Dagmar Solveig Holden, nee Rykhus, died in Houston, Texas, on November 25, 2006, a day after suffering a severe stroke. Dagmar was born to Peder and Olga Rykhus in Dovray, Minnesota in 1927. Throughout her life, Dagmar remained close to her siblings, Alice (who preceded her in death), Signer, Louise, and Judy, even though all lived far apart. Perhaps being the middle child taught her patience and understanding. Perhaps growing up in the Depression taught her to be appreciative of the simple things. Dagmar moved with her family to Tracy, Minnesota, and lived there until the middle of high school. After her father died, the family moved to Lowry, Minnesota, and Dagmar finished high school at Glenwood High School. Perhaps growing up in a small town taught Dagmar to be unpretentious. It was in Lowry that she met a young man named Hartford Hale Holden. They became engaged on Valentine's Day in 1949 and married on October 1, 1949. Dagmar and Hartford moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in the spring of 1950, towing a house trailer over the 1500-mile long, graveled Alaska-Canada Highway. Dagmar and Hartford lived in Fairbanks for four years during which their first two children, John and Steve, were born. Perhaps it was the experience of living in that frontier environment that taught Dagmar to be self-sufficient. Dagmar, Hartford and sons moved to Tuscola, Illinois in 1954. In that wonderful town, they raised their children, which eventually numbered six with the births of Susan, Ryk, Jill and Nancy. It was there that she taught her children the lessons of life. Most of the lessons were taught by example, some were softly spoken. After the last of their children graduated from Tuscola High School in 1982, Dagmar and Hartford moved to Overland Park, Kansas, where Dagmar was blessed with several good and steadfast friends. Hartford passed away in 2002 from a very similar, major stroke and Dagmar moved to Monticello, Illinois in 2005. She enjoyed living close to her Illinois-based children and grandchildren and traveled often to visit her children living in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Dagmar is survived by sons John (Diana) Holden, Houston, Texas; Steve (Sandy) Holden, Crystal Lake, Illinois; and Ryk Holden, Houston, Texas. She is survived by daughters Susan (Don) Gibson of Monticello, Illinois, Jill (Dan) Holden-Goon of Lake Forest, Illinois, and Nancy (Brett) Ostrowski of Mountaintop, Pennsylvania. Dagmar is also survived by 14 grandchildren.
A memorial mass was conducted for Dagmar on November 27 at St. John Vianney Church in Houston, Texas. Her children intend to have her ashes remains interred next to her husband's at the Church of St. John Nepomuk in Reno, Minnesota, after a funeral mass in July, 2007.
The family asks that, in lieu of sending flowers, anyone wishing to make a contribution to Dagmar's memory make a donation to the American Stroke Association. Donations can either be made online at http://honor.americanheart.org/goto/Dagmar.S.Holden or by mailing a check to John Holden, 13315 Tropicana Drive, Houston, TX 77041.
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