Cover photo for Clay Holland's Obituary
Clay Holland Profile Photo
1970 Clay 2024

Clay Holland

June 20, 1970 — April 24, 2024

Clay Holland, 53 of Lolo MT, passed away unexpectedly at Community Hospital in Missoula, MT on April 24, 2024. His loss is felt profoundly by his family and friends.

The first child of June Ellestad and Lloyd Holland, Clay was born on June 20, 1970. He spent much of his childhood in the loving company of grandparents Arnold and Fern Ellestad. He was the protector of his younger brother Cable, and his mother’s and dant’s joy. Adventurous from birth and a lover of the outdoors, he fished, camped, skied, floated the Blackfoot, canoed the Bitterroot and Clark Fork, hiked, played games, hunted.  He loved hanging out with his folks, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles, his Lori, and friends. He attended schools in Bozeman, MT, Gillette, WY, and graduated from Missoula’s Big Sky High School in June of 1989.

He was a 4th generation carpenter, starting work at the age of 4 with his dad on his grandparents’ log home. By the time he finished high school he was working

full-time in the construction trade. He worked for Garden City Builders and Mostad Construction before moving to Anchorage AL, where he founded his own construction company. In 2008 he returned to Missoula to be closer to family and established Holland and Father Construction with his dad Lloyd. He took great pride in his exemplary carpentry skills and forged lasting relationships with the homeowners he came to know and love. Working with his dad was one of his greatest joys. Few words were needed, it was as if they could read each other’s minds as they shared the love for their craft. 

Clay was strong, kind, gentle, and genuine—traits his mother, June, nurtured and cherished throughout her beloved son’s lifetime. He derived great joy from taking care of others, helping his loved ones find happiness, always willing to help anyone who needed help, understanding and open to learning from others. His generosity and kindness affected everyone who knew him, and his great hugs made his family and friends feel like everything was going to be alright.

Clay’s son, Ryan Holland, was born in Alaska in July 2005, fulfilling Clay’s childhood dream of having a child. With the move back to Montana, Clay was happy to surround Ryan with the presence and love of his Holland and Moeller families. Clay loved teaching Ryan about carpentry and how to fix things. They enjoyed hiking, camping, video games, skiing, and spending time together talking about anything and everything. For a short time, Clay had the privilege of fostering a young boy, Ethan, who he considered his second son even though he did not get the opportunity to adopt him.

In 2018 a mutual friend introduced Clay and Katherine Foley. After many phone conversations, they agreed to meet for their first date. It was awkward. However, Clay could see there was much more to each of them than just that initial experience and, undeterred, kept calling and talking with Katherine for hours. He quickly won her over, and they were married August 6th, 2022 in his parents’ backyard by their mutual friend. In each other they had found the love of their life.  

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Arnold and Fern Ellestad, Cora and Juel Holland, and cousin Tami Lindsey McDonald.

Survivors, whom will dearly miss his presence in their lives, include his son Ryan Holland, wife Katherine Foley, parents June Ellestad and Lloyd Holland, siblings Cable, Aaron, and Kayleigh Holland; Marburger, Holland, Lindsey, Kirby, and Elletson cousins; his Dant Betty, Aunties Dorie and Rubie, Uncles Mike, Dean, Ray, Jim, and Rick; parents-in-law Carol and Mike Foley, brothers-in-law Michael (Andrea) Foley, Richard (Nikki Dixon) Foley, nieces, and friends.

Services will be held at Garden City Funeral Home on May 25th, 2024 at 1:00 PM, reception to follow. In lieu of flowers please see for donation to family, or donate to Youth Homes – Dan Fox Family Care Program in Missoula at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clay Holland, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 25, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory

1705 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808

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