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Published July 14, 2012, 12:00 AM

Dr. John R. Holten

Dr. John R. Holten, 84, Moorhead, MN, died on Thursday, July 12, 2012, in Sanford Health, Fargo, ND.

John R. Holten was born March 12, 1928, in Grand Forks, ND, the son of Melvin and Myrtle (Paulson) Holten. He was educated in the Grand Forks school system and received the BA from UND and the MD degree from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA in 1955.

Dr. John R. Holten

Dr. John R. Holten, 84, Moorhead, MN, died on Thursday, July 12, 2012, in Sanford Health, Fargo, ND.

John R. Holten was born March 12, 1928, in Grand Forks, ND, the son of Melvin and Myrtle (Paulson) Holten. He was educated in the Grand Forks school system and received the BA from UND and the MD degree from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA in 1955.

He interned at St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth, and practiced for a year in Cloquet, MN. He married Karel Johnson in Wyndmere, ND, April 21, 1957. They moved to Moorhead in 1958 where he joined Drs. V. J. Carlson and E.W. Humphrey. Upon Dr. Humphrey’s retirement, Drs. Carlson and Holten joined Drs. H. G. Rice and V.D. Thysell and built a medical arts building on 7th Avenue No., across from St. Ansgar’s where they practiced until St. Ansgar’s expanded and clinic space was added attached to the hospital. When St. Ansgar’s was sold to Clay County, the physicians relocated to the other locations. When the Fargo Clinic acquired the practices of several members of the old St. Ansgar’s group, they erected a facility in south Moorhead, currently operated as Sanford.

Dr. Holten was twice president of the medical staff of St. Ansgar’s, past president of the Clay Becker Medical Society, a member and former vice president of the Minnesota State Medical Association, the American Medical Association and a charter member of the American Board of Family Practice. He served on the Ethics Committee of St. Ansgars for 10 years and the ethics committee of the state medical association for 4 years. He was medical director of Eventide Lutheran Home for 8 years. Dr. Holten served as coroner and then medical examiner of Clay County for 15 years and served on the Health Service staff, Minnesota State University Moorhead, for 30 years. He and his office staff opened the first migrant medical clinic two nights a week each summer for two years before the state of Minnesota took over the operation. After his retirement he was a volunteer physician at the Homeless Medical Clinic in Fargo.

Dr. Holten enjoyed community involvement. He was a former commissioner of the Moorhead Public Service and a member of the former American Bank Board. He was on the organizing committees for public kindergarten for the Moorhead Public School District, the first accredited community preschool program at Trinity Lutheran Church and the Clay County Public Health Nursing Service. He was chairman of Concordia College’s C-400 Club in 1972 which erected the Knutson Center. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church since 1958, twice a member of its council, a member and past president of Moorhead Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow. After his retirement from MeritCare in 1990, the Holtens spent the winters in Arizona and summers in Moorhead and Lake Lizzie. Memorials may be given to the Trinity Foundation or other Trinity organizations.

He is survived by his wife, Karel, his children, John M. (Sandra) Holten, Plymouth, MN, Karin K. (Mike) Gardner, Littleton, CO, Paul F. (Anne) Holten, Golden Valley, MN, Erik B. (Jill) Holten, Fargo, ND, and Andrea E. (Jack) Rowley, Lakewood, CO; one brother, David (Bonnie) Holten, Albuquerque, NM; 12 grandchildren; and his brother-in-law, George Johnson, Jr., West Fargo, ND. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation: Sunday, July 15, 2012, 4:00 – 6:00 P.M. in Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN.

Funeral Service: Monday, July 16, 2012, 11:30 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, MN.

Interment: Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Moorhead, MN. Video tribute and online guestbook at www.wrightfuneral.com.

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