3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Sunday, January 20, 2019 at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson
10:00 a.m on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Faith Community Church in Hudson.
Rev. Verle Everett Holsteen was welcomed home by His Heavenly Father on January 7, 2019.
Verle was born December 22, 1927, in Burlington, IA, to Edward G. and Lulu (Coppes) Holsteen — the fifth of their eight children. Verle grew up on the family farm near Yarmouth, IA, and loved to recall his family’s shared work and play. Verle graduated in 1945 from Yarmouth High School having played on the varsity baseball and basketball teams. After working on his parents’ farm for a year at the close of World War II, he attended Moody Bible Institute, where his gift of music became an integral part of his ministry, such as through a vocal and instrumental quartet known as “The Four Bobs.”
After graduating from Moody in August 1950, having completed Moody’s pastors’ course, Verle pursued a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history at Wheaton College. During his studies there, he found time to offer his clear, soaring tenor voice as part of the Wheaton Men’s Glee Club, and served as the president of the Glee Club during his senior year. He also devoted time to playing intramural basketball, and to getting acquainted with a young student nurse at West Suburban Hospital named Patti Camp, who caught his eye with her beautiful smile and musical talents to match his own.
Upon graduating from Wheaton in 1953, he taught history at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, a small private school in Rabun Gap, Georgia, before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He was shipped briefly to Korea as the war there ended and was subsequently stationed in Japan until shortly before his honorable discharge in the summer of 1955.
Upon his discharge, he married Patti Camp on August 21, 1955, in a ceremony that included a duet by the bride and groom of the hymn “Follow, I Will Follow.” Their 63-year marriage was marked by enduring, deep friendship, partnership, faithfulness, care, and love for each other and those God placed in their lives.
After teaching junior high school history in New York for a year, serving as a youth pastor in Baltimore, Maryland, and working in his father-in-law’s meat packing plant in Cortland, NY, Verle followed his calling to full-time ministry. He graduated from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1961, later doing post-graduate work and receiving a Masters of Divinity from Creighton University in 1978. He faithfully served as pastor of American Baptist Churches in Cobleskill, N.Y. (1961-1964), Fairlawn, N.J. (1964-1965), North Platte, NE (1965-1971), and First Baptist, Omaha, NE (1971-1985).
Verle demonstrated his conviction that the body of Christ is intended to reach out to the broader community and world through initiatives to open the churches he pastored to the community. In partnership with his Patti, members of the First Baptist Church of North Platte, and community members, Verle was instrumental in establishing First Baptist Day Care Center, now known as North Platte Kidz Academy. Verle participated in community service through membership in Rotary International for many years and served on the Board of Central Baptist Seminary. Verle and Patti later became direct distributors for Amway, through which they met and mentored numerous friends, expanded their opportunities for generous giving, and traveled extensively into their 70’s.
In addition to sharing his faith in Christ with his children and grandchildren, he passed along to them his love for music and encouraged them in developing their musical gifts. He also shared his love of sports with his family, including Saturday afternoons spent listening to games on the Nebraska Cornhusker football games on the radio, annual attendance at the College World Series with family and friends in general admission, and weekly quizzes of his son-in-law about the progress of the Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, and KU Jayhawks. Verle loved to travel, and from the fields of Iowa, he adventured far. In addition to his military service in Japan, he spent three weeks in Norway as a guest pastor in several local churches, visited his son, Steve, and Steve’s family in Europe, and was able to journey to much of the U.S. While traveling, he was willing to try new adventures like white water rafting and parasailing and loved hitting the road to see scattered family and performances of grandchildren. Verle and Patti celebrated their 45th anniversary by arranging for a lovely and memorable trip for their entire family to Hawaii.
Verle has given to his family and friends and neighbors a lasting legacy through his faith in Christ; the loving, encouraging relationships and friendships he formed wherever he lived; his consistently positive outlook; his humble gratitude; his generosity; his curiosity, keen mind, and love of learning; and his playful sense of humor. His example of faithfulness and loyal love for Patti and his family and his encouraging ways were noted by many, including those he came to know in the Hudson, WIsconsin, Christian Community Home over the last seven years.
Rev. Holsteen was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Faith Totemeier (Dale), Verdaine Holsteen, Melbourne Holsteen (Miriam Holsteen and Valerie Holsteen), Darrell Holsteen, Donnaline Street, Marveline Bailey (Lloyd Bailey), and Dalton (Lita) Holsteen.
Verle is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia (Patti); daughter Faith (Mark) Loretto, and sons Stephen (Jane) Holsteen and David (Kerrin) Holsteen; grandchildren Ben (Anna) Holsteen, Sarah Jane Holsteen, Michael Loretto (Sarah Williams), Adam (Beth) Loretto, Jake Holsteen, and Kate (Justin) Layden; and great-grandchildren Esther Holsteen, Jude Holsteen, Amelia Loretto, and Eleanor Loretto, as well as sister-in-laws Bernita Holsteen, Muriel Holsteen, Joyce Camp, Lucy Lindholm, and brothers-in-law Harold Street, David Camp, and Don Lindholm.
Visitation will be held at O’Connell Family Funeral Home on Sunday, January 20, from 3pm-5pm, and at Faith Community Church one hour prior to the service. A worship service and celebration of Verle’s life will be held at 10 am, Monday, January 21, at Faith Community Church in Hudson, WI, with lunch to follow. Internment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Christian Community Homes and Services Foundation or to Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.