Florence Ovedia Holen, 94, of Westby passed away Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, at Norseland Nursing Home in Westby.
She was born to Otto and Fredricka (Stafslien) Bakkum Oct. 30, 1922, the oldest of four children. During the early to mid-1940s she spent several years working in shipyards in Sturgeon Bay and Duluth, in support of the war effort. On Jan. 31, 1949, she married L. Norman Holen in Coon Valley, and together they farmed in the local area, ultimately returning to her home farm on Spring Coulee Ridge. Following Norman’s death in 1981, she continued to be active on the farm, supporting her son, Jon and his family and she resided there until her health necessitated a move to the Bothne House in Coon Valley. For all but a few of her 94 years, she lived where she was born on property homesteaded by her grandparents.
She was a lifelong member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church, where she was a member of WELCA, the Anna Circle and a participant on numerous committees.
Florence was known for her lefse baking and for many years kept busy rolling and baking throughout the fall months so that people had a supply for the holidays. Florence’s passion was family history. She could be counted on to know relationship connections for seemingly everybody in the Coon Valley area and was always ready to weave family threads into conversations. Florence was also extremely giving of her time and her talents. She was quick to do whatever she could to help someone less fortunate, whether it was providing baked goods, sewing cradle caps, making quilts, or re-purposing clothing. She was never idle and could not understand how people could ever possibly be bored.
Florence is survived by her son, Jon (Debra King) of Westby; her grandsons, Austin (Kim), Bronson, Anthony and Culin (Mandy); as well as two great-grandchildren, Kimberly and Kaitlin Florence. She is also survived by sisters-in-law, Verna Bakkum, Elizabeth Veum, Helen Holen, Margaret Guy and Marilyn Ekum; three brothers-in-law, Alton, Raymond and Dennis Holen; as well as numerous nieces, nephews; and grand-nieces and nephews.
She is pre-deceased by her parents; her husband, Norman; her siblings, Margaret Olstad, Joseph Bakkum and Raymond Bakkum; brothers-in-law, Howard Holen, Leonard Olstad and Orben Holen; as well as various Bakkum and Stafslien cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church. The Rev. Mitzi Miyamoto will officiate. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until service time Thursday at the church.
The Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley is assisting the family. Online condolences may be offered at selandsfuneralhome.com.