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James Harlan Holtan

NOVEMBER 15, 1929 – NOVEMBER 7, 2017
James Harlan Holtan, 87, of Clara City, Minn., formerly of Montevideo, died Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at Clara City Care Center. 

Visitation will be from 10 – 11 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m., Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in DeGraff.  Interment will be in St. Bridget’s Catholic Church Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Zniewski Funeral Home of Benson.
James “Jim” Harlan Holtan was born on November 15, 1929, in Madison, MN, to OH Holtan and Thelma (Thompson) Holtan, and was the oldest of 6 children. Jim grew up in Benson, MN, and attended Benson Schools where he exceled in basketball and held basketball records for many years.  He graduated in 1949 and attended Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter, MN, and the University of MN in Minneapolis.  Jim married Fran Dean on September 6, 1958, at St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in DeGraff, MN.  He was confirmed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Montevideo.
Jim managed the Benson Dairy Queen and also managed a petroleum company in Rochester, MN, and was a regional manager for the Star & Tribune.  He served in the Army in the Korean Conflict and was a proud member of the VFW.  At the age of 34 he returned to college at St. Cloud State University where he received his business degree.  As a vocational business teacher, he taught business subjects at the high school level and was innovative in setting up programs with communities by placing students in local businesses to give them experience with on the job training.  He taught in Hopkins, New Prague, Paynesville, and Montevideo.  While Vocational Director in New Prague, he organized a consortium of 6 school districts that provided students the opportunity to gain work experience.
While attending college, Jim qualified for his private pilot’s license.  He was an avid golfer for many years and enjoyed playing bridge and chess.  He was a life member of the National Education Association, American Vocational Association since 1967, VFW since 1952, American Legion since 1990, and Disabled American Veterans.  Jim and Fran enjoyed feeding and watching the birds who visited their bird feeders during winter.
Jim passed away on November 7, 2017 at Clara City Care Center.  He attained the age of 87 years, 11 months and 22 days.
Jim is survived by his wife, Fran of 59 years; his siblings, Lorraine Carpenter of Carleton, MN, and Ron (Kathy) Holtan of Benson; and many nieces and nephews.  He is also survived by many retired teachers and friends in Montevideo and special friend and neighbor, Melody Winter.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother; sisters, Jean Arne and Diane Kjellberg; and brother, Bob Holtan.
Please sign the guest book at:  www.zniewskifuneralhome.com

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