Faith, family and community are the three values Vern Holter modeled throughout his life.
Vernell Oscar Holter was born to Oscar and Marie Holter on August 27, 1926 in Platte, SD, and learned early the value of hard work. Growing up during the depression he helped on the family farm and attended Platte High School where he excelled as a student and was a standout athlete. Vern credited the hard work from the farm for his love of sports and his strong work ethic.
As the first in his family to attend college, Vern attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois on a track scholarship. After his first year, missing South Dakota, he transferred to the University of South Dakota, with a detour to Europe as a part of the Occupation Force at the end of WWII. He continued his service to our nation, retiring from the USAR as a Colonel in 1986.
When he arrived in Vermillion in 1948, Vern began a 70 year relationship with USD, and a special love for USD athletics. He was involved with USD as a multi-sport student athlete, but his favorite was track. He ran the ½ mile and had quite a winning record, setting records that were not broken for years after his graduation. He was proud to have been co-captain of the track team in 1951.
While attending USD, Vern met and married Joan Chaussee. They were married July 29, 1951 and have five children: Kristine (Jeff) Esbenshade, Denver, Colorado, Julie, Vermillion, Mary (Bruce) Lopez, Lawrence, Kansas, John (Traci), Sioux Falls, and James (Rita), Des Moines, Iowa. They have nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Following graduation, Vern began a successful banking career in Vermillion, retiring in 1986 as the President of Community First Bank. He was very involved in the community and the University, serving in over 20 volunteer organizations through the years. Of special importance to Vern were the USD Foundation, The Boy Scouts of America and Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Vern became a member of Beta Theta Pi while at Knox College and continued to be an active member at USD. He also served as the President, Chairman of the Board and Treasurer of the USD Foundation and President of the Alumni Association.
Following retirement, Vern could be found tending his garden at the family cabin along the banks of the Missouri, golfing at The Bluffs, playing cards with his dear friends, and at each and every USD sporting event. Vern had a great love for his family and his community. While he will be missed by many, the impact he left on many will not quickly be forgotten.
Vern is preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Marie; and his sister, Ruth (Lyle) Dehaan, all of Platte. SD.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26 at the United Church of Christ in Vermillion. Private family burial will take place prior to the service. HansenFuneralHome.com.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the United Church of Christ in Vermillion or the University of South Dakota Foundation.