Pat was born May 20, 1949, the youngest son of Joseph W. and Rose S. (Konz) Holton, in Le Mars. He was baptized and confirmed of the Catholic faith. His early childhood education began at Stanton #3 country school through the third grade. He continued his education at Gehlen Catholic Schools through the eighth grade, graduating from Le Mars Community High School in 1967. Pat studied business at Westmar College for two and a half years.
As a youngster, Pat enjoyed an adventurous life on his parent's farm near Merrill. His teen years found him very active in Plymouth County 4-H, serving as county secretary of the boys 4-H clubs from 1966-67. He held several offices in the Le Mars Chapter of the F.F.A., serving as chairman of the Iowa state nominating committee. He earned the prestigious American Farmer Degree in the fall of 1969.
He bowled as a young adult with the Truck Haven Café and Shuff Apco teams in the Classic League. Highlights of his bowling included an unsanctioned 300 game and a guest spot on the Big Bowl Show in 1972.
Tractor pulling Massey Ferguson tractors was enjoyed by the family including his brother Jack and later his sons. In the early 1990s, he helped create the Silver Bullet with his sons, earning many first place trophies with the Northwest Iowa Tractor Pullers.
Winter provided him time to put his pool skills to work as a recreational sport. Family vacations were spent on camping trips close to home. Playing cards with lifelong friends, Roger and Doloros Shuff became a winter tradition.
Pat was proud to serve his country by joining the 185th Tactical Fighter Unit with the Air National Guard in the spring of 1970, receiving his training in military police at Lackland Air Force Base. He remained a member of the unit for eight years while joining the Olson/Halweg American Legion Post 125 in 1975.
At age 23, Pat continued his love for his country by becoming a rural letter carrier with the United States Postal Service. On Christmas Day, 1985, he was assigned to Route One and later carried each of the routes out of Le Mars with the exception of Route Four. Pat had a strong work ethic, enjoyed all of his patrons and took great pride in a job done well with honesty and integrity. Working with the U.S. Postal Service for over 37 years, Pat was close to retirement. He loved his work, having the opportunity to travel the countryside daily.
Pat farmed near Merrill for 30 years, enjoying the lessons of working the land with his Dad and brother.
Pat met the love of his life, Karol Jean Brunkhorst and knew on June 12, 1965, she would be his lifelong companion. Pat and Karol married on Aug. 8, 1970, at Our Lady of the Assumption in Merrill. Together, Pat and Karol were blessed with five children, one of their greatest accomplishments in life. His children were his pride and joy, Kristine Holton, Patrick (Rick) Holton, Jr., Scott Holton and his wife Diane, Julie Holton-Johnson, and Dr. Nicholas Holton and his wife Jill. Pat wore many hats as a Dad in his home -- he loved to dance, be a provider, encourager, disciplinarian, caregiver, coach, gardener and teach his children to be who they are. Most recently, the self-taught chef was well known for his crusted pork loin roast, his potato leek soup, asparagus wraps, and especially his shepherds pie and cheesecake.
Asparagus Days is an annual family event held over Memorial Day weekend at the PKH Family Park, created in 2007 for family gatherings and activities.
In recent years, Pat and Karol enjoyed many baseball trips, especially to see Pat's childhood favorite Atlanta Braves. Their baseball trips took them to all the Major League Baseball parks except six. Several trips included special friends, Rick and Sandy Auseth of Wisconsin.
As their children married and became parents, Pat enjoyed being Grampie to eight special additions to the family tree. Rick's sons are Keagan, Reece, and Hayden, Scott and Diane's daughters are Carter and Lilly, Julie's sons are Will and Carson, Nick and Jill's daughter is Bailey.
Pat was a member of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, the Sioux City Community Theatre and the Sioux City Art Center. The Holtons were long-time members of Assumption Parish in Merrill and most recently members of St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars.
Pat is survived by his wife Karol of 38 years; his daughters Kristie of Clive and Julie of St. Louis, Mo.; his sons Rick of Wheeler, Ind., Scott and his wife Diane of Urbandale, and Nick and his wife Jill of Le Mars; eight grandchildren; brother John (Jack) Holton, Sr. and his wife LaVon of Merrill; sisters-in-law Karen and Fred Carr of Hornick, Diane and Curtis Utesch of Le Mars, and Patty and Donnie Schultz of Merrill, a brother-in-law Warren Brunkhorst and his wife Barbara of Edgar Springs, Mo.; and many nieces and nephews.
Pat was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Rose Holton; his brother Ronald; his father- and mother--in-law, Harry and Lorraine (Kilker) Brunkhorst; several aunts and uncles; and a special friend, Lloyd Hale.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Dennis Sefcik and the Rev. Daniel Greving presiding. Burial will be held in Le Mars Memorial Cemetery with military honors provided by the American Legion, Olson/Halweg Post 125 of Merrill.
Visitation will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars, where there will be a parish rosary at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m. There will also be visitation at the church for one hour prior to the funeral.
The Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars is assisting the family with arrangements.