Harold “Dean” Hollesen, age 97, of Sioux Rapids, Iowa passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 9, 2022 at his home in Sioux Rapids.
Funeral services will take place Friday, January 14, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Church of Sioux Rapids. Burial will be in the Lone Tree Cemetery. Visitation will take place Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 5-7:00 p.m. at the Sliefert Funeral Home in Sioux Rapids. The Sliefert Funeral Home in Sioux Rapids is in charge of the arrangements.
Harold “Dean” was born on September 4, 1924 on a farm west of Sioux Rapids, Iowa, to Bennie and Florence (Wright) Hollesen. Dean was the fourth of seven children. Dean attended school in Gillet Grove up until the fifth grade, the family moved to Sioux Rapids, where he graduated with the class of 1944. During his school years Dean enjoyed participating in baseball and track.
Dean was a proud WWII Veteran, entering into service in 1944 with the infantry and armored division in Europe. Dean was honorably discharged in 1946. When asked about the war and his time of service by family and friends, Dean spoke very little, but did say “I was cold, scared, homesick and feared for my life.”
Upon returning from the war Dean quickly met and fell in love with Beverly Jean Thomas. Dean and Bev were united into marriage on December 7, 1946 in Jackson, Minnesota. To this union two children were born, Ben and Deanna. Dean was very proud of his marriage and the fact that he and Bev were married for 59 years, until her passing in 2006. Dean’s advice to his grandchildren on marriage: “If you find someone to love you the way your grandma loved me, you’ll always be happy!”
In 1953 the family moved to Aurora, Illinois. Dean worked several different jobs and many times worked multiple shifts throughout the day to make ends meet, working at Austin Western building heavy road equipment during the day and at Ray’s BBQ working as a bartender at night. Times were tough, but Dean never gave up and provided for his family as best he could. Dean was also a member of the Montgomery Methodist Church, and loved coaching the church baseball team. Dean also found time to be a board member and an usher.
In 1970, Dean and Bev moved back to Sioux Rapids and opened “The Office”. They owned and operated this business until their retirement in 1985. During this time Dean continued to make new friends and had many stories to tell about his time as bar owner. Dean never met a stranger and was probably the reason his business endeavors as a bar owner were so successful.
Dean and Bev spent their retirement years camping, fishing, playing cards and attending family activities. They always enjoyed a good game or Euchre, Skip.bo or cribbage along with a casual cocktail. Countless hours were spent in his garage working on various wood working projects. Dean shared his woodworking talents by making gifts for friends and family. Dean was a member of the United Methodist Church of Sioux Rapids, American Legion in Sioux Rapids and was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign War, a lifetime member of the VFW Cooties, and a life member of National Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Left to cherish his memory are son, Ben Hollesen, Sr., and his wife Marilyn, of Spencer, Iowa; daughter, Deanna Johnson of Montgomery, Illinois; grandchildren: James Green, Jami Green, Cassie (Don) Zumwalt, Ben (Val) Hollesen, Jr., and Anne Marie (Matt) Hagedorn.
Dean is further survived by his great-grandchildren: Tori and Calle Green, Aiden Green, Tanner (Mikaela) Perrigo, Elizabeth, Grace, and Mattie Hagedorn, Sawyer and Briann Hollesen, Haven and Oliver Zumwalt. Great-great grandchildren: Kingston Green and Jagger Perrigo. Also left to cherish his memory are several nieces, nephews, and many friends.
Dean was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly Hollesen; parents; grandparents; siblings: Dale (Laura) Hollesen; Fern (Elmer) Bright; Lilah (Lyle) Romine; Marge (Roy) Stone; Marlene Nelson; and Kenny (Mary) Hollesen; infant grandson, James Green III, and special family friend, Chad Perrigo.
Dean graciously lived his life by his own words and actions: "Always be a good guy, be honest and never tell a lie".
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Harold "Dean" Hollesen, please visit our floral store.