Bill F. Holstein
July 13, 1956 - June 1, 2020
Bill Holstein, the unofficial and well-loved Grouch of Fruita, transitioned to his next act in a tragic and accidental fall Monday afternoon at his workplace. His sense of humor was bawdy and legendary around Fruita as was his spirited and persistent support for his beloved community. While lost to us far too soon, Bill over his life, volunteered for everyone and everything, complained vigorously and lived with opinionated passion for his loved ones.
Bill was a respected photographer of great talent whose “Little Red Rocker” show gained him recognition around the state including Best of Show in the Mesa and Colorado State Fairs. His enjoyment for the arts and with nagging from his wife, Donna, Bill got involved with the Fruita Art and Culture Board and brought great energy and vision to the group. Bill was instrumental in starting the Art Stroll for which he raised thousands of dollars overthe years. For several years Bill chaired the group (he loved his board!) which has helped energize Fruita.
Seven years ago Bill stepped up to buy and begin remodeling one of the oldest buildings in Fruita, the 1902 Doc Masser home on Aspen Street. His wife often referred to it as “his mistress” because of the amount of time, money, and passion he poured into it. The unfinished “White House” remains a work in progress much to Donna’s annoyance but it will serve as a monument to Bill when it is someday completed.
Bill grew up in Widefield went into the Navy after high school where he served as a Seabee on the USS Roosevelt and USS Prairie sailing the world. After the Navy he went to Fort Lewis College for a year then transferred to Adams State where he earned his B.A. in History. His love of history remained a passion his whole life. Before moving to Durango, he happened to meet Donna Stratton in Colorado Springs. This began a 38-year journey for the two of them that included marriage, moves and a vast variety of adventures that they lovingly shared together. Bill and Donna loved needling each other to no end which often led to the winner picking up the bill.
For many years Bill drove the backroads of Colorado selling yearbooks to schools in Western Colorado and parts of Wyoming, a job he loved. He cherished the relationships he built with his school advisers and yearbook staffs and kept up communications with many of them long after he left the business. The last few years, he worked at Bookcliff Gardens and loved working with the staff and clientele there.
Bill has a birthday coming up and would have celebrated it in genuine Holstein fashion: hotdogs from Weinerschnitzel, chilicheese fries, and a cold beer at Copper Club. Ironically, the Covid pandemic had given Bill and Donna some precious time together recently which Donna so much appreciates now. A private celebration of life will be held when the situation allows.
Contributions, in Bill’s honor, may be made to the Fruita Arts and Culture Board.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Franklin Holstein, please visit our floral store.