Cover photo for Joseph Leo "Joe" Havlovick's Obituary
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1931 Joseph 2021

Joseph Leo "Joe" Havlovick

August 13, 1931 — February 23, 2021

Joseph Leo Havlovick dedicated husband, father, grandfather, coach and friend passed away February, 23, 2021 at St Luke’s Extended Care in Ronan.

Joe was born in Arlee, August 13th, 1931 and considered himself a homestead baby. His mother rode the train from the homestead near Lost Lake and Dodson, Montana to have her midwife, sister-in-law help deliver Joe into the world 89 years ago. He was proud of his homestead heritage and his ties to his family’s Czechoslovakian roots. Both his mother Lillian and father Paul with their parents immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900’s from Bohemia (Czech Republic) to be early Montana pioneers. Later Joe and family moved to Ronan where he graduated high school in 1949, and attended Gonzaga University on a boxing scholarship, returning to the Flathead to marry Patricia Yanzick and raise a family.

Joe was a hard worker. ROTC during college led him to serve 2 years as an Army Lieutenant at Fort Benning, GA. He proudly served, returning to the Mission Valley and Ronan where he turned his degree in education into a long career as a New York Life Insurance Agent (50+ years) and became a Montana Hall of Fame Agent and the ultimate Million Dollar Roundtable agent. He also spent 25 years as a Flathead Cherry grower, running a road-side stand called “Joe’s Cherries”. His largest crop ever weighed in at 22-tons. And, Joe was a coach of all things athletic in the Polson schools. He coached his four children in everything from football and basketball to track and softball. He coached some of his grandchildren, and many other Polson youth. He always enjoyed helping others “do their best”.

His own pursuits in athletics were some of his cherished stories. As Captain of the “First Five” 1949 Ronan Basketball team setting the school’s biggest win-loss record at 25 wins, 6 losses . . . to his colorful history as a boxer for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. He delighted in telling the come-from-behind story of his heavy-weight victory fight that brought the Zags (all plagued by flu) to an exciting finish, tying the Idaho Vandals in the last match of the year.

While Joe was serious-minded, he sported a big smile and as a kid had a knack for instigating pranks and fun, as his sister Pauline Hall of Spokane, Washington will attest, “He would start things and drag me into it.” Joe is famous for his Chinese pheasant story where the high school track team was on route from Ronan to Polson, riding with the javelins hanging outside the window of the 1940s sedan. A Chinese pheasant crossed the road and one boy cried out, “Hit it", and the driver tried to do just that. They crashed the car into the embankment, and luckily a passerby came along to help them arrive at the track meet, although slightly late. Joe would delight in telling this story, chuckling every time, although it isn’t clear that he instigated the distraction on that day.

He leaves behind a love of the outdoors, and a lifelong joy of fishing. Mud Lake, being 1 mile from the family farm at Crow Creek, provided constant entertainment for he and his brothers Frank and Victor. He fished the Flathead by boat. He would take in Lake Koocanusa, near Libby, and Lake Mary Ronan, joined by Mary his second wife of 35+ years. Together they enjoyed many days fishing on the water with pictures and fish tales to tell the grandchildren.

As a father, Joe was most proud of his children and felt they were his best accomplishment in life. He valued education and was proud of the numerous college degrees shared by his children and grandchildren.
In his later years, his smile and enthusiasm for life delighted caregivers with ALL of his colorful stories. His very physical life left his spine, hips and knees with mobility problems as he spent several of his final years at Polson Health and Rehab and St. Luke’s Extended Care. His family wants to thank these wonderful people for their compassionate caregiving. A special thank you to Dr. William Cullis for his expertise in gerontology and to Valerie Henderson and all his nurses for their gentle and joyous bedside manners.

Preceding Joe in death are his parents, Paul and Lillian, his brother Francis, and an infant sister Barbara, his wife Mary Ellen Havlovick.

He is survived by his sister Pauline (of Spokane), and brother Victor (of Falls Church, VA), his daughters, Penny (Ted) Fogelstrom of Eugene, Oregon, Peg Havlovick of Polson, his sons Brad Havlovick of Idaho Falls, and Brian (Lisa) Havlovick of Polson, seven grandchildren (Alex and Loni Havlovick of Polson, Jacob, Zach (Caryn) and Josie Havlovick of Idaho Falls, and Jillian and Halley Fogelstrom of Eugene Oregon) with 1 great grandchild on the way. He is also survived by step-children Greg Dumontier, Brian Dumontier and Denise Rankin and their extended families.

A public wake will be held from 4-6 pm Friday February 26th at The Lake Funeral Home in Polson, with a rosary service at 9:30 a.m. and a Catholic funeral mass at 10:00 a.m. will be held Saturday, February 27th, at the Immaculate Conception Church with Father Kevin Christofferson presiding. Burial will be at the Ronan Mountain View Cemetery. Joe enjoyed gardening and growing flowers, particularly Dahlias. In lieu of sending flowers, honor him by planting a Dahlia in your own backyard.



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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, February 26, 2021

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Mountain time)

The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory

101 6th Ave E, Polson, MT 59860

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Service

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Mountain time)

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

1002 4th Ave E, Polson, MT 59860

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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