The Linden community mourns the death of a woman who marked the city’s history.
Linden resident Nettie Holtslander, 89, former president of the Linden Historical Society, died Thursday, January 5th. Linden Presbyterian Church.
An obituary about Nettie Holtslander, published in The Times on Sunday, January 15, was actually written by Nettie Holtslander herself in March 2016.
“She was. Everything had to be perfect. She probably knew her children couldn’t get it right, and she was probably right. If you had to write it down, you gave it to your mom, and she had all the spreadsheets,” says son Rick Holtslander. “She was very organized. No detail was overlooked.”
She played softball and basketball at Linden High School in the early 50’s. Her varsity her sweater is on display at the Linden Museum next to her 1947 Cushman her scooter that she donated. She was also in the Linden Marching Band. She organized a high school reunion.
Rick, whose full name is Frederick Jr., was named after his father, who died nearly 20 years ago. He said their parents were active when they were young, traveling around the country on motorcycles and snowmobiling out west. They are buried in Linden’s Fairview Cemetery. A snowmobile and a motorcycle are etched on the tombstone.
Holzlander never remarried, but spent 20 years with his best friend, Gary Childs. Rick said he was like a stepfather to them. His mother had Alzheimer’s disease towards the end of her life. She was comfortable, Rick said, but her heart wasn’t with her, and her children visited her every day.
“She was a very organized and active person. The church meant the world to her, and the Historical Society was a big part of her life. Her grandchildren were a big part of her life.” he said.
The family plans to visit in the spring. They are asking for donations to the Linden Presbyterian Church instead of flowers.
She served as president of the Linden Historical Society for 15 years from 1995 to 2010. After her retirement she remained a member. After Holzlander, David Kincaid became president.
Current President Peter Maas said: As president of the Historical Society, she was a mentor, a leader, and loved by all.
“She cared so much about the museum, spending hours in the mill building. One of the biggest projects she took on was organizing the Linden Alumni Directory in the early 2000s. One book is still in use by former LHS students, but definitely needs updating.”
Holzlander was born on December 12, 1933 in Baritone, Michigan. According to her obituary, her mother died when she was four years old, and she always credits her father for raising her and her three older siblings. I was. They moved to Linden, where Holzlander graduated in 1952 as valedictorian and became secretary to the superintendent. She also served as a high school secretary for the Lake Fenton School District for 38 years.
In 1952, while in high school, she married Frederick Holzlander, who served in the Navy. They lived together over her 48 years and had her three children, Rick, Terry, and Harvey.
Holzlander has been a member of the Linden Presbyterian Church for over 65 years, teaching Sunday School for 17 years and serving as a deacon and elder.
Don Neuville, a former pastor of the Linden Presbyterian Church, met Holzlander while attending elementary school in Linden. He was two grades behind her.
“She was one of those people who were leaders,” he said. “All the children seemed to love her. She did a great job in everything she did.” was responsible for conducting activities, Neuville described her as “always creative”.
“She was talented in many ways. I think she was a friend to anyone who asked her for something or needed something from her. She came to her aid. I took good care of my family,” he said.
Holzlander was part of a group of women who did a lot of work around the church.
“She was very devoted to worship,” he said, adding that she often read scriptures and led worship in a variety of ways.
“Her personality was very gentle. She always thought before she spoke. Her words were always kind…she had a big smile on her face.” “She and her husband Fred were always active and dependable,” he said. “She really practiced what she believed in. She was very kind to everyone and had strong beliefs.”
Even when her amnesia was so severe that she didn’t always remember people, Neuville said she was able to remember songs and psalms.