Hugh Ryan Houle, 45, of Ronan, MT passed away Wednesday, October 3, 2018. He was born June 30, 1973 in Polson, MT to Bob and Cherilee Houle. A son called Ottie Boy and a brother known as Coyote. A handsome husband and a hero to his children. Lovingly called Uncle Ewwie by his nieces and nephews. Friends refer to him as Hubert. Known by many idolizing children as simply Hughie. At the rodeos, announcers were always challenged with the tongue tying name, Hugh Houle. He was loved and adored by so many; yet always stayed humble and kind.
Hugh is preceded in death by his father Bob Houle. He is survived by his mother Cheri Houle, wife Lisa Houle, children Makia Slaughter and Kurtis Wood, Tyler Houle, stepson Gabriel Brown, grandson Nevan Olson and siblings Cathy (Houle) and Keith Barrows, Mike and Pamela Houle, Sandy (Houle) and Brian Hall, Fred Houle and Nicole Hadley, Kelly and Christy Houle and Jolene Houle. Also surviving Hugh are 9 nieces, 7 nephews and numerous great nieces and nephews.
Hugh was raised on a ranch southeast of Polson. He graduated from Ronan High School in 1991. He worked as a hunting guide in the Bob Marshall for many years. With this work he gained many cherished memories and friendships. He worked a short stint in construction, but spent most of his life making a living by traveling the mission valley visiting horse shoeing clients who shared his similar love for horses. Many of whom became life-long friends. He loved the freedom of working for himself and found great pleasure in rubbing that in to everyone who worked an 8-5 day job. Hugh’s ultimate wish would have been to be a fulltime rodeo cowboy. Inherited from his father and passed on to his son, Hugh was passionate about steer wrestling. He spent many years competing in high school rodeo and on the Indian National Rodeo Circuit.
Hugh took his last ride on some of the sketchiest mountain trails. Made his last trip into his beloved Bob Marshall. Sang his last Chris LeDoux song. Shod his last horse. Made his last furry friend into an adored dog or envied horse. He wrestled his last steer. Squealed his truck tires for too long and to everyone’s dismay for the very last time. With his love for logging, he drug his last log and gathered his last cord of firewood. He rode horseback in a parade for the last time. He won the heart of a child through his love for animals for the very last time. Hugh, because of you we’ll always feed the animals before we feed ourselves.
We all know it isn’t the size of the man in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the man. Hugh fought furiously for his life to the very end, but as he put it best…there comes a time to pull the shoes and send them out to pasture. The strongest man we will ever know hung up his hat, shut out the lights and closed the gates on this life’s journey. Trust that he is on to his next rodeo. Here’s to making sure your hitch is always down and lights are always working. We love you Ottie Boy, we love you Coyote, we love you Uncle Ewwie, we love you Hubert, and we love you Hughie. Carry our love in your pocket. You’ll never be forgotten Mr. Hugh Houle.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, October 12, 2018 at 10:00am located at the Ronan Community Center. Please join us for a very special honoring of Hugh’s life and the impact he’s made on so many in the short time he was blessed with. In his wishes, we will have a feast following the service. Meat and potatoes will be provided. Please bring anything that ends with “salad” and/or “dessert”.