Colonel Ralph J. Holterman
US Army Retired Colonel Ralph James Holterman, 87, of Fond
du Lac, WI passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday March 21,
Ralph was born on October 12, 1929 in Fond du Lac to Robert
and Luella (Clapham) Holterman. He grew up on a farm in the village of
Taycheedah where he participated in 4H. He attended Liberty School in
Taycheedah (a one room county school), Roosevelt Junior High and he graduated
from Fond du Lac High School in 1947. He earned a Bachelors Degree at the
University of Nebraska in Omaha in 1970 under the U. S. Army “Bootstrap
Ralph met Kathleen Corcoran while they both worked at
Gilmore Motorcycle Parcel Delivery in 1949. They were married on June 18, 1950.
Kathleen was a great supporter of all his activities. Besides his wife Kathleen, he is survived by
6 children: daughter; Pam George of University Place, WA, son; Thomas Holterman
of St. Francis, WI, daughters; Linda (Duane) Opperman of Liberty Hill, TX,
Sandra (Thomas) Lenchanko of Wahiawa, HI, Evelyn (Brett) White of Valley Spring,
TX and son; Mark (Debbie) Holterman of Chickasha, OK, 13 grandchildren, 20
great grandchildren, his sister-in-law, Mary (William) Stephany , their
children, Keith(Joanne) Stephany, Kay (David) Rice and John (Leslie) Stephany
of Fond du Lac with whom he enjoyed a close relationship. Also, many other
nieces and nephews. He was proud of his
children and their accomplishments. The
family had many good times in their travels.
His love of country lead him to enlist in the Wisconsin
National Guard in 1948. Ralph was selected to and graduated with the first
class of the Wisconsin State Patrol. He served as a State Patrolman until
October 1961 at which time he was ordered to active duty as a Company Commander
in the Wisconsin National Guard in support of the Berlin Crisis.
Military assignments include: Wisconsin National Guard (PVT
to CPT) 1948-1961. Infantry Company Commander, 32nd Infantry
Division and 4 ID, Fort Lewis, WA, 1961-1963. S3. 1st Battle Group,
22nd Infantry and 4 ID, Fort Lewis WA, 1963. Company Commander/Post
Commander, USARAL Spt, Alaska, 1963-1966. Team Chief, Machine Gun
Team/Instructor Weapons Department, The Infantry School, Fort Benning GA,
1966-1967. District Senior Advisor, MACV, Republic of Vietnam, 1967-1968. Post
S2/3, Fort McCoy, WI, 1968-1969. Division G3 Advisor/Regimental Senior Advisor,
21st ARVN Division, MACV, Republic of Vietnam, 1970-1971. STOP
Operations Officer, Battle Staff 1, CINCPAC Airborne Command Post, Hawaii, 1971-1975,
high point. He provided airborne command support for President Nixon’s trip to
China. Nuclear Weapons Employment Officer/OCI Corps Operations Center, III
Corps G3, Fort Hood, TX 1975-1978. Deputy Operations and Plans Officer, HQ
TCATA, Fort Hood, TX 1978-1981.
Military Decorations include: Bronze Star Medal w/V Device
and 2 Oak Lead Clusters’ Meritorious Service Medal; Air Medal w/V Device and
Numerals 8; Army Commendation Medal; Combat Infantry Badge; Purple Heart;
National Defense Service Medal; Expert Infantryman Badge; Vietnam Service Medal
w/1 Silver Service Star; Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ 2 10 year devices;
Aircraft Crewman Badge; Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal; Vietnamese Cross of
Gallantry w/Palm; Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal, First Class;
Republic of Vietnam Staff Service Medal, First Class; Vietnamese Cross of
Gallantry w/Silver Star.
Organizations Ralph was involved in include: Knights of
Columbus, Councils 6658 and 664. Past Grand Knight, Former District Deputy,
Texas State Recruiting Chair in Father Zefus 4th Depress Assembly
1211, active participant in Boys Scouts of America for 40 years, American
Legion Post 75, VFW Post 1904, DAV chapter 14, FDL Red Arrow Club, 127th
Infantry and 32nd Veteran Association and Galloway House volunteer.
Ralph converted to Catholicism in 1958 saying it was “one of the best things I
ever did.” He, Kathleen and their family enjoyed the cabin “Upnorth” on Lake
Van Zile, Newald for over 50 years along with Packer games, casino trips,
hunting, fishing, golf and researching family history. Ralph enjoyed his weekly visits to the
Backyard Bar and Grill where he preferred sitting in the Garage area.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Luella
Holterman, his mother and father-in-law James and Irene Corcoran, his brother
Nate, his sisters Grace and Dorothy, and his nephews Jim Holterman, David
Snider and Donald Snider.
Visitation: Ralph’s family will greet relatives and friends
at Zacherl Funeral Home, 875 E. Division St., Fond du Lac on Friday, March 24,
2017 from 2:00 to 3:15 PM.
Service: A funeral service will be celebrated after
visitation, at the funeral home on Friday, March 24, 2017 at 3:30 PM. Burial
with full military honors will follow at St. Charles Cemetery, in the town of
In lieu of flowers, it is preferred donations should be made
to one of the following: the Galloway House, the Knights of Columbus or the
Historical Society of Fond du Lac.
Zacherl Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family.
The family would like to thank all EMS, Emergency Room &
ICU staff members who provided care for our beloved Ralph.