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Bruce Olin Holtan


On November 15, 2020 Bruce Olin Holtan was pronounced deceased of natural causes at the age of 56. Bruce was born on January 6, 1964. A Monday on a leap year.

Bruce’s passion for the outdoors, his ideals of camaraderie amongst his peers, and the stories of his adventures out west will be forever missed. He forged an occupational path that began serving in the US Army. He had often talked about his experiences while stationed in Germany. He was given an honorable discharge for his time served, and that experience would lead him to the Department of Corrections. He had worked most of his professional life in Minnesota prisons including St Cloud, Red Wing, and the majority of his years in Moose Lake. A firm man that many enjoyed working with, he carried impeccable knowledge and would be sure to teach anyone who would listen, and even to those who wouldn’t.

He often spoke of his adventures and history, never missing details. He always sought the best in people, but that didn’t allow him to detour from seeing the bad. Bruce’s infectious smile and booming voice would light up the room, and he knew it. It was truly a privilege to be within the proximity of his love and acceptance. And once you were in his circle, you would find yourself in a sea of undying loyalty. Over his years he had several phenomenally trained dogs by his side, his loyal companions. Bruce had a love for hunting and fishing that would take him all over the midwest, Wyoming and Montana. An outdoorsman legend with countless trophy hunts and successful fishing expeditions. His most recent favorite place to be was west, where he would spend time with his beloved Aunt Mary Lu Askvig and cousin Dean Askvig hunting and hiking the mountains of Wyoming. He was also always eager to participate on ranches and partake in the year round activities and chores.

It is our greatest desire that he is at peace. At peace and jovially sharing his many secrets and tales to a new audience. He is survived by his father Melroy Holtan of Menahga; three sisters: Lori Bunkholt of Shorewood, Susan Olson of Glencoe, and Julie Holtan-Condiff of Park Rapids, and a brother Brett Holtan of Menahga. He is also survived by seven nephews: Jesse Bunkholt, Caleb Holtan, Josh Olson, Travis Olson, Tyler Condiff, and Layne Condiff. His great niece, Kamryn Bunkholt would call him “Uncle Flippy.” A reference to Bruce’s iconic old flip phone that was always a topic of humor with many of us. He also had great-nieces Kasey Condiff, Avery Olson, and Nora Olson. Also a great-nephew Micah Olson. He leaves behind many friends and peers, past and current. And the many neighbors he lived amongst on Little Hanging Horn Lake in Barnum.

Memorial plans have been challenging with the uncertainty of a Covid lockdown. When timing allows for safe gathering, there will be a memorial taking place at Fort Ripley in St Cloud. Some of his ashes will be buried there by his Veteran Headstone. In the spring of 2021, another memorial will be held in Cody, WY where some of his ashes will be buried at his grave site, and the remainder of his ashes will be spread by those closest to him in his favorite mountains. May he roam there eternally as he wishes.

A brother to many, and a legend to some. RIP Bruce Holtan.

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