Lester "Les" A. Holtzen


Lester "Les" A. Holtzen died Dec. 21, 2006. He was born at home in Red Cloud, Neb. on March 8, 1920. He grew up in Sioux City, Iowa, and joined the Navy at the age of 17.

After serving in the Pacific Ocean and in China, he returned to Iowa and met Jean Conlin in the summer of 1941. They married just a few months later.

While newlyweds of three weeks, Pearl Harbor was bombed and World War II began. Mr. Holtzen quickly reenlisted, serving another four years in the Navy and attaining the rank of Chief.

He returned to Iowa and worked as a delivery salesman for jobs with Wonder Bread and Dolly Madison Cakes.

In 1951, he moved his family to Phoenix, where he worked for Rainbo Bakery, and later Holsum Bakery, delivering fresh bread products to restaurants in Maricopa County until his retirement over 20 years later.

Beginning in 1968, he won tournaments as a bowler, golfer, pool player and horseshoe pitcher. He got his greatest enjoyment from studying and discussing the Bible.

He and his wife eventually moved to a home in Strawberry. After about 12 years, they returned to Phoenix in 2004 due to poor health.

Mr. Holtzen is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean Holtzen, his daughter Patricia and son-in-law, James R. Schultz, his sons, Tom and Tim Holtzen, his daughter, Cathy Holtzen, six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be held Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 8:45 a.m. at Best Funeral Chapel, 9380 West Peoria Ave. in Peoria, with visitation available at 8 a.m.

A military honors burial ceremony will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. at National Memorial Cemetery, 23029 N. Cave Creek Road in Phoenix. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to Disabled American Veterans and the Salvation Army.

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