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Ivan E. Holdeman ( Missoula 1945 )

posted: Jan 1, 2002

Ivan died of pancreatic cancer July 2, 1992, in Lakewood, Colorado, where he was a teacher in Jefferson County. He was born on a farm February 14, 1923, near Hesston, Kansas. The family moved to Greensburg, KS, where he attended grade school and high school. He remembers that the Mennonite kids were not readily accepted, and he and his brother had to fight their way home at times. "In time we were able to gain acceptance even though the methods we used were not always to our liking." Ivan was the first person from his church to play football in high school and he counts that as one of his best memories of school.

After his graduation in 1941 he worked following the wheat harvest from Kansas to North Dakota. He entered Hesston College that fall and graduated in 1943. Ivan was drafted into the Civilian Public Service in 1945 and reported to Missoula that spring. "The most impressionable part of the smokejumper experience was the high morale at Camp 103." he made 15 jumps that season.

After the war he returned to Goshen College to get degrees in Education and History in 1949. After a brief stint at teaching in Colorado, he worked overseas in Germany and Greece for three years helping farmers re-establish themselves after the war.

In 1964 he received his Master's from the Univ. of Colorado and went to Turkey for a teaching assignment. Ivan finished his teaching career in Denver at Arvada West H.S. and retired in 1983.

"It is my hope that I have been a link in the chain which as contributed to a world of less violence and a world that treats our planet with more respect."