Donald R. Holt

April 30, 1932 ~ March 9, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Donald Holt Obituary

Donald Rumsey Holt, Jr, age 91, died peacefully on March 9, 2024, at Bethel Oaks Memory Care in Viroqua, WI.  Don was born April 30, 1932, to Donald and Elizabeth (Dorsey) Holt of Oconto, WI.  He married Constance Ann Wall (Columbus, OH) on Aug 28, 1955, and raised two daughters with her, Kim Elizabeth (Holt) Chotzen (Daniel) of Viroqua and Sharon Ann Holt (Michael Zuckerman) of Trenton, NJ.  In his 60s, Don built a committed partnership with Kay VanderVort of Minnetonka, MN

The center of Don’s life was his liberal, progressive Christian faith.  Raised Presbyterian, he earned an Eagle Scout badge, completed his education at Williams College (MA) and served as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.  He was ordained a minister after further study at San Francisco Theological Seminary.  In and out of active ministry, Don also earned a master’s degree in social sciences from Syracuse University and a doctorate of ministry from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School. At mid-life, he followed a calling to serve the poor into the Roman Catholic church, giving up his ordination and serving as a lay worker with the Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis and a long-time member and frequent homilist at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic church in Minneapolis.

Don also loved life as a woodsman and taught his daughters, nephews, and their friends the joys of canoeing on northern Wisconsin’s Archibald Lake, where the family summered his entire life. He was also a craftsman, building furniture throughout his life and passing those skills and passions along as well. 

He published two books reflecting his spiritual journey.  Praying with Katie: God, my cat, and me in 2001 and Approaching the Finish Line: Spiritualities of Old-Aging, Dying, Death, and Beyond in 2019.

He is survived by his loving partner, Kay VanderVort of Edina, MN, his two daughters, four grandchildren, a brother, William Arthur Holt II, of Hinsdale, IL and loving nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his former wife, Connie W. H. Claypool (Grand Rapids, MN), and his brother, Dorsey Woodward Holt of Tacoma, WA. 

Memorial services will be held later this spring and burial will be private.  Gifts in Don’s memory may be made to St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church (1500 Franklin Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414) or the Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis (1615 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411).


Roth Family Cremation Center and Funeral Services is assisting the family.




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