Gary William Huncovsky

Thursday, May 12, 2022
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Gary William Huncovsky, age 80, of Glendive, Montana, passed away Saturday, May 7, 2022 at the Glendive Medical Center in Glendive, Montana. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glendive with Father Francis Schreiber officiating. Silha Funeral Home of Glendive has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Gary was born to Bill (Yum) and Mary (Mack) Huncovsky on August 3, 1941 in Dickinson, N.D. He grew up with his younger brother, Mack. Yum’s job took them to Bismarck, Williston, Baker, and finally to Glendive. He attended school at Sacred Heart School through the 8th grade and graduated from Dawson County High School with the class of 1959. In high school he excelled at basketball, football, track and baseball. In 1955 his Babe Ruth team won the state tournament and went on to play in the regional tournament in Idaho. After high school he graduated from Dawson Community College with an Associate’s degree. He attended one year at Eastern Montana College in Billings, then in enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard from 1962-1968, and was honorably discharged. In September of 1965, he went to work for Montana-Dakota Utilities Company and worked in various positions for 35 years. He retired in September of 2000 as the Glendive District Superintendent for Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline, a MDU subsidiary.

On August 21, 1965, Gary married Judy Thielman. Together they raised 3 kids: Amy, Greg, and Andee, and were blessed with six beloved grandchildren: Michael, Izaak, Alex, Beau, Dylan and Abigail. Gary’s grandchildren were the light of his life! He kept up with all of their activities and accomplishments. He talked to or texted all of them daily. His pride for them was evident in his voice every time he spoke of them. Judy, Amy, Greg, and Andee were his pride and joy too and he always said, “I don’t know what I would do without you kids and Mom.” Mom lovingly cared for him at home until he had to enter the hospital. No matter where his family was, he was always reaching out and checking on us. If we were on an airplane, he tracked the flight on his iPad. If we were driving home or to somewhere, a text would come in about every 2 hours: “Where are you now?” or “Did you make it?” Wednesdays were special every week because it was “WW--Wine Wednesday.” We all tried to show up after work on Wednesdays to catch up and check in. He made sure to send a text reminding us: “It’s WW.”

Dad was a people-person. He genuinely liked people and looked for the best in everyone. He had the ability to make everyone his friend, whether you were 2 or 92. No matter what the circumstances, you always left a conversation with dad with a smile on your face. This was evident to us when we would hear these comments from people over the years and now, countless times: “What a great guy!”, “I just love your dad!”, “How is your dad doing?”, “Your dad is such a character!” He was a people watcher and loved to look at people and wonder what their “story” was. He often reached out to help people if he thought they were in need.

In college, Dad was an English major. Even though he never finished his degree, he was a gifted wordsmith and a master storyteller. He loved poems and limericks (some dirty, some clean!) and he had memorized many long pieces of poetry that he could recite even as he got older. His love of words and stories was evident even in the music he liked. He loved the song “El Paso” by Marty Robbins because it told a story. He listened to Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album over and over and enjoyed the masterful use of words in every song. He would sometimes sing one part of a song over and over because he liked how the words sounded. When we were kids, he would take us to the country to check cows and he would make up stories in the pick-up for us. He completed the crossword puzzle and the word jumble in the newspaper every single day. He was a swear-word aficionado.

Dad was a huge sports lover, especially baseball, football and basketball. His teams were the Cleveland Indians, Green Bay Packers, and the Boston Celtics and they have been for decades. Dad was not a fair-weather fan. After retirement, many of the vacations he took with Mom were centered around sports. They took a bus tour and attended baseball games in several different stadiums. They took in the Indianapolis 500. One year they sat in the rain in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl Parade. For about half a dozen winters, he and mom spent a couple of months in Goodyear, Ariz. and attended the Cleveland spring training games.

In the late 60’s and 70’s, Dad was a member of the Montana Official’s Association and put many, many hours on the basketball court and the football field, traveling all over Eastern Montana reffing games and making friends everywhere he went.

In retirement, Dad also became the caretaker of our Belle Prairie and Bloomfield farmyards. He often mowed both yards by himself, cleared weeds, painted buildings, made repairs. He loved both of those places dearly. He was an exclusive member of the Belle Prairie Yacht Club. Another favorite place was Silver Gate, Mont., our family vacation destination every summer for about 20 years. We learned how to use a spinning rod and a fly rod and he held our hands as we crossed the streams. He showed us how to gut and scale a fish. He cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast before a day of fishing and nothing could have been better.

In 1994 he bought a lake cabin on the North Shore of Rock Creek at Fort Peck and in 2000 built a new cabin on that spot. Many, many happy memories were created because of that purchase! We have celebrated many birthdays there and in 2015 celebrated Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary. Dad loved the lake and fishing and boating. Years ago, he often fished in walleye tournaments at Fort Peck or at Lake Sakakawea with his brother, Mack.

To use the words of Mack: He was a bonafide character. To know him was to love him and he lives on in all of us. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us with phone calls, texts or hugs. It’s gratifying to know how many people knew him and loved him. We love you Gare-bear! Go Pack! Go Tribe! Go Celtics!

Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Mary Huncovsky, his in-laws, Harold and Genevieve Thielman and numerous close friends.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Judy, children: Amy (Paul) Hopfauf, Greg Huncovsky, Andee (Jesse) Jolliffe and his six grandchildren: Michael and Alex Hopfauf, Izaak and Beau Huncovsky, Dylan and Abigail Jolliffe; one brother, Mack (Lonnie) Huncovsky, one nephew, Tom (Heather) Huncovsky and his dog, Henry.

Memorials are suggested to the Greater Glendive Foundation (Dad often contributed to GGF because it bugged him when things needed fixing around town and GGF was getting things done!); the DCC Foundation (as an alum, he always supported DCC); the GMC Foundation (another favorite of his) or the Glendive Community Cancer Fund. Remembrances and condolences can be shared with the family at: www.