Elizabeth L. Holtan, 83

Published 8:55 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

Elizabeth L. Holtan, 83

Elizabeth “Betty” Holten, 83, of Stewartville, MN went to her well-earned rest in the arms of her Lord on Tuesday (February 27, 2024) after a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease, at Thorne Crest Senior Living in Albert Lea, MN, where she had been a resident since December of 2023.

Elizabeth Louise Verchota was born on November 3, 1940 in Jackson, MN to Emmanuel and Beatrice (Kinney) Verchota. She moved often with her family as a young child and began her school years in Jackson, MN. Her lifelong love of playing the piano began at the ripe old age of five, when she began taking lessons. By the time she was in the fourth grade, Betty added playing the organ to her repertoire in order to accompany her parochial school’s church choir. She even played competitively in high school, earning the highest score ever awarded (98%) in the Ten Piano Competition. Betty’s initial plans to become a nurse were set aside in college when Betty pivoted from majoring in Nursing to majoring in Social Work. As Betty put it, at that time she “didn’t think [she] had the stomach for bedside care”. She graduated from the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, MN with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. She became a social worker for Mower County in Austin, MN, where she met fellow social worker (and future husband) Donald Holten. They were married on September 28, 1963 in Austin, MN. Following their marriage Betty became a homemaker while Donald remained a social worker with Mower County. By the time her youngest child was in elementary school full time, Betty was ready to give nursing another try. She attended Austin Community College, first becoming an LPN and later a 2-year RN. The family relocated to Rochester in 1987, shortly after Betty became an RN at Mayo Clinic – Rochester in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU). While working in the CCU, Betty went back to the College of Saint Teresa and finished what she’d started twenty years ago, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Elizabeth and Don moved to Stewartville, MN in 2010, where she was a member of St. Bernards Catholic Church.

While Betty’s childhood dream of becoming a concert pianist didn’t come to pass, she continued playing. Her audience included family, friends, and members of the Queen of Angels and Saint Augustine Catholic parishes in Austin. Betty achieved a different lifelong dream when she purchased her prized possession, a grand piano, at the age of 46. She enjoyed reading and crocheting and loved time spent with her family, especially her grandchildren. Betty also fell in love with the Bichon Frise dog breed, adopting several as pets over the years.

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Betty is survived by Donald, her husband of 60 years, and 2 daughters and 2 sons: Matthew (Sharon) Holten of Austin, Teresa Holten and Timothy (Gena) Holten and Maureen (Jon) Johnson all of Rochester; 6 grandchildren – Michael Holten, Alexandra Holten, Grace Johnson, Lola Johnson, Claire Johnson and Julia Johnson. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Mary Rosenkranz.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Betty will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday (March 9, 2024) at St. Bernards Catholic Church in Stewartville with Rev. Kevin Connolly officiating. A time of visitation for family and friends will be held 1 hr. prior to the service at the church on Saturday morning. Burial will follow at the church cemetery. Betty’s family suggests memorials to St. Bernards Catholic Church. Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray FH in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Betty are welcome at www,griffin-gray.com