The Madison area lost a soccer pioneer with the passing of Ron Holzhueter at age 73, on April 25, 2019, in a Scottsdale Ariz. hospital. Ron loved life and remained upbeat during many years of health challenges.
Ronald Gene Holzhueter was born on Oct. 2, 1945 in West Bend, Wis., to Irv and Grace (Gorder) Holzhueter. His family moved to Waterloo, Wis. in 1955, where he graduated from Waterloo High School in 1964. Ron was a four-sport athlete and co-captain of Waterloo’s 1964 State Tournament basketball team.
Ron graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a degree in math education. During a college football practice, Ron suffered a severe knee injury. Missing team sports, he tried playing soccer and fell in love. At the end of his first season, Ron was named Most Improved Player. In his second and final season playing at UW-Platteville, he was co-captain and co-Most Valuable Player.
Ron spent his math teaching career at Madison Memorial Junior and Senior High Schools. In the early 1970s, he fostered intramural soccer teams, and by 1975, all four Madison high schools had varsity soccer teams. Ron was head coach of the Memorial boys team from the start, and assisted with the girls team. He later coached at both Waunakee High School and Verona Area High School.
Ron was a founding member of the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association and a longtime officer and board member of the Madison 56ers Soccer Club. Ron ran soccer camps for many years and co-owned the first indoor soccer facility in Madison. Ron was inducted into the Wisconsin Soccer Association Hall of Fame, the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Madison Area Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2017, Ron was one of the first members to represent soccer when he was inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame.
Ron married the former Katherine Lochner on June 7, 1974. They spent their marriage as resident of Madison, and in recent years, they wintered in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Ron is survived by Kathie; son, Kyle (Kazuko Jimoto) of Okayama, Japan; and daughter, Sarah (Nick Wigglesworth, friend), of Madison. Ron is survived by siblings, James (Judy), Jean, Ruth Arians (Richard) and Paul (Valerie). He is also survived by many aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, and other relatives. Preceding him in death are his parents; and one brother, Robert.
A memorial service will be held at GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH, 7291 County Road PD, Verona, Wis., on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 11 a.m. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton, on Friday, May 10, 2019, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Due to roadwork on University Ave., please use the entrance on Elmwood Ave. Visitation will continue at the church from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday. A lunch will follow the service at the Heights Event Center, 411 Prairie Heights Drive, Verona.
Memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church or to the Madison Area Youth Soccer Association, 5964 Executive Drive, Madison WI, 53719.