David House is blind, but he wants everyone in Missoula to see how much he loves his late wife every time they go out for a drive.
David met his wife, Theresa, in grade school. She was his younger sister’s best friend. The two were married for 34 years, until a late-stage cancer diagnosis on September 11, 2017 changed everything.
Theresa passed away nine months later. David said she was a beloved member of the Missoula community, and he wanted to remember her in a special, visible way. He decided to get billboards positioned around Missoula with her picture and a note saying how much her family misses her.
“I felt that she was so well loved in this community,” David said. “It was a way to honor her memory, and, you know, for people to be reminded of her even though she’s passed away.”
Theresa was a popular bus driver for Mountain Line in Missoula. David remembers all kinds of stories from her routes, like the day a passenger sang her a love song and played his guitar for her. David says she drove her bus and served her passengers until her body began to fail her.
“She treated each person as if they were…as if she was their personal chauffeur,” David said. “She gave them dignity and respect and just made them feel special.”
Theresa’s billboard is scheduled to appear in six different Missoula locations over the next year. Each billboard will be positioned along a Mountain Line bus route. David hopes the billboards will help keep Theresa’s memory alive in the Missoula community, and says she’s still part of his daily life.
“I still get flooded with memories every day of her,” David said.