In Memory of




Obituary for James Dale Holland

James Dale Holland, 86, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully with family by his side after a short battle with cancer on Sunday, December 3, 2023. Jim, third child of the late Lyle and Evelyn Holland, was born in Ripon, Wisconsin, on February 4, 1937. From childhood, he exhibited a mind for mechanics. After school, he apprenticed with Jack Schneider at Leon’s to later become known as the Custard King.

He graduated from Oshkosh High School in 1956, and married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ellen Wesenberg, in 1957. Together they worked at Wisconsin Bell telephone company, she as an operator and he as a lineman. After 30 years of service, he retired at the age of 55. Not one to idle in retirement, he went from mowing lawns to becoming the manager of Planeview Travel Plaza. Later, he found enjoyment in his second retirement by hunting and fishing.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he and his lifelong friend Dick Miller were members of the Wisconsin 32nd Infantry Division as national guardsmen. With his take-charge attitude, he had a life of community service as president of the Wisconsin Bell Credit Union, and state and local chapters of the Telephone Pioneers of America. His proud accomplishments were chairing EAA program sales, being a member of the torch team of the 1984 Olympic Games, supporting Operation Teddy Bear, and traveling as a jolly ambassador to China and Japan dressed as Santa Clause and Mary, his wife, as his elf.

Jim described himself as, “a plain and simple guy who liked to do things right.” In his earlier years, he ran and maintained an ice rink at Murdock and Burdick where he sharpened his ice skating skills and would amuse family and friends. His love of the Packers led to a job as the head of field security for several decades. His wife Mary accompanied him in the stands. His love of hunting led him to buying land in Adams County. When his hunting days ended, his greatest pleasure was to give rides on his golf cart with his grandchildren and as many as five dogs. Of all his travels around the world, his greatest joy was taking family to various locations to hear the ocean waves. As life settled down, daily coffee visits with the gang at Hardees was a great joy.

He was preceded in death by his siblings Lili Mae Ziemer, Lloyd Holland, and Thomas Holland. He is survived by his wife Mary and his three children, Roxanne (Scott) O’Mary, Troy Holland, and Allison Kienast; his four grandchildren Thomas (Allison) Pistohl, Justin (Stephanie) Pistohl, Ashley (Craig) Cance, and Dakota Kienast, and his six great grandchildren, Trace and Alexander Pistohl, Jayne Pistohl, and Cameron, Cora, and Calvin Cance. He is further survived by his sister-in-law, Carla (Bruce) Berrell and brother-in-law, Terrel (Anne) Wesenberg, his nieces Linda Kelly, Mary Paull, Tammy Ponzer, and Tracy Bantleon, his nephews Steve and Scott Holland, and numerous family and friends.

The family would like to thank the hospice team and staff at Aurora Medical Center for their outstanding care and moral support. In keeping with Jim’s wishes, a celebration of life with close friends and family will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to Oshkosh Area Humane Society.