OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Donald Gene Holkum was born on March 22, 1934 to Dewey Sr. and Florence Holkum. Merna B Holkum was born on July 10, 1938 to Emil and Ruth Dietz. Merna passed away on May 14, 2023 and was joined shortly after by her loving husband, Donald on May 17, 2023.
Merna was raised in the flat lands on a farm in Russell, KS. She milked cows and collected eggs from chickens. While her mother did the cooking, things like bierocks and noodles that cannot be recreated, Merna washed the dishes as her mother passed them through the dining room in the old farmhouse. Merna loved to drive. This included driving the wheat truck as well as a Mercury that she often spent time drag racing.
Donald lettered in all sports in high school and played guitar almost daily throughout his entire life. He never failed to complete a crossword – even the tough ones on Sundays! He loved horses and used to break them. He also enjoyed playing dominoes with friends and family. He considered it great fun and was very competitive.
Merna and Donald met on a date in Gorham, KS. Donald would drive out to Russell and pick Merna up. They got married on April 15, 1956 in Hays, KS. They were married 67 years.
They are preceded in death by Donald’s parents, Dewey Holkum Sr, and Florence Holkum; Merna’s parents, Emil and Ruth Dietz; daughter-in-law, Michelle Holkum; Donald’s brother, Dewey Holkum Jr.; Donald’s sister, Francie Rose; Merna’s brother, Eugene H. Dietz; brother-in-law, JD Mahon; nephews, Jimmy Dietz and Rusty Richter; and niece, Connie Ring.
Donald and Merna’s lives were celebrated with funeral services on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Resthaven Funeral Home in Oklahoma City, OK. Interment followed at Arlington Memory Gardens.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, May 27, 2023