Howard Neal “Howie” Grinde, 81, of Missoula passed away peacefully on Monday, May 16, 2022, at St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula with his wife Donna and daughter Michone by his side.
Howie, son of Ingebrigt Jensen “I.J.” and Sigrid Amanda (Suphellen) Grinde, was born May 22, 1940, in Shelby, Montana. He spent a lot of time during his younger years working on the family farm in Toole County. Many decades later, the Sweet Grass Hills were still one of Howie’s favorite sights. He graduated from Shelby High School in 1958. After a semester of college at MSU, he enlisted in the United States Army, receiving an honorable discharge after two years of service.
Howie was united in marriage with Donna Burgess on September 1, 1962, in Cut Bank, Montana. Shortly after their marriage, Howie and Donna packed their belongings and moved to Butte, Montana. It was there that Howie started working for Meadow Gold as a door-to-door milkman. His strong work ethic contributed to him eventually becoming manager of the creamery. It was also in Butte that Howie and Donna welcomed their daughter Michone. Howie and his young family thoroughly enjoyed the years they lived in Butte and treasured the great times spent with friends.
After twelve years in Butte, Howie and family moved to Missoula where he was promoted to sales manager at Meadow Gold Dairy. Howie’s career with Meadow Gold took him to eventual management of the creameries in Missoula, Eugene, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho. Next up was a job with Meadow Gold in Salt Lake City. Howie, Donna, and Michone missed Montana and wanted to come home. At the Salt Lake Airport, Howie had a business meeting with friend, Bunts Watkins, who offered him the job of manager of Zip Beverage in Missoula. Howie accepted and he and his family happily returned to Montana. After several years, he became part owner of Montana Music Company, ushering in the first wave of electronic keno and poker machines in the Missoula area. Howie lived to work and took pride in every job he undertook and every task he completed.
Howie was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He and Donna loved to visit their daughter and her family in Washington. Visits included playing countless games of cribbage, taking trips to the beach, and watching sporting events. Howie also cherished the time he spent each summer with family and friends at Swan Lake, Montana.
Howie was preceded in death by his parents, I.J. and Sigrid Grinde; brother, Jim Grinde; niece, Staci Irgens; and brother-in-law, Jimmy Fornes.
Left to cherish his memory is his devoted wife of 59 years, Donna Grinde; loving daughter, Michone (Chris) Slater; grandsons, Jake and Tristan Slater; sister-in-law, Darlene Fornes; extended family, and friends.
Howie’s family thanks the doctors and nurses at St. Patrick’s Hospital for the compassionate care they provided during his last week of life. They also express their gratitude to Howie’s friends for their love and support, extending a very special thank you to Mike and Sandy Ramos.
A celebration of Howie’s life will be held this summer. Online condolences may be left at gardencityfh.com.