Robert J. Holtz

Robert J. Holtz

CROSS PLAINS-Robert J. Holtz, age 84, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, at Meriter Hospital.

He was born on July 12, 1932, in rural Richland Center, the son of William and Reba Holtz. He proudly served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War with Foreign Service in North Africa.

Robert met and married Janet Smelcer while in the service. They were married on May 16, 1953. Upon his discharge, Robert and Janet decided they would like to farm, so they rented the family farm from Robert’s grandfather in 1954; purchasing it in 1957. They sold out and quit farming in 1960 and Robert began his carpentry career. He worked for various contractors until 1979 when he formed his own corporation and went into business for himself, which lasted until his retirement in 1995.

While on the farm, Robert was elected Chairman of the Town of Ithaca, with a seat on the Richland County Board of Supervisors. He was a member of the VFW in Richland Center and served as trustee for two years. After moving to Cross Plains in 1961, he joined the American Legion where he served as post historian and commander.

Robert is a member of St. Martin’s Lutheran church since 1963, having served as vice president and member of the building committee.

Robert is survived by his children, Richard (Patty) Holtz, Ronald (Julie) Holtz and Randy (Debbie) Holtz; eight grandchildren, Ronald James, Brandon Lee, Rachael, Jennifer, Joshua John, Lindsey Jean and Rhonda Kay Holtz and Troy John Irby; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Janet in 2013; infant son, Robert Jr.; daughter, Rhonda Lynn Irby; son, Robert D.; brother, William Holtz; and sister, Lois Duhr.

Burial will be at FIVE POINTS LUTHERAN CEMETERY, Akan Township, Richland County, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 15, 2017, followed by a Celebration of Robert’s Life at the AMERICAN LEGION POST NO. 245, 2217 American Legion Dr., Cross Plains, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Robert’s name to American Legion Post No. 245 or to St. Martin’s Lutheran Church.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Cross Plains
Funeral & Cremation Care
2421 Church Street