact on Gary and shaped his character throughout the rest of his entire life. It was a happy and simple life in a rural community. People were friendly, worked hard, and both knew and cared for each other.
Gary grew up beneath the shade of giant cottonwood trees next to the Yellowstone River and horses were a part of daily existence. Gary frequently worked as a cowboy for neighboring ranchers, spending entire days atop a horse working cattle in the hills and the breaks. Gary was extremely proud of the fact that he was from this small, rural community of Sanders, Montana.
Gary attended a one-room country school that had a school master who taught all subjects to all ages and all grades. One winter day the school master participated in a snowball fight with the children. He would poke his head around the corner, and when the children would throw snowballs at him, he would duck his head back around the corner, thus evading the snowballs that the children threw at him. Gary wised up to this defensive technique and timed his throw so that the snowball would be launched just before the school master would look around the corner. Too smart for his own good, Gary’s snowball hit the school master squarely in the face and broke his glasses. Of course, Palmer had to pay for the school master’s broken glasses.
Gary attended high school in nearby Hysham. He played football and basketball and participated in rodeo. In 1957 he competed at the National High School Rodeo in Reno, Nevada, taking third place in bull riding and sixth in saddle bronc riding. Right after graduating from Hysham High School, Gary enlisted in the United States Army where he became a paratrooper with the original Band of Brothers, the 101st Airborne Division. He was a machine gunner and learned how to box while with the 101st Airborne Division.
Gary was honorably discharged from the Army and used the GI bill to go to college. He studied Education and Spanish, eventually receiving a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. Not surprisingly, Gary was fluent in Spanish having also lived in Mexico City and loved to speak Spanish at any and every opportunity.
Gary taught Spanish and coached football at the high school level before coming to Helena where he both taught and coached at Carroll College. He was particularly proud of his days coaching with his colleague and close friend, Robert “Putter” Petrino, as well as the other members of the Saints coaching staff. Gary was inducted as a member of the Carroll College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996, and in the 1978 Carroll Saints Football Team was inducted in 2005. There is an athletic scholarship, the Gray Bull Scholarship, at Carroll College in Gary’s honor.
Gary took the most pride in the accomplishments of his family members and his company, Greenway Enterprises, Inc. Greenway has extensive experience in international construction, including project management, supervision of field operations, and contract administration on a wide range of construction projects. Greenway has been named Small Business of the Year and currently has 110 employees and offices in Helena, Silver Spring, Maryland, and Ashburn, Virginia. Contracts performed by Greenway have taken Gary to 91 separate and distinct countries over the years.
Gary was a true renaissance man. His accomplishments and good character were recognized by anyone who knew him. He was an expert horseman who raised a herd of high-quality horses. He was inducted in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2014. He was a philosopher, a poet, a prolific song writer, and a loyal friend, husband, father, and brother. His character was truly remarkable. He was as strong, wise, hardworking, and industrious, courageous, brave, loving, curious and intelligent as they come.
Not a man to be told when or how to do things, Gary allowed himself to pass only five days after the passing of his wife of 61 years, Dee. He will be missed by us all.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, YuVonne “Dee” Hoovestal, his sister-in-law Michelle (Dennis) Hoovestal, and his brother-in law William “Squeaky” (Rachel) Parker. He is survived by his sons Palmer (Shelley), Jon (Molly), and Lance (Carol), numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sisters Myrna Van Luvanee (Omer), Janice Brown (Harold), brother Dennis Hoovestal (Michelle), brother-in-law Joe (Patsy) Parker, sister-in-law Jackie Roberts, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A special thanks goes out to Missy Quigley, as well as DaNeal Anderson, Heather Wenzel, Stephanie Lavinder, Michelle Lavinder, Marie Lavinder, and Marieta Smith.
A joint celebration of Gary and Dee’s lives is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Monday, December 19, 2022, at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 N. Montana Ave., with food and refreshments to follow the service at the funeral home. Gary and Dee will be buried next to each other at the cemetery in Hysham, Montana. A joint burial service will be held graveside on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Gary.