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Bill Holsclaw (1928-2021)


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 2/27/2021 at 11:38:13

On Thursday, February 18, 2021, Bill Holsclaw, husband, Father, grandfather, teacher, coach and friend went fishing into higher waters.
Bill, the son of Harry and Bessie (Boyle) Holsclaw, was born, on September 28, 1928 in Estherville, Iowa. With 3 older sisters and a Dad that moved around a lot with his professional baseball career, the grandmother took over and raised the kids with tough love and Mom worked hard to provide cash. He had a Sunday School teacher and coach that had a great impact on his life. As a 1964 graduate of Estherville High School, he excelled in many sports and placed in 3 events in the State Track meet, and a champ in the football throw!
After graduating from EHS, 17 guys enlisted in the United States Army and they were deployed to Korea. After serving a stint there, he enrolled in Estherville Jr. College. While there he played football on the State Jr. College Championship team as well as having winning basketball and baseball squads. He fondly remembers his end around passes to George Hess, who went on to play basketball for ISU! They both have received the Hall of fame awards at EJC. At this time, he signed a minor league pitching contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The week he was to report, the contract was terminated due to the federalization of his National Guard unit to Nuremberg, Germany. While there, Bill was selected to play defensive end on the infantry football team, that went on to win the Eucon Army Championships.
Upon release, he was awarded a scholarship to Morningside College where he was a 5 sport letterman. He co-captained the 1954 Championship team and served as "M" Club President. He entertained the students on college pool parties with his high board diving! In 2012 this team was inducted into their Hall of Fame. He decided to graduate mid year, marry his college sweetheart, Rosie, and they moved to Cedar Falls where he completed his teach/coach degree at UNI, while she taught school there. Max Lynn, the AD at CHS, needed a teacher/coach, so Bill got his first job as a Social Studies teacher and signed on to coach track, swimming and football, and later on he added cross country.
Bill's teams won 2 State track titles, 4 district titles, 7 cross country state titles, 3 runner-ups as well as countless district and conference championships. There were many individual and relay state champions ,in track, as well as in diving. He was selected as Iowa State Coach of the year six times as well as awards of the same nature at conference and district levels. He was Honorary Referee of the Drake Relays, and inducted into the Iowa State Track Coaches Hall of Fame in 1987 and nominated at the National level as Coach of the Year! The highlight of his 50th year was having his athletes honor him by naming the CHS track the "Bill Holsclaw Track"! Later he was inducted into the inaugural class of CHS Athletic Hall of Fame. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the faithful and outstanding assistant coaches, school administrators, faithful parents and dedicated athletes. They provided friendships, and lasting memories of the highest sort.
In addition to teaching and coaching, Bill put on a striped shirt and whistle and officiated a full slate of high school and small college football games, with a great team of friends. In winter he officiated many high school basketball games.
He spent his summers working at the City and Country Club pools teaching countless swimming and diving lessons. THAT IS AFTER...he went on a prized Canadian fishing trip with fun loving area anglers. Spring break and August afforded time for many family trips which he always carefully loved to plan along with the enjoyment of watching and supporting the kids in whatever they were involved in whether it was sports or music and it was a joy for him to watch Dave kick for the Hawkeyes and pitch in baseball and support Annie with her talented voice. His favorite place to visit was Door County, Wisconsin. He loved those Chicago White Sox, playing cards, games, cribbage, crossword puzzles, reading detective novels, and following his 2 granddaughters. He was a devoted church goer and husband for 65 years.
When asked during a family game, what he would do, if he could do anything and his reply was... "I'm doing it!" He loved coaching, teaching, and people. The Holsclaw home was always filled with good friends, students, and athletes who loved and respected him. He accepted people as they were and had a natural expectation that they would rise up to the occasion and go higher. No award or accolade can replace a life lived with love, service, respect, faithfulness and honor, all of which he embodied to the fullest. THANK YOU for being a part of his journey and a part of our lives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, his sisters, Harryette, Mary Evelyn and Helen and his mother and father-in-law and sister-in-law. Surviving is his wife, Rose, a son: David (Julia) of Dublin, OH, a daughter: Ann (Robert)Nelson of Madison, WI; granddaughters: Emily Holsclaw and Cheris Nelson; a sister-in-law: Dr. Renee Warning and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the family for a future scholarship in Bill's name. Please enjoy watching a web site in honor of our dearly loved Bill at www.billholsclaw.com.
Published on February 22, 2021


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