The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 25, 2012

John Holsen


—  John Holsen, 94, passed away on October 24, 2012, at Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community, Sioux Falls, SD.   

 John Ingval Holsen was born October 15, 1918, in Moorhead, Minnesota.  He was a 1936 graduate of Moorhead High School, earned a BA degree in 1940 from Concordia College in Moorhead, and a Masters Degree in 1954 from the University of Minnesota.  He was drafted into the US Army in June 1941 and served as a Captain in the infantry in WW II. He served in New Guinea, East Indies, Philippines and Japan.  

  He married Shirley Bergren of Fargo, ND, on December 21, 1946.  John was a teacher and principal in Winnebago, Minnesota, from 1947 to 1955.  He was recalled into the Army during the Korean War 1951-52.  John was Senior High Principal in Luverne, Minnesota, from 1955 to 1970, and was instrumental in establishing the Southwest Athletic Conference.  He served as its first secretary and two terms as president.  He was principal of North Mankato Junior High School, and Mankato West Junior High School from 1970 until his retirement in June 1983.

 His wife Shirley died in April 1983. He married Joan Topp of Mankato on May 5, 1985.  He remained active his entire life reading, walking, swimming, and golf.  He loved to play cards with friends and family, and following his beloved Twins and Vikings.  We will remember him for his great faith, integrity, kindness and generosity, and the love he had for his family.  

 He is survived by his wife, Joan Topp Holsen of Mankato, his twin daughters Pamela Holsen, Sioux Falls, Jennifer Holsen, Sioux Falls, his sons, John F. Holsen, Mankato, and Reid (Jeanne) Holsen, Sioux Falls, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, Step-children, Ray (Rita) Topp of Sedona, AZ, Norma (Alec) Klidzejs, Little Canada, MN, Marvin (Sue) Topp Eagle Lake, MN, and nieces and nephews.

  He was preceded in death by his parents, Rasmus and Magnild (Anderson) Holsen, his first wife, Shirley Bergren Holsen, and brothers, Roland Holsen and Oscar Holsen.  

  Funeral Services will begin at 11 a.m. on October 29 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls SD.  Family will be present to greet friends on October 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. at George Boom Funeral Home in Sioux Falls.  Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be directed to Luverne Dollars for Scholars.

  Private family burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis. A complete obituary at

www.georgeboom.com.