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HomeFeaturesHunter's Story (In the Words of His Mom and Dad)

Hunter’s Story (In the Words of His Mom and Dad)

Team Arctic's Hunter Houle.

Hunter Houle.

At the Wednesday funeral service for his son Hunter, Steve Houle shared with a packed church his family’s thoughts and story about Hunter’s life:


For those who didn’t get the chance to know him, Charlene and I would like to share some thoughts on Hunter…what he was like.

Hunter started wearing a race helmet at the age of 2. He insisted that he wear it to bed at night and we would have to wait until he fell asleep to take it off.

He wanted to wear his helmet everywhere. We remember a time Charlene went through the bank drive-thru and the teller noticed Hunter in his car seat with his helmet on. I think her comment something like, “I’m all for child safety in a vehicle, but isn’t that going a little too far?” I’m sure she thought Char must have been a terrible driver.

He loved to ride his 120 and do race commentary at the same time. He was always pretending that he was racing against Blair Morgan, Chris Vincent or Tucker Hibbert. We could hear him yelling over the sound of his machine as he made many last lap passes for the win.

When Hunter was 3-years old we brought home a new cat and he got to pick out his name. The cat is still with us today and his name is Tucker.

As Hunter grew older, everything in his life became centered around racing. It was what he loved to do more than anything.

I tried to get him more interested in our farming operation, but if we stood shoulder-to-shoulder overlooking an empty field, I would see a good place to plant crops and he would see a great place to build a racetrack.

At the age of 8 or 9 he began working on us hard to let him start racing snowmobiles. We held him back for a long time, mainly because we just hadn’t had much snow for many years and he didn’t get to do much riding.

At the age of 13 we finally turned him loose and it didn’t take long for him to make his mark.

We’ll never forget his first race: He was so excited that he flipped his sled over right in front of everyone on the parade lap. And then on the starting line he bumped his kill switch just as the green flag dropped. Everyone took off except for him, but he got it going and was able to pass all but one sled and finish in second place.

In the next 4 years of racing he won almost 20 races, and he won 4 season points championships. In 2015 he was voted Driver of the Year.

Hunter was the best kid a parent could ask for. No drinking or smoking, and no parties. He loved kids and kids loved him.

When the grandkids came over, they would usually fly right past us, looking for Hunter and Lucas (and Amber when she was there) to play with.

He was kind and caring and a great role model for his younger brother, but he was also as tough as nails. As a child, we worried about him because he would never cry. Cuts, scrapes, bumps, bruises and broken bones…he had them all. He would say, “I think I’ll go to my room for awhile,” and he would tough it out.

We are so thankful that we were able to hold Hunter in our arms just moments after he was born.

We are thankful for the 18 short years that we were able to spend with him.

And we are thankful that Jeremy and I were able to hold him while the caregivers did everything that they could to save him as he slipped away.

We will continue to be strong in our faith, knowing that we will be with him again some day. But for now he will be missed more than any words can describe.

It helps us to remember that Hunter beat all of us in the most important race there is: the race to Heaven. For most of us it’s a marathon. For hunter it was just a sprint. I know he his happy there.

Charlene and I would like to thank all of our friends and family, and the racing community for their tremendous support. Everyone is asking what they can do to help us through this tough time.

What we would like you to do is hug your children and let them know how much you love them.

Thank you, from our family.



  1. If you haven’t, read ” the shack” book, you will take great comfort where he is now. Also there will be the movie out next month on the shack. Prayers for your family.

  2. Our deepest sympathy Charlene and Steve. We went through this horrible pathway in life ourselves almost 3 yrs ago. All of the words you said about being together again is oh so true, it is the only way I get through most days. Stay strong for the others but always remember all of the good, fun days. Take care.
    Larry and Kathi

  3. I didn’t know Hunter but I raced against Steve his father back in the 80’s, and from the little I know of Hunter it sounds like he was a fierce competitor and a great person off the track as his dad was!! So sorry for your loss.

  4. Great story!! I’ve known the Houle’s my whole life. I never met Hunter but he sounds like a typical Houle! God speed Hunter

  5. What a beautiful story. As a mom I cannot stop crying after reading this. I did not know Hunter but he was definitely a special son. From one race team to another our thoughts and prayers are with you and rest peacefully Hunter. ??

  6. The Houle family are great people, this is a terrible loss. Hunter is not with us here on earth but will never be forgotten. Time will help the family get through this pain. I am grateful that Steve shared this information about Hunter and couldn’t of finished it better. We should all be thankful everyday for our lives, children and friends. My prayers are with family at this tragic time.

  7. Puts life and racing in perspective. We all lead such busy lives we sometimes forget what is truly important, until we know longer have it.

  8. Thank you for sharing your life with Hunter, both Donna and I were raised on dairy farms, we talk about all the time we got to spend with our family, I can not help to wonder because of farm life we really get a lot more time to grow up with our children, Our prayers and thoughts are with you all. AMEN

  9. With our deepest sympathy as you join this most dreaded club of which we never wanted to join. Our boys were definitely in the sprint of life and Heaven’s gates were opened for both of them. We will all meet up again for this is what keeps us going and able to handle this loss. Tom and I will keep you in our prayers and hearts always and know that Jeff was probably right there to welcome Hunter into Paradise. God Bless you and your family and grant you peace and healing as you travel through the valley of grief.

  10. Sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to your whole family. No words can fill the hole left in your hearts, but wishes for some peace for you all.

    And thank you John for sharing.

  11. What a fabulous tribute yo hour son. As a parent I cannot imagine what you are going through, but knowing that God is in your lives, and his, he will surely see you through this. By you doing this, it has to help. It helped me! I did hug all my kids, and do it everytime I see them. Thank you for this, and God Bless!m

  12. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, and extend our deepest sympathy at this immeasurable loss. Warmest Aloha from Hawaii, today and always.

  13. I know you will be with him as our lives seem to bring our angels home, and we reunite in heaven.
    Prayers for peace to everyone.
    Todd Behr

  14. So sorry for your loss, the entire Houle family have been in in our prayers ? I am sure Larry is with him, riding..

  15. What a beautiful testimony of a beautiful life lived by your son, Hunter! You have an amazing love and faith in Our Lord Jesus and I thank you for sharing this with the world. I can tell by your words that Hunter was blessed and so loved by many and was a blessing and gave love to many.

    In His Love,

    Tina Turpin

    (My son went through Basic Training with Aaron Otheim and I met Wendy through the WingMoms Facebook Group–this is how I came to know your story and pray for you)

  16. So very well said. God Bless and comfort you as you deal with the lose of Your Precious Son. Hunter is now racing in the Heaven!

  17. May Hunter rest in peace. My families thoughts and prayers are with yours. Thank you for sharing. Until we all brrrraaaapppp again!

  18. Thoughts and Prayers to you and your family Steve & Charlene.
    It’s always grad to loose a loved one, but losing a child is the worst. Stay strong. Pretty sure he and CJ will have lots of stories to share.

  19. Steve, I am so sorry for the loss of your & Charlene’s son. He sounded like a wonderful young man. Prayers to you and all your families.

  20. Well said Steve, the faith that you and Charlene have will keep you strong as you grieve. This fine young man is in good hands now, he will be missed….God bless your family.



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