Cover photo for Linda Vap's Obituary
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1943 Linda 2023

Linda Vap

September 1, 1943 — May 1, 2023

Linda Ellen Halloran was born September 1, 1943 in Salt Lake City to Joan Ruth Halloran (née Kunst) and John (Jack) Eugene Halloran. The family, originally from Hastings, Nebraska, returned there when Linda was a baby. She often shared stories of her happy childhood on the farm with her five younger brothers and sisters, their two horses, and a one-room schoolhouse comprised mostly of herself and her siblings. Linda met Daniel Vap at St. Cecilia's High School, and the two married on June 19, 1965, shortly after she graduated from Duchesne College in Omaha. Dan famously dropped out of the Catholic seminary for the love of her, and he was her lifelong best friend. The couple honeymooned in Montana, then settled in Lincoln. Having studied biology and chemistry, Linda's first job was working in a lab for the state of Nebraska testing the safety of dairy products. Nine months after they were married their first child, Amy, was born. David quickly followed. The family moved to Wichita where Andy and Sarah were born, and then Minneapolis where Molly was born. Linda had a strong work ethic, and across her life held many jobs and ran many businesses. While they were learning the ropes of the pizza business during the day, Linda would sell cameras at JC Penny's in the evenings. The family settled in Montana in 1979, the year Linda and Dan opened their first Godfather's Pizza in Billings. Across the decades they opened and closed several more Godfather's, tried their hand at bagels, and then, with two of their children, started another franchise called HuHot Mongolian Grill. Linda was particularly proud of the HuHot franchise, now with fifty-seven restaurants. Until the last day, Linda went to the office five days a week, and deeply enjoyed and cared about her job, her employees, and her responsibilities.


There is nothing she loved more, however, than her children and grandchildren, and she took every opportunity to spend time with them. In recent years there were graduations and Baptisms and First Communions in Wisconsin, horse shows in Arizona, hat-wearing at the Kentucky Derby, sushi in Denver, zip-lining in Costa Rica, après-ski at Big Sky, ceviche and beaches in Los Angeles, trips with her children and grandchildren to Italy, Denmark, England, Ireland, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Holland, France, Argentina, Hawaii, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Acadia, and untold numbers of grandchildren's soccer and baseball games across the country. In earlier years, she and Dan gave their children adventures in camping, canoeing, and horses, all of which continue to shape their lives. Various configurations of her family visited her at her home in Missoula almost nonstop, and she daily texted remedies and advice in her role as the family's hobbyist doctor.


Linda loved Nebraska, Montana, trees, sunshine, gin and tonics, dapper shoes, the Mauna Kea beach, horses, and talking with friends and family. She was very proud of her family's farming heritage, and she loved her country. She was a wonderful hugger, always, always answered her phone, and she never failed to tell her loved ones that she loved them. Linda quietly and devotedly worked to help anyone she could.


A devout Catholic and a decades-long supporter of Catholic schools, Linda attended Mass weekly across her entire life.


She is preceded in death by her daughter, Amy; her husband, Dan; her sister, Nancy; her nieces, Sarah and Allison; her nephew, Matthew; her parents, Jack and Joan; her husband's siblings Archie, Ivan, Joanne, and Jerry, who were like her own; and all of her ancestors.


She is survived by her children and their spouses, David and Margaret Vap, Andy and Maggie Vap, Sarah Vap and Todd Fredson, Molly and Michael O'Shea; her grandchildren Morgane, Brian, Claire, Grace, Kevin, Oskar, Mateo, Archie, Colin, and Hazel; her siblings Julie, Mary, Pat, and Steve; all her nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews; and many dear friends.


Rosary will be held at Livingston, Butler, Holland Funeral Home in Hastings, Nebraska Friday, May 12, 6 pm. Funeral will be held at St. Cecilia's Saturday, May 13, at 10:30. Interment is in Parkview Cemetery where she will be buried next to Dan and Amy. Luncheon at St. Cecilia's Catholic Church Centennial Hall following the graveside service. A Celebration of Her Life will be held this summer in Missoula, Montana.

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