Jan 12th 1925 - Feb 18th 2012
As the friends and family of Arthur Holter can attest, he was a shinning example of what it means to achieve greatness through hard work and determination to succeed. He was a man of great character and sound principles who wholeheartedly applied himself to whatever task lay before him. With the love of his life by his side for more than 61 years, Art played a role in raising the children who were his greatest source of pride and joy. He possessed an unwavering faith that guided his steps and instilled within him a servant’s heart that touched the lives of so many within his reach. Art will be deeply missed while his legacy lives on in the many generations who follow him.
Nestled within the vibrant decade of the Roaring Twenties was the year 1925 that brought great joy to one family from Glasgow, Montana, as they were pleased to announce the birth of a healthy baby boy on January 12th. Baby Arthur John was one of five children born to his parents, John and Karen Holter, who both emigrated from Norway in the early 1900s and homesteaded on land in Valley County in northeastern Montana. As a result Art and his siblings spoke Norwegian during their younger years, but once he entered school he learned English. This allowed Art to listen to his
parents in Norwegian and respond to them in English.
In many ways Art’s upbringing was reflective of his generation. Being raised in the Hi-Line of northern Montana during the Great Depression of the thirties greatly shaped the man he became. Art began working at an early age, which instilled in him a lifelong value for hard work. He graduated from Glasgow High School in 1943 and soon enlisted in the Navy for the remainder of WWII. During his time in the service Art trained both as a pilot and as a naval aviation machinist, serving in the Philippine Islands during the war. When reflecting on his time in the military Art often said that being in the service opened his eyes to the world beyond Glasgow and Valley County.
After he was discharged Art felt that his options for the future would be limited without a college education so he returned to Montana and enrolled in college under the GI Bill. This proved to be a fateful move as it was while a student at Northern Montana College in Havre that he met the woman with whom he would share a lifetime of love. Her name was Frances Helen Schultz, and Art was quickly smitten. He drove many miles just to court her, sometimes during bad weather, to get to her father’s ranch and then back up to the north to the one-room schoolhouse near Genevieve, Montana, where Frances was teaching. After falling deeply in love Art married his sweetheart on December 23, 1950.
As newlyweds the couple moved to Missoula where they lived in married student housing while Art completed his education. They managed to get by on $95 a month from the GI Bill in addition to any money Art could earn in his spare time. One such job was topping trees, which meant using the tops for Christmas trees while the rest was sold for lumber. Earning only 10¢ per tree, Art and his friend worked hard on a good Saturday to cut 200 trees, splitting their $20 earnings. It comes as no surprise to those who knew Art that coffee was a necessary staple in Art’s home even then, and to make it stretch farther he and Frances reused their coffee grinds each day, adding only a teaspoon of fresh grounds each time.
Art graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in business administration in 1952. With his college education behind him he joined the J.I. Case Company. During the following summer Art was sent to Racine, Wisconsin, for training school. After completing their intensive training school he was sent to work in Gillette, Wyoming, and then transferred to the branch in Billings, Montana, in 1954. He worked his way up there and as a district manager for Case he travelled extensively throughout Montana, North and South Dakota, and Wyoming. In 1967, he accepted a transfer to Case headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, where he worked as a parts analyst until his retirement in 1984.
While he was busy establishing his career Art and Frances were blessed with the births of four children, Al, Marilyn, Helen, and Jennifer. They were the light of Art’s life, and he looked forward to spending time with them whenever he was able.
Throughout his life Art was one to keep busy. Once in Racine he was an active member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection for 45 years where he served as a trustee, head usher, and tending to the lawns and landscape of the church property for countless hours. As an avid gardener Art could often be found outside, and he especially enjoyed growing tomatoes and other vegetables. The bounty of his garden was plentiful and something Art enjoyed sharing with many friends and neighbors. He loved old cars and spent several years locating and restoring his 1936 Ford from high school. He was also a proud member of the Willie L. Nelson American Legion Post 45 in Hinsdale, Montana.
In so many ways the life of Arthur Holter inspires us to love deeply, give generously, and work diligently. Although he achieved so much of which to be proud he was a humble man who used his successes to enrich the lives of numerous others. Art remained true to the principles of the faith that was engraved upon his heart, demonstrating what it means to be a man of God. Life will never be the same without him here, but Art’s memory will remain near and dear to the hearts and lives of those he leaves behind.
Arthur John Holter died Saturday, February 18th, 2012 in Racine, Wisconsin. Art’s family includes his wife, Frances; children, Al Holter (Nancy Turner) of Los Angeles, California, Marilyn (Dale) Johnson of Spokane, Washington, Helen Holter of Seattle, Washington, and Jennifer Holter of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; four grandchildren, Steven R. Johnson, Joseph K. Johnson, Emma Holter, and Evan Holter; brother, Cap Holter of Glasgow, Montana; sister, Karen Shay of Bremerton, Washington; close family friend, Kim Hitzemann; sisters-in-law, Margie (Bob) Stefczak of Chetek, Wisconsin, and Joan Melby of Hinsdale, Montana, brother-in-law, Bill Schultz, also of Hinsdale; and numerous nieces and nephews. Art was preceded in death by his infant son, Gary; his parents; and sisters, Elsie Kesler and Bertha Vukasin. Funeral services will be held at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 322 Ohio St., Friday, February 24, 2012, 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Dr. Melvin A. Miritz officiating. Relatives and friends may meet Friday at the Church 10:00 a.m. until time of service. Private interment will be held at Hillview Cemetery, Hinsdale, MT. Memorials to Lutheran Church of the Resurrection Garden have been suggested. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory. Arrangements provided by MARESH-MEREDITH & ACKLAM FUNERAL HOME, 803 MAIN ST, (262) 634-7888.