August 25, 1953 – August 21, 2016
Michael James Holder, 62, passed away suddenly at his cabin on Ashley Lake. Mike was a Montana native, he and his wife Kit split their time between Kalispell and Maricopa, AZ.
The first of four children, Mike was born in Eureka, on August 25th to Gale and Lela Holder. Growing up, he was known to all as “Little Mike.” He liked to play pranks, always took care of his family and was a friend to all. His work ethic was ingrained at an early age, working at his grandfather’s Sinclair station. With great pride he bought his first car, a 1970 396 Chevelle SS while still in high school.
He graduated from Eureka High School in 1971, where he met his wife, Kathleen “Kit” Bushfield. Married nearly 45 years, they moved to Missoula where he briefly attended the University of Montana, leaving to gain practical business experience over a formal education.
An entrepreneur, Mike learned all aspects of business from mentors, joining with Cary Weyrauch to found M&C Tire in 1979. Crowned “the tire god,” eventually he made property investments in the Flathead and encouraged his wife to attend travel agent school and later buy Glacier International Travel. Upon his retirement in 2009, he and Kit traveled the country with their beloved cocker spaniels until they became snow birds settling in Maricopa, AZ.
Mike loved to spend time in the woods with his family and purchased his first summer home on Ashley Lake in 1978. He and Kit designed and built the family’s log cabin on Ashley Lake in 1995, which has become the center of the family. A history buff, he retraced World War I and II battles in Europe and traveled the globe with friends and family, collecting new friends from New Zealand, the UK and Australia along the way.
A lifelong Seahawks fan, he had season tickets dating back to 1980, only reaping the benefits of a winning team in the last decade. Going to games became a family affair, where he and Kit have Charter Seats with their names engraved.
He became a grandfather for the first time in 1992 to granddaughter Madison, again in 1998 to granddaughter Sidni and had his first grandson in 2010, Jonathan Michael. Each grandchild brought a new side to Mike, who doted on and teased them, proclaiming that he was the real boss of the family, not their parents.
Mike is preceded in death by his father, Gale Holder, his mother, Lela Holder, mother-in-law Darlene Bushfield, sister Lynn Ann Holder and brother Rock Holder. Mike is survived by his wife, Kit; his three children, Jennifer Spall and her husband Chip; son Bart Holder and his wife Marnie; daughter April Holder; his three grandchildren Madison, Sidni and Jonathan, his sister Gail Burgess, her husband Dawain and their family, and father-in-law, John P. Bushfield.