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Ottis Duane Holwegner passed away in his home in the Dalles, Oregon on February 7th, 2022. Ottis (Odie) was born on September 6th, 1934 and was 87 years old at the time of his passing.
Ottis was born in Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Yakima, Washington to Fred and Luella (Adolf) Holwegner. He grew up in the Yakima Valley where he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and riding horses with his family and friends. Ottis (Odie) enjoyed being a member of FFA (Future Farmers of America) while attending Wapato High School. He was a master showman of the beautiful steers he had raised. He Loved his high school years with all of his friends.
Ottis Married Sylvia Louise Peterson on January 23rd, 1954. They had four Children; Dennis, David, Jan, as well as Michael, who died only hours after his birth. The Family settled in Carson, Washington where he gardened and raised a variety of farm animals, and his young children.
Ottis held a variety of jobs, from working in an ice plant on the Klickitat River to driving a log truck for Rudy Hegewald, Ottis bought and drove his own logging truck before starting HSC Logging Inc with Ron Calkins and his brother-in-law Gerald Stump. Odie found his passion working in the woods. He loved getting up very early to prepare for the busy day ahead. Being alone in the mornings with his thermos of coffee, breathing in the clean, woodsy air was the highlight of each day. He looked over timber sales with professionals Bud Elmer and Don Shalhope. Bud and his wife Sharon became very close friends throughout the rest of his life.
Bud, Dad and his brother Rollie became business entrepreneurs as well. They owned land in Chetwynd, British Columbia. They had many good times and worked hard. Don would come to cook for the men, and their sons went up when it was time to log the land. There were countless adventures, such as Odie's son David being stalked and run down by a huge mama bear protecting her cubs. It was a close call. Others ran into bears as well. They saw all kinds of wildlife, which was awe inspiring. There were many accidents while on the road, usually when returning home. There were bad beds, and bad food while on the road. It was fun for Dad, Bud and Rollie for a very long time.
He loved gardening and he liked to brag that he “grew the best corn in Carson.” He generously shared the fruits of his labor with family, friends, and the community. He was very proud of his gardens. When asked if he had to choose what he did for a living besides logging he always choose farming. Odie helped his dad and brother at an early age with chores. He loved it. He was on the tractors at 8 years old. He idolized his brother Gerry, whom he said, “could do anything, whatever he set his mind to.” Gerry was very generous. Odie learned honesty, hard work, generosity, and most of all love from Gerry.
At this time, Odie’s brothers, Don and Rollie were serving in World War II. Don made it all the way through the war. Rollie was shot down twice while serving. They both faced many hardships. Odie’s sister Donna was an army nurse. Their mother wrote letters to them every day during the war. They also wrote between the two brothers and sister.
Odie’s other sister Evelyn (Evie) was a spit-fire. Evie was fun and so kind to Odie’s wife Sylvia especially preparing for their wedding day. Evie was loved so much. Odie’s family loved to go to Everett, Washington to visit them.
Odie’s Sister Gaynelle was very special to him as she was his only younger sister. Gaynelle and Odie were very close and Odie always acted as her protector. They were inseparable as children. Odie got into a lot of trouble while Gaynelle cheered him on. Odie’s dad always caught him in the act, and he suffered through consequences. They relived those times and memories many times throughout the years with love.
Odie loved his six brothers and sisters as well as his parents. His mother Luella was “the best mother” and “a saint”. His family was a very close-knit.
Odie was a proud man. He was also a good person, and passionate to the end. He was stern a times and loved being right. He adored his grandchildren, adult nieces and nephews, and his grand nieces and grandnephews just the same. He loved kids. One grandniece changed his name to “Uncle Nickel,” as he loved to give them money for candy and treats, just as his brother Gerry did for him and his little sister. Odie gave more than a nickel but the nickname stuck. Previously uncle Don passed on the tradition and had two cabinets filled with candy that the kids loved.
Uncle Don was a wonderful uncle. His beautiful blue eyes twinkled as he opened his kitchen cabinets for his nieces and nephews so they could pick out their candy treats. Odie had great love and respect for his older brother.
Ottis was preceded in death by his wife Sylvia. He is survived by his three children; Dennis (Paula) Holwegner of Stevenson, Washington; David Holwegner of Riverton, Wyoming; and Jan Holwegner of the Dalles, Oregon. Grandchildren, Suzanne, Nicholas, and Erin. As well as his younger sister Gaynelle and her husband Gerld Stump of Carson, Washington; and sister-in-law Betty Holwegner of Yakama, Washington. He also had many nieces and nephews he was close to, and their children.
A Memorial service will be held for Ottis on April, 23rd, 2022 at 1:00 P.M. at Faith Lutheran Church (2810 West 10th Street, The Dalles, Oregon 97058)
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Ottis here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.