Martin E. Holzman Sr.
Dec. 27, 1919 — July 11, 2017

Martin E. Holzman Sr. died peacefully on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, after 97 years of well-spent life. He passed away as he spent the majority of his days: in the company of his loved ones, at home “up the hill” in Eagleville.

Though deeply saddened by the separation from wife, Ada Marie (Chrestay) Holzman, who passed in the summer of 2013. We imagine Martin and Ame reunited now, holding one another, catching up, enraptured as they share another one of their famous waltzes.

Martin is survived by his loving children, Christie Wagar, Martin Jr. and Rosalie (Cowman) Holzman, Daniel and Catherine (Keepers) Holzman, Patricia Holzman, Diana and Jeffrey Brower, Kathleen and Tim Henry, and Jeannine Holzman; his adoring grandchildren, Joseph Laverne Van de Loo (Denise), Blake Van de Loo (Monica), Jonathan Wagar (Jen), Jeffrey Wagar, Jason Holzman, Beth Henry-Vance (Gary), Ginger Hudson (Anderson), Amy Morgan (Lawrence), Lowell Brower (Elizabeth) and Daniel Holzmann; and his adoring great-grandchildren, Jennifer Doyle (Kevin), Matthew, Katie Montgomery (Tyler), Justin, Lauren, Rachel Gidney (Matt), Ada Rose and Samantha Wagar, Ruby and Cole Vance, Rufus and Luna Morgan and Maya Brower; and great-great-grandchildren, Mia, Easton and Tillman (Doyle), Liam Walter, Landon and Henley (Montgomery).

Martin was born on December 27, 1919, on Maple Hill near North Freedom, to Bertha and Peter Holzman.

He was preceded in death by siblings John, William, Otto, Ernest, Lydia (Hann), Lawrence, Louise (Holland) and Herbert.

After a fulfilling, wonderful and love-filled 97 years of life, Martin’s passing leaves us grateful for the stories he told us, the care he showed us, the lessons he imparted to us, the sacrifices he made for us, and the example he set for us. Too small in stature for work on his family’s farm, Martin was large enough in heart and courage to enlist at the age of 18 in the U.S. Army Air Corps (before it became the Air Force!), for whom he proudly served as a bomber pilot and photo reconnaissance pilot throughout World War II, serving in the American Theater, the European Theater and Pacific Theatre. Though military service would take him around the world, from Morocco to Ireland to Japan to Greenland to Panama, his most important stop was the first, Duquesne, Pa., where at aUSO Dance he met Ada Marie Chrestay, who joyously partnered with him for the rest of his life’s great adventures leading them to rural Wisconsin, where they settled at the end of Martin’s 24 years of military service. Beginning by eloping on March 17, 1942, Martin and Ada enjoyed a rich, exciting 71 years together, cultivating life long friendships everywhere they went, and periodically adding another child to their family. Gathering stories and memories, which would delight their friends and loved ones, for the rest of their days.

Whether scooping up a grounder (as Pepper Martin), the smallest member of the North Freedom baseball team in 1930s, piloting the “Eat at Joe’s” B-24 over the Atlantic in 1940s, holding Ada’s hand as they watched many sunsets over Eagle Springs Lake, or meeting one of his newest great-great-grand children in 2016; whether diving into the lake in his stockings on the first warm day of spring, digging up his famous “Yukon gold” potatoes in the heat of summer, cheering on the Packers with a Leinenkugel’s on a cool fall afternoon, or leading his favorite prayer — “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, let our daily food be blessed” — before a lively Christmas dinner as the snow fell on another Wisconsin winter, Martin’s convivial warmth, adventurous spirit, and familial dedication were on constant display. A gifted raconteur with a miraculous memory, Martin’s vivid stories, jokes and anecdotes will continue to echo in our own memories as we carry them on within us. A green-thumbed gardener and master morel mushroom-finder, his love of the “Good Earth” will continue to connect us to our planet and its gifts. A proud war veteran and a principled family man, his bravery and dedication will continue to guide and sustain us. We are lucky beyond measure to have had Martin Holzman in our lives: a doting husband, a cherished friend, a brave serviceman, a legendary yarn-spinner, a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather; a great man with a great heart.

A visitation will be held on Monday July 17, at Vernon Evangelical Lutheran Church, S90-W27550 National Ave., Mukwonago, from 11 a.m. until 12:45 p.m., with a funeral service will take place at 1 p.m. A procession to Jericho Cemetery will immediately follow service.

Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Services in Mukwonago is serving the family. For more information, call 262-363-7126 or visit online at