Obituary: Barbara Anne Bowlin Holbrook

June 10, 1932 - November 17, 2023
Barbara Anne Bowlin Holbrook
June 10, 1932 - November 17, 2023
Posted at 11:45 AM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 14:35:56-05

Barbara Anne Bowlin Holbrook, 91, passed away on November 17, 2023, in her hometown of Great Falls, Montana. Born on June 10, 1932, in Great Falls to Cornelia (Haag) Bowlin and Lester Bowlin, Barb graduated from Great Falls High School in 1950.

In 1953 she married Lloyd (Hoby) Holbrook who proved to be the singular love of her life. Hoby co-founded Acme Body Shop with partner Harry Schultz and from 1964 until 1979, Barb brought her organizational skills to the business, keeping books and participating as an active partner. Hoby's true passion lay in leading a ranch life in the country. In 1968, the family relocated to the Fort Shaw area where Barb embraced and dedicated her life to raising her children in an agriculturally based community. She not only welcomed this new culture but met it on her terms, raising four children in the Sun River Valley, dedicated to the interests of her children while winning the hearts of neighbors and friends.

This chapter of her life involved countless journeys across the Northwest, trailering horses for Quarter Horse competitions and rodeos, chauffeuring kids to weekly music lessons, and attending Simms High School sporting events. Barb was always involved in community activities where she served as the organist at Fort Shaw's St. Anne's Catholic Church, led 4-H groups, and worked the Wednesday sales at Western Livestock.

Hoby passed away in 1985, creating a profound void in many lives, yet sparking the emergence of Barb's resilient spirit. Fueled by her evolving independence, Barb embarked on her next chapter and reignited her previous academic and professional ambitions. She returned to school in her early 60's and delved into Occupational Therapy, an interest that she had set aside, but now pursued with renewed vigor. She worked as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant at Luckman's Physical Therapy in Great Falls and at the Choteau Hospital. She returned to school again to earn a BS in Biology and taught in the Occupational Therapy program for the Great Falls College of Technology.

Barb remained the matriarchal cornerstone of her large family, being the glue that pulled it all together. Her four children and 12 grandchildren survive her; Shawn (Duff) Sweeney (Megan and Ryan), Maury (Bruce) Wiegand (Jackie, Tanner, Brady, Kenenni, and Hanni), Kelly (Tracy) Holbrook (Willis, Caitlyn, Kellcy, Mariah, and Kyler), and Brock (Celine) Holbrook, as well as 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by brothers John Robert (Bob) Bowlin, Jerry (Buzz) Bowlin, and granddaughter Heather Haagenson. Many knew her as Grandma Barb, but her absence will also be felt by nieces and nephews, friends, and colleagues who will cherish memories of her unwavering determination and her limitless wellspring of inspiration and support.

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.