Chuck Goligoski passed away on Friday, June 17, 2016 with his two daughters and son by his side. He has now entered into heaven’s gates and joined his beloved Mary Pat. What a wonderful reunion that must have been!
Chuck was born in Havre, Montana to Paul and Edna Goligoski on July 14, 1931. He graduated from Havre High School, where he was a standout basketball player for the Blue Ponies. He then attended Northern Montana College, receiving the “Mr. Basketball” award. In 1996, he was inducted into Northern’s Hall of Fame. Chuck completed his degree in education at Gonzaga University. He continued his basketball career at Gonzaga and was a three- year letterman, co-captain and high scorer for the Bulldogs. After graduating, Chuck served as the freshmen basketball coach and a varsity assistant at Gonzaga.
After an active duty tour in Korea in the United States Army, Chuck became a teacher and the head basketball coach at Butte Central High School. While in Butte, he met Mary Pat Walsh, who was completing her nursing training at St. James Hospital. Chuck and Mary Pat were married on August 8, 1959 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. They had their first daughter, Lisa, in May of 1960; a son, Charlie, in January of 1962, and finally Mara, in November of 1964. Chuck loved Butte, and his family has many fond memories of time spent there.
The Goligoskis moved to Kalispell in 1965 when Chuck accepted a teaching and the head basketball coaching position at Flathead High School. He coached at Flathead for eight years. Under Chuck’s direction, the Flathead Braves were state runners up twice, in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, Chuck’s team won the state championship, with a record of 25 wins and 1 loss (Hellgate!). Chuck was also named class AA High School Basketball Coach of the year.
Coaching to Chuck was more than simply wins or losses. He was extremely proud of his players-their dedication, sportsmanship and achievements. Special, lifelong relationships and strong support systems developed among the Goligoskis and Chuck’s coaching friends and their families. After hanging up his whistle from coaching, Chuck continued teaching at Flathead High and served as the Head of the English Department until his retirement.
Chuck spent many summers working at and managing the Cherry Warehouse for the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Association. The Warehouse was like an extension of Flathead High School, employing many of Chuck’s students, teaching/coaching friends, and their wives and kids.
Chuck’s passion for sports never left him. He cheered for and was a devoted fan of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He enjoyed going to Seattle Mariner’s games, as well as traveling to Arizona to watch spring training.
Chuck loved traveling-whether it was family summer vacations or one of the many trips he took with Mary Pat. He was meticulous in planning out every detail. His bookshelves were lined with photo albums documenting each trip, and he was eager to share with all!
Chuck lives on in the spirit of his family and friends, leaving all of us with our own wonderful memories. Memories of the little things will be cherished – Dad bringing home cherries in his lunch box after a long shift at the Cherry Warehouse, drinking hot cocoa (in his “Pop” mug) with toast at the kitchen table after coaching home basketball games, playing board games with his family until late into the night, solving the world’s problems with his breakfast buddies, and munching on Salted Nut Rolls, Snickers Bars or Oreos (always proclaiming, “I’m starting my diet tomorrow!”). Chuck was an awesome example of perseverance and resilience. Most importantly, he loved and was proud of his family and always did his best to be a steady source of strength and support for them.
Chuck was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary Pat; his parents, Paul and Edna; and his nephew, Michael Anderson. He is survived by his children, Lisa Picht; Charlie Goligoski and his wife, Kristen Anders; and Mara Goligoski. He is also survived by his grandchildren, M’Lissa Moore and her husband, Jake Leno, Megan Moore, and Zachary Goligoski. Chuck leaves behind his sister, Lynn Anderson; three nieces, Yvonda, Sheila and Patricia Anderson; and two nephews, Mathew Ditto and Todd Ditto.
Chuck’s family would especially like to thank Prestige Assisted Living, Home Options Hospice and Private Care for all of their loving care and support.