Poul Houlberg, 89

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Poul Houlberg was born Sept. 29, 1929, in Chicago and passed away Oct. 16, 2018, at Kalispell Regional Medical Center in Kalispell.

Poul was the youngest of five children born to Jens Peter and Avolda Houlberg. His two sisters, Elly and Elissa, and two brothers, Stanley and Jens Peter Jr. completed their family.

His early childhood through his middle teenage years were spent in Chicago. In 1945 his family moved to California where he continued his high school education until his junior year. Rather than finish his education at that time he enlisted in the Regular Army at the age of 17.

His first assignment was with the second squadron of the 7th Calvary Regiment, First Cavalry Division as a rifleman in the occupation of Japan. Later, he was transferred to the Military Police Platoon at First Cavalry Headquarters where he completed his enlistment before being sent back to the states for discharge.

After a few years of enrollment in the Sawyer’s School of Business and Santa Monica City College he re-enlisted in the Air Force and was sent to March Air Force Base, California, where he met his future wife, SSgt. Mary Mallory. Subsequent tours of duty were Guam, Mariana Islands for two years, Castle AFB, California for four years and Glasgow AFB, Montana, for two years.

He applied for recruiting duty and was assigned to the 3506th Recruiting Group at Alameda, California, for four years. His final assignment was at Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam, in 1968-69 for 13 months where he was in charge of the 483rd Tactical Airlift Wing’s training program. During this tour he was required to make a number of inspection trips to Vung Tau and Phu Cat Air Bases where other units of the wing were stationed.

After retirement he and Mary settled down in Creston. He worked at the State run liquor store in Kalispell; then the Columbia Falls Post Office. He eventually went into business for himself painting real estate signs, operating a part-time insurance agency and planting and tending a phenomenally successful apple orchard. He is still remembered for his wonderful variety of delicious tasting apples. It was often said upon taking the first bite that the flavor just burst in your mouth.

In addition to those accomplishments he enthusiastically pursued two hobbies — making wine and cooking. While making up to 170 gallons of wine a year he also made time to expand his cooking talents by taking two courses of Sicilian Peasant Style Cooking from Sam Porrovecchio through the Flathead Valley Community College.

Mary’s health began gradually deteriorating, and after a couple of years as her caregiver, he arranged for her to be admitted to the Montana Veterans Home where she spent her final years under expert personalized care.

As Poul said, “A few years after Mary’s passing, I was blessed to meet and marry another wonderful lady. I am survived by my wife, Artelia Ann Houlberg, a daughter, Rhonda Kalvig, nephews Stanley, Chris, Eric, Michael, Peter and Keith, and nieces Elissa, Jody, Mary Ann, and Norma; also, my sister-in-law, Linda Watts and my adopted niece Susan Evans.

I particularly liked and appreciated the personnel at Smith’s Kalispell grocery.”

There will not be a funeral service. However, a memorial service will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Flathead Valley

Community College, 777 Grandview Drive, Arts & Technology Bldg., Rm. 139, Kalispell.

The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 1087, will officiate at the service.

Poul said, “Please, no flowers, but if you wish to send a monetary gift in remembrance, it should be forwarded to the “Mary Grace Houlberg Certainty Foundation” in care of Susan Evans, FVCC, 777 Grandview Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901; or to The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 1087, P.O. Box 207, Somers, MT 59932.

“So long, friends. It’s been a blast!”

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