RAPID RIVER - John B. Holtslander, 65, of Rapid River, passed away Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, at Marquette General Hospital, Marquette.
He was born on July 13, 1947, in Crystal Falls, son of Ellen Cornelia, and was adopted by his aunt and uncle, Albert & Hattie (Cornelia) Holtslander. John was raised in Amasa and then Crystal Falls. He graduated from Crystal Falls High School in 1965, and completed an engineer aide-surveyor training course at Michigan Technological University in 1966.
John joined the U.S. Navy in July of 1966 and served in the Vietnam conflict as an electronics technician aboard the USS Buck. He achieved the rank of petty officer second class before his honorable discharge in April of 1971. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
John was employed as a senior mechanic by Great Lakes Gas Transmission Company in Rapid River for 34 years, retiring in September of 2005.
On March 11, 1972, he married Martha (Cindy) Swanson at the Grace Presbyterian Church in Sagola. They made their home in Rapid River where they raised their two children. John and Cindy celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in March.
John was a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe Indians located in Hayward, Wis. John was a member of the Rapid River Congregational Church. He was a Life Member of the Tufts-Rondon VFW Post 2891 in Crystal Falls.
His interests included music, photography, woodworking, and being outdoors. John attended many high school sporting events and was an avid Northern Michigan University sports fan.
John is survived by his wife, Cindy; son, Nathan Holtslander (Ashley Krause) of Appleton; daughter, Tara (Gary) Figi of Farmington Hills, Mich.; sisters, Betty Johnson of Peoria, Ariz., and Helen (Alton) Beck of Crystal Falls; special friend Ethelyn (Bobbie) Puglia of Jackson, Mich.; sister-in-law, Yvonne (Will) Schultz of Channing; brother-in-law, Dan (Barb) Casper of Clintonville, Wis.; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Exzilda Altman; brothers-in-law, Frank Johnson, Sr., Aaron Swanson; niece and nephew, Sue and Don Stoor; and special friend, Sam Puglia.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until noon on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, at the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home in Crystal Falls. A memorial service will be held at noon at the funeral home. Revs. Dan Casper and Larry Balleine will officiate. The East Side Veterans Council will conduct a Pass-In-Review Ceremony Friday at 11:45 a.m. at the funeral Home. Inurnment will be in the Sagola Township Cemetery in Channing.
You may light a candle in remembrance of John, or leave a condolence for his family online at JacobsFuneralHomes.com
The family has chosen the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home, Crystal Falls, to honor John's legacy of life.