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In Memory of Barbara Holt

Live Stream of Private Memorial Service

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday October 25, 2020
Live Stream

Barbara Holt (née Nelson) lost her courageous battle with terminal cancer on October 1, 2020, at the age of 75. She was born in Florida, while her father was stationed at Camp Blanding during WWII. Barb was the second of four siblings and spent her childhood in South Minneapolis, graduating from Washburn High School in 1962. She attended St. Olaf College and transferred to the University of Minnesota where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 1967. Barb excelled at working with physically disabled children. Upon graduation, she was offered a position at the U of M Rehabilitation Department and became a pediatric supervisor at the U of M Children’s Rehab Center in Occupational Therapy. Barb later held a double appointment (half academic and half clinical) at the U of M Medical School and the School of Occupational Therapy. She also served a two-year term as president of the Minnesota Occupational Therapy Association. Some of her patients and co-workers continued to stay in contact with her for decades.

In 1974, Barb married the love of her life, David Holt, at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. They were blessed with three children and resided in Hudson, Wisconsin. Barb was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She adored her children and grandchildren and played an important role in their lives. Barb demonstrated tremendous strength, patience, and grace as she dealt with significant health challenges over many years. Those that knew Barb describe her as positive, kind, compassionate, loving, and a faithful Christian. She was a great conversationalist and made others feel special by how she took an interest in their lives.

Barb traveled extensively and was passionate about her Norwegian and Swedish heritage. She spent countless hours volunteering with non-profit organizations, including: Bethel Lutheran Church and their Scandinavian Food Fest, Boy Scout Troop 140, the P.E.O. Sisterhood, and many others. Barb enjoyed cooking, baking, sewing, and being the family historian. She collected cookbooks and had an uncanny ability to taste a new food item and decipher its ingredients.

Barb is survived by her husband of 45 years, Dave; her daughter, Karin Holt (Martin Bertilsson), her son, Paul Holt; and grandchildren: Nils, Elsa, and Ingrid; her sister, Marilyn Svenson Alexander, brother, Dr. Douglas Nelson (Dr. Susan Mackel), and sister, Cynthia Korpela, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son, Kent Holt, and her parents, Dr. Lloyd and Olive Nelson, nephew, Douglas Svenson, and brothers-in-law, Hooper Alexander III and Daryl Korpela.

Due to the pandemic, her memorial service will be private; however, it will be live streamed on Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 3 p.m. on the LIVE page of the Bethel Lutheran church website: http://bethelhudson.org/livestreaming/ and on Bethel’s YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/BethelHudsonYouTube. Interment will take place at Willow River Cemetery in Hudson, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Bethel Lutheran Church, the University of Minnesota Occupational Therapy Program or Norway House.

If you feel so inclined, please leave a message or memory for the family in the Tribute Wall above.

Arrangements entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Homes, 715-386-3725 www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com

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Barbara's Tribute Wall

Tributes (13):

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    • We were so sad to hear about Barb’s passing. Our hearts go out to you Dave, Karin, and Paul. Barb was one of the sweetest, kindest, most positive person I’ve ever known. Our hearts and prayers go out to the whole family during this difficult time.

    • We had met Barb and David at several St. Olaf events. Last Oct they came to Minot ND for Norsk Hostfest ! Barb was thrilled to attend the Scandinavian heritage event and we enjoyed showing them around Minot North Dakota.

      In spite of her mobility limitations, Barb walked through the Scandinavian Park slowly but with mental enthusiasm, energy, and engagement. Her wonderful personality and interest in people was in full display.

      The impact of loosing one’s mother is huge and not truly realized until
      it becomes personal. Our thoughts are about you at this time.

    • We first met Barb and Dave when Karin and Martin were dating seriously. We were Martin’s “ American Parents.”
      We will always remember Barb for her positive and cheerful disposition. She was always grateful and appreciative. Barb was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and perpetually happy in all these roles.
      A special memory of the last couple of years is her sparkly spirit as she and Dave started traveling and road tripping. She was bursting with joy at this addition to their lives.
      Barb raised two spectacular kids which is the best legacy of all. We will miss her spirit and infectious smile but will hold these memories in our hearts and thoughts.
      Fondly, Nano and John Lavander and Family

    • Barb was my best friend Doug’s sister. Growing up in Minneapolis, I remember Barb’s smiling face and mischievous twinkling eyes. One summer when Doug and I were not old enough to drive, Barb volunteered to take us camping on the North Shore. We stayed at the Temperance River, and had a wonderful time. She was unselfish, and will be missed.

    • Auntie Barb was such a kind and loving person. I have fond memories of visiting in the summer and eating her Dreamy Orange Delight and having “bicycle” races across the back yard pool. She will be deep missed.

    • I met cousin Barb in 1960 while staying in Minnesota the summer after my mother passed away. We met just a few times after that and kept in touch through Facebook, but i do remember her as a kind soul. I am so sorry for your loss.
      Sandy Muzopappa

    • Dave, Karin, and Paul,

      I am very sorry for your loss and am thinking of all of you. Barb was a lovely and kind person. I always enjoyed talking to her at the reunions.

      Love, Laura

    • Growing up, I always remember Barb’s calm and kind demeanor. I will always remember her smile. So sorry for your loss and peace to you.

    • My heart is sad to read of this news about Barb. She was always such a gracious, kind hearted person. I always looked forward to seeing her at the food fest when Katherine, Christopher, and I would return. I will never forget her instruction, and my joy in participating in the making of “rollepolse”! I’ve never had an experience like that before and I never will again. A special Norwegian treat! Just one of so many happy Bethel memories. Many blessings to Paul, Karin and the whole family. Peace to all❤️ Pastor Joanne

    • Dear Dave and Family,

      And so the number of saints above is increased by one, leaving behind an empty space that will never be filled except through the gift of memory. We celebrate with you your beloved wife and mother’s life and the many lives she touched.

      May you miss her deeply, forgive her often, and always claim the best of her in you. Our sympathies, thoughts, and prayers remain with you in your grief even as you reflect on the promises of God to provide a reunion in heaven.

      Warm and cordial personal greetings,

      Liz and Dan Bruch

    • Such sad news and my heart goes out to all of you. I got to know Barb thru PEO and she was a wonderful person and friend, although I have visited with her for some years! Prayers for this difficult time.

    • I knew Barb as a friend and later as a sister in chapter DN. Karin – when your fiancee died your mother handed me her Corresponding Secretary duties. I was a little nervous but her records were so precise and she made my take over easy. In our new chapter we worked on our fund raising tea and she often talked about hosting just one more. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible woman. Your family is in my prayers.
      Love, Marian Schultz

    • Bless you Karin and family. We met your Mom just a few times as a result of the Middle East Olaf trip. We remember how engaging, warm and loving she was to us and everyone. We know it is so hard to lose her at what feels like too soon. But we also know that you will find comfort in the eternal hope of seeing her again. That is pure joy! Your family is in our prayers for comfort, peace and even a measure of joy during this most challenging time of your lives. ((Hugs)) ❌⭕️♥️ Linda and Bill