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Called, Equipped, and Sent

Whether you came as long-term staff or stayed for a holiday weekend, we share one thing in common: we are all members of the Holden community. “Called, Equipped, & Sent” is an effort to keep members of the Holden family connected after they leave the Railroad Creek Valley. Here, we invite you to share updates on major life events outside of the Village, including births, deaths, marriages, major vocational milestones, and other life events. We look forward to hearing from you!


Current Listings

FALL 2017

Peggy Haug served the Village from 2005-2007, both in the kitchen and in the Craft Cave.  She has just self-published a book of 50-plus drawings of the nature in and around Holden.  These "Nature Journal" postings were created during 2005-2007 and the book can be found in the bookstore.

In Memoriam

Betty Louise Johnson, longtime Holden supporter, died in Seattle the day after Thanksgiving, on November 24th, 2017. She was with one of the first groups to go to Holden with Rev. Harvey Johnson, in the summer of 1961 to help clean up after Holden had been a ghost town for four years.  She said she thought some of the curtains she sewed for the lodges are still there!  Her sister Jeanette Isaacson Thykeson was Holden's first paid employee, working as Gil Berg's secretary out of an office in Ballard in the early 60s.  Betty loved Holden, volunteering and visiting many times.  She was 91 and is survived by her children Cheryl Bradshaw, Karin Alderson and John Johnson.

summer 2017

Andrea Mericle (Holden ‘90, ‘95, ‘97, winter ‘90-91) has been called, equipped, and sent to serve as the pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Lisbon, NY.

Andrew Bronte: I served as Holden’s Fire System Technician through the 2016-17 winter season. It was my responsibility to oversee the wide array of fire protection equipment and fix the occasional problem. In April, I began my new adventure as a Physical Science Technician for Yosemite National Park (CA). Working closely withYosemite’s Fire Management Team, I will help conduct air and water quality monitoring throughout the park and act as a resource adviser for prescribed burns and wildfires.

Katie Gandhi graduated (May 2017) from the University of Iowa with a master's degree in both Urban & Regional Planning and Library and Museum studies.

Mary Christman, an early Holden volunteer is turning 100 years old. Mary and her husband, Horty, first came to Holden Village in the mid-1960s as long-term volunteers. Mary served all over the Village — in housekeeping, laundry and anywhere else she was needed. Happy 100th birthday to Mary!

Jean Evens and Brian Kontio recently moved to Chelan, WA, where they enjoy remodeling their house, hiking, and visiting with Holden friends on their way uplake.

Chance Voigt graduated from Claremont School of Theology in May 2017 with a Master of Divinity (emphasis in Interfaith Chaplaincy).

In Memoriam

Marlayne Johnson Domyahn died July 6, 2017. Marlayne served as Holden Village’s secretary through
most of the 1970s. Marlayne went from Holden Village to be secretary to the Bishop of the Lutheran
Church of Liberia, West Africa. She was truly one of the gifts of God to God’s people.

Ginny Poeschl-Ofelt of University Place, WA, passed away on April 9 at the age of 80. She was very
involved in social justice and taught her family much about life and how to accept and love everyone for who they are.

Emily Hagen Anderson of Bloomington, MN, passed away peacefully on June 16 after living a full and magnificent life. She will be sorely missed by her family, St. Olaf classmates, and the many people she impressed with her wit, confidence, and friendship.

Mary Arneson who was a beloved villager, passed away on July 30 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. Mary taught elementary school for almost 30 years, and from 1999 to 2010, taught English in the Middle East, primarily in Oman, a country that she loved.

Spring 2016

Lauren Corn (Seattle, WA): After ending my year contract at Holden Village, I have moved to Seattle where I work with fellow villager, Cindy Shultz as a barista in the Columbia Tower. Outside of work
I am preparing to apply to graduate school for the fall of 2019 for a dual degree in Urban Planning and
Architecture. Since transitioning out of Holden I have been working on finding new avenues of expressing my artistic voice through weaving my past experiences and lessons from Holden with my new life in the city. Hopefully these thoughts will inspire a new collection of sculptural work in the coming months.

Marvin Franson (Eau Claire, WI): Since leaving Holden last fall I've been XC skiing, taking banjo lessons, completing neglected home projects, and reconnecting with friends. March 1 I'm leaving on a month long camping/biking trip in the southern US. A June return to Holden and several home carpentry projects are in my future for this summer.

Abbey Dibble (Minneapolis, MN): I am now living in the vibrant Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis, where I work as a concierge at Children's Hospital, and spend a lot of time explaining what I did as Mine
Clerk at Holden.

Lorrie Franson (Eau Claire, WI): As Marv and I headed home to Wisconsin in mid-October, after 4½
months serving on the Holden staff, I found myself “sent” into the chaos of the election and post-election reality. I am so grateful for the Holden family who gathers outside the Village to have conversations and
remind one another of ways we are “equipped” to work for justice and against the fear that grips our
nation. Oh yes, staying grounded in Holden tradition is vital, so I’ve knit 35 Holden Village hats, two prayer shawls, and a knit-along sweater with dear friend, Trudy Arnold.

In Memoriam

Craig Petty: Holden Village was a special place for Craig Petty. He loved helping in the kitchen, the sense of community and friendships he made, music in the prayer services, and the opportunity for solitude through discovery & exploration of the surrounding area. Craig passed away on January 12, 2017 at the age of 53. Craig used his gifts at Holden in the kitchen and in computer services. He will be
sorely missed.

Marian Anderson of Minneapolis was 103 when she died on November 12. She lived a long and rich life as wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many.

Jean Kliewer visited her son, Pete, several times while he was Medic at Holden. She enjoyed a Holden
Christmas in 1999 and came to the Elderhostel taught by Pete, his Dad and Cliff Hall. She connected with several local Holdenites in Wenatchee while Pete was in the hospital from his critical skiing accident in 2000. She always spoke of how amazing all the support Holden gave her during that time. She loved the community of Holden and all it represented.

David Olaf Christian was former PLU employee and helped found the highly influential KPLU radio
station. He and his wife Anita enjoyed world travel.

Winter 2016

Andy Phillipson writes: On my 4th year at the Holden Mine Remediation Project, working for Magnus Pacific as a Health, Safety, and Environmental Tech. My first visit to the village was 1962!

Chris Larson and Catherine Henze, who met at a retreat at Holden Village, will be married at Holden on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

Judy l (Wrigley) Miller writes: I was born in Holden in December of 1955. My father, George Wrigley, was an electrician in the mine. After the mine closed, we then moved back to Missouri, which was our parents’ home state. My dad always talked about Holden he loved living there.

Trudy Arnold: Beaverton, OR. As one who is recently “sent” by Holden, I can say that the time in the Village has revived and restored my sense of purpose as I live into the future.

Tommy Richter & Ann Stromgren met at Holden Village in the summer of 2012 and married in August 2014. This past July, they relocated to the remote village of Shishmaref, AK, where Tommy accepted his first call as an ELCA pastor.

In Memoriam

We remember Jerene Mortenson who died September 18, 2016. While her father, Al Doerring, was helping to get Holden Village established, Jerene and her husband were in Africa. Jerene taught in Tanzania and upon returning to the United States taught in many communities at all levels of education. She was most recently on Teaching Staff at Holden Village in 2013 and 2014. Jerene had a simple request for those who wish to remember her: “Be kind to one another, pray for peace, and thank a teacher”. Jerene was loving mother of three children.

Dr. Bill Nelson: The Holden Village Community says goodbye to Dr. Bill Nelson. Bill was a longtime
volunteer at Holden Village. Coming often for Spring Work Weeks working in Operations, Bill also served as Back-Up Medic on many occasions, performed physical exams for those getting licenses to drive buses for Holden. Bill attended a Work Week in April of 2015. He went into Hospice on November 6, 2016, and died on November 14. He will be missed.

FALL 2016

Kent Narum and Elisabeth Cherland (Village Pastor and Musician at Holden 2014-16) and their sons, Elijah and Leif, moved to Green Lake in Seattle where Kent will be a Mission Developer and Elisabeth will start a doctoral program in Choral Conducting at UW, Seattle.

After a bit over a year at Holden, John Hergert has left to begin an interim pastorate at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Boise, ID.

The Chris and Cindy Shultz family. 7 months. 32,000 miles. Tiny teardrop trailer. 26 National Parks. 22 jars of peanut butter. 3 Walmart parking lots. 5,128 photos.

Linda Evans says: Called, Equipped, and Sent acted like my true compass during my two years at Holden. I was sent lovingly on August 2 and am beginning to reconnect with friends and family, de-clutter, and intentionally practice the Georgia O'Keeffe quote... "To see takes time."

Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman celebrated the marriage of their daughter Hannah to Rien Zabor. Hannah and Rien reside in Raleigh, NC.

Leah Martin After one year on Holden's program team, Leah is working with Norma Gallegos at Hand in Hand Immigration Services in Wenatchee, WA.

Ruth H. Daugherty was an early participant at Holden Village and her involvement continued through the years. She and her family enjoyed spending time at Holden. For several summers she directed plays, including A Man for All Seasons and The Madwoman of Chaillot. Ruth died peacefully on July 9, 2016, surrounded by her family.


Nathan Petersen-Kindem, a student at Holden Village School with sister Megan (now Webber) and brother Mario while his parents Carol Petersen and Erik Kindem were registrars, now lines in Minneapolis, MN, with his wife of nearly 10 years, Deyhdra Deniis-Weiss. They have three lovely cats.

Phil Egtvedt (Holden '71-'72, '81-'82) celebrated his 90th birthday on April 16, 2016.

Daniel Samuelson-Roberts (Holden volunteer '08-'10) and Miriam Samuelson were married on June 27, 2015, in Minneapolis, MN, where they now live.

Rebecca (Stitzlein) Britt (Holden '76) retired after 37 years of teaching at the elementary level in Wenatchee, WA.

Kathy Ballard's grandson was born a month early during her time at Holden in 2000. As the Village prayed for Jacob Brandt, he gained strength in an NICU back in Minneapolis. Jacob has completed his 10th year of youth hockey and is planning on playing the next two years for Bloomington Jefferson HS. Prayers answered and support felt by the Holden community will never be forgotten.

Marty Monson Lowe and George Lowe spent fall 2016 living and working in Bethlehem, Palestine.

Cable and Mandy Hoover celebrated the birth of their son, Bishop James Louis Hoover, on October 21, 2015.

Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman celebrated the birth of their fourth grandchild. Ani Maureen Kramer was born 17, 2016, to daughter Heidi and Phil Kramer.

Renowned artist and teacher Richard Caemmerer Jr., 82, died February 16th. A maker of stained glass, sculptures, frescoes, and tapestry designs for churches, Caemmerer was a liturgical consultant and designer for more than 600 churches throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, and Japan. He created the ceiling art in the Holden Village Center while the Artist-in-Residence. Caemmere taught art and theology at the Lutheran School of Theology for 19 years and was professor of art at Valparaiso (Indiana) University from 1958 to 1980. With his wife, Liz, he co-founded the Grunewald Guild.

Deborah Hertzog The Hertzog family lost beloved husband and father, Frank Hertzog, on January 9, 2016, in Boise, ID, to brain cancer. The Hertzogs (Frank, Debbie, Christian/Karli, and Jeremy) spent many 4th of July weeks at Holden. Jeremy worked in the Village Summer 2011.

Dr. James Gamrath was called home by God on January 1, 2016, while surrounded in love by family. Jim and his wife, Ellen, traveled to many parts of the world together, but one of their favorite places to visit was Holden Village. Holden Village had a special place in his heart, and he had a special place at Holden. They started visiting in the early '60s and managed a trip nearly every year since.

Rev. Dr. Scott Haasarud, 76, died April 13, 2016. Scott served for five years as the Executive Director of Holden Village. Following his time as Director he served as Director of Spiritual Life and Programming at Spirit of the Desert Retreat Center.

FALL 2015

Nancy Arntson, who lived at Holden in the 1970s during the early years of her nursing career, has completed her studies of Chinese Medicine and started a low-cost clinic for acupuncture and other Chinese Medicine treatments in Salem, Oregon.

Stan Berntson and Sharon Hansen Geldaker have transplanted themselves to Eugene, OR. Stan is working at Central Lutheran Church as Interim Pastor and Sharon is a Labor and Delivery nurse at RiverBend Hospital.

Rachael Button and Peter Kraus were married in Damariscotta, ME on July 10.

Hello from Todd Cory who lived in Holden Village from 1976 to 1978.

Hello from Dawn Wynne Davidson, who was born in the First Aid Station in Holden on April 25, 1957. Her father worked in the mine and her mother waited tables in the mess hall.

Ethel Dzubay has fond memories of Holden in 1966, the first winter that Holden stayed open during the snow season.

After 20 years of living on Whidbey Island, WA, Dan and Karen Erlander have recently moved from their home in Freeland into an independent living apartment in Seattle.

Marvin and Maggie Fink celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on September 12.

Hello from Jan Hillestad Fujikawa who was at Holden in Winter ’85/’86 and May ’89, and has been living in Japan nearly 30 years now.

Charlotte Graber passed away in April 2014. Her husband Al, who passed in 2013, worked at the Holden Mine in the 1940s.

After nine years of working toward the goal of becoming a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains, Janet Grant is working as a chaplain at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA.

After 40+ years working with his family business, Clay Gustafson is now using his gifts as a volunteer to help to bring environmental healing to the Village.

Katy (Fiedler) Hammel completed her Master’s of Education in Differentiated Instruction. 

Inge Hansen proudly announces the marriage of her daughter, Anna Hansen, in August.

Elaine Harrison, freshly graduated from high school 50 years ago, caught the boat to volunteer at Holden. Fifty years later, and again on the Holden staff, she was back on the boat, this time to attend her 50th high school reunion in August.

Hello from Stephen Herzfeld who lived in Holden from 1964 to 1987.

Brian Hey is exploring Assisi and Rome Italy with a community group.

Werner Janssen self-published a book. “Holden Village—A Memoir” shares his perspective on the struggles and shared delights within the Holden Village community from 1961 to 1983 when he was on staff.

Dennis Johnson celebrates two 30th anniversaries: 30 years of ordained ministry in the ELCA, and 30 years of marriage to his wife, Susan

Joline Marie Recknagel Lambert, born in Holden, passed away January 21 in Everett WA. At her request, her ashes will be scattered near the Village.

Mary Larson retired!

Ray Makeever has retired from leading music and worship at both Augsburg College and Trinity Lutheran in Minneapolis. He’s looking forward to new creative pursuits, including taking his music on the road from time to time.

Kristin (Bauer) Mortenson and Peter Mortenson were married on May 31 in Stillwater, MN. They are expecting their first child in December.

Hello from Nancy Peterson.

Holden volunteer Craig Plummer from Ephrata, WA drowned while boating and swimming with family. A service was held on July 25 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Arya Autumn Rasmusson was born in Wenatchee on June 5 to former long-term staff members Shane Rasmusson and Meredith Ishida. Arya spent eight of her nine gestational months at Holden.

The Rodgers family (Holden Mine 1941–1957) lost three members in 2014: Raymond Rodgers in April, his twin Robert on September 14, and Dorothy Rodgers Miles on July 14. Dorothy was married to Eddie Miles, whose family also lived at Holden.

Leah (Armelagos) Salas gave birth to a baby girl named Grey Guadalupe Salas, a.k.a. Lupita Lobita. She looks forward to welcoming her into the Holden community soon.

Earlier this year, Roy and Dorothy Satre became great-grandparents twice. Harper Renae (born New Year’s Day) and Elijah Roy (born February 10) joined their family. 

Pat Handel Schonder died in her sleep on January 18, 2015, at her home in Ephrata. Pat lived in Holden as the child of a miner, and she and her husband, Ralph have been volunteers.

In April, Kaethe Schwehn’s Holden memoir, “Tailings,” won the Minnesota Book Award in the Memoir/Creative Non-Fiction category. 

Becky Swanson has a new call as the Director of Contextual Education at Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Rev. Gerry Swanson died suddenly on July 3. He and his late wife Jan Bowman supported Holden throughout their lives. The family has requested that gifts be made to the Swanson Memorial Fund at Cal Lutheran or to Holden.

David Warner shares his gratitude that Holden survived the fires, and hopes to return to the Village soon.

Rachel Weeks and Kyle (Larson) Weeks were married on September 21, 2013, in Alexandria, MN. They have recently purchased a home in St. Paul, MN.

Submit a Listing

  • As space allows, submissions will be shared here and in the Holden Village Voice.
  • Please note that by completing the form below, you are granting permission for us to print your name and any/all of the information in the "Major life event you wish to share" box.
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