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Mass of Christian Burial for Paul Holkup, 60 year old Buffalo man who passed away suddenly Saturday evening, Dec. 28, 2013, at his home in Buffalo, was celebrated on Saturday, January 4th at 10:00 a.m. from the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Buffalo with Father Pete Johnson as celebrant. A vigil service and time of sharing was held on Friday evening, Jan. 3, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. in the Catholic Church. Visitation was held from the Harness Funeral Home Chapel on Friday from 1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Interment will be in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, Montana with graveside services to be held early this summer. A date will be announced.
Donations in Paul’s memory may be made to the St. Francis Animal Shelter in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo.
Paul John Holkup was born on June 24, 1953 in Miles City, MT, the third child and first son of John and Lillian (Kupper) Holkup. He grew up in Miles City, attending Sacred Heart Grade School and graduating from Custer County High School with the class of 1971, where he was active in Key Club, wrestling, and band. Paul excelled at playing the cornet in band.
He attended Miles Community College for one year and then transferred to The University of Montana, graduating with a degree in Wildlife Biology. For summers during high school and college, Paul worked at various jobs including: gandy dancer on the railroad; ladle chaser at the smelter in Anaconda, MT; and in different positions for the Forest Service.
Paul was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to ski, hike, hunt, fish, and was a talented nature photographer. Several of his photos were published in magazines and calendars, and as postcards.
After graduating from the university, Paul’s first employment was at Cenex, where he eventually worked his way to a management position. As a manager Paul was transferred to several towns in Montana and Washington and finally to Buffalo, WY. Paul felt he had found his home in Buffalo and made the decision to stay.
Eventually he left Cenex and found employment at Ace Hardware where he worked for 19 years until his death. After moving to Buffalo, Paul joined the Seventh Cavalry Drum and Bugle Corps, which he enjoyed immensely.
Paul was an active member of the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and an officer in the Knights of Columbus. He loved the annual Knight’s fish fry during Lent. When Paul first moved to town, he volunteered with Y-Pals and enjoyed mentoring a youth for several years. Paul also was an active member of Ducks Unlimited.
Paul was a kind and generous person with a big, welcoming smile. He loved people and had a marvelous sense of humor. He was involved in service organizations starting in high school. Paul was especially pleased with being voted in 2012 as the Best Retail Sales Clerk in Buffalo. Paul was a loving son. He managed his parents’ finances during their frail years and after their deaths (John 2011, Lillian 2012), expertly navigated the complexities involved in closing their estate. He did the same for a beloved great-aunt (Elaine 2010)
Paul was preceded in death by his parents and great-aunt, and several other aunts and uncles. He is survived by his siblings Janice in Seattle, WA; Patti in Missoula, MT; and Gary (Zena) in Bozeman, MT; one nephew, Joe Nichols (Nayoun); two nieces, Leah Nichols (Kevin Hall) and Jenna Nichols-Pagel (Gerry); two great-nephews (Jason and Brian) and a great-niece (Tessa); three aunts and ten cousins. Paul had a special mentoring and supportive relationship with his former wife’s son, Michael Lulias and Michael’s two daughters.
Paul will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.