Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
William Holtcamp Memorial
William Holtcamp Memorial

William Holtcamp

William Holtcamp

Monday, October 29th, 2012

On October 29, 2012, William Henry Holtcamp passed on to begin his next chapter at the age of 90. He was born on the family homestead in Sedro Woolley Nov. 2, 1921 to Minda and William Holtcamp Sr. where he grew up helping to clear the land and develop the dairy farm that operated until 1998. Out of this Bill developed a deep respect for the early pioneers and an interest in passing on their story. He was a prolific writer and wrote three books about family history and the early days of the Sterling area. He was proud of the fact that he still lived on the farm his grandfather homesteaded in 1884. He added to the original homestead over the years as he purchased land and guided the farm from milking cows by hand to modern machine milking, along with the many other advancements of modern farming.

He was also involved with many of the issues facing farmers and our natural resources, serving many years as a board member for the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, a division of the USDA, advising on flooding concerns, as well as conservation practices for agriculture. In addition, he was an active member of many agricultural organizations and several farm cooperatives. Bill felt that he was called to be a farmer and that there was “no more honest way to make a living than to grow food for people”.

Bill was an active member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and his faith was very important to him. He enjoyed teaching Sunday School, and was on the church board. He was also involved with the planning and building of the new Lutheran church and encouraged the church board to build the large church they have today. A good thing, as it did fill up.

He was baptized at home and confirmed at the Burlington Lutheran Church, which is where he met the love of his life, Mildred Lagerlund, and dazzled her with mischievous good looks, athletic vaults onto his horse, and drives in the car singing and yodeling. His sense of humor and mischief led to many tales of the pranks he played over the years. In 1943 Bill and Mildred were married and began their lifelong journey. Together they had a large family of 4 sons and 4 daughters and he truly enjoyed family gatherings and seeing everyone together.

Bill was interested in preserving the early history of the area and took great pleasure in showing the tools and artifacts from his grandfather’s blacksmith shop. In 1991, when Sedro Woolley was decorating the town with murals, Bill, along with the Sedro Woolley Soroptimist club, commissioned a likeness of his “Grandpa Henry’s” blacksmith shop on a wall in town. And in 2002 Bill and Mildred were recognized as Founders of the Year by the Sedro Woolley Museum. His interest in history also led to travels to the Middle East and Europe to visit relatives and his ancestral roots.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents William and Minda (Bratley) Holtcamp, his daughter Minda Von Allmen, grandson James Zackery Holtcamp, and his sister Helen Marie Sanders.

He is survived by his loving wife of 69 years , Mildred Holtcamp; his son William/Bud Holtcamp (Ginny) Crawford, Crawford, MS; daughters Betty Groszhans, Bismarck, ND and Sally Wendover (Tom) Bellingham, WA; sons Jim Holtcamp (Linda) and Tom Holtcamp (Dolores); daughter Gretchen Holtcamp; and son Joe Holtcamp (Liz) all of Sedro Woolley, WA. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Von Walter, Tacoma, WA, along with 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A special thank you to the Skagit Valley Kidney Center for all of the support, care, and friendship they gave over the years.

Funeral Services will be Monday, November 5, 2012 at 1:00PM at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church 1006 Wicker Rd Sedro-Woolley with Pastor Darrell Schoen officiating with a reception to follow in the church parish hall. A private family interment service will be Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at the Green Hills Cemetery in Burlington. Memorials are suggested to Bethlehem Lutheran Church or Skagit Valley Kidney Center, P.O. Box 1376, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.


  • Linda Holtcamp-Kahler

    My brothers, Leonard & Lynn and I send our condolences. Our father Leonard G Holtcamp passed away in 1978 and therefore we never knew much of our family history until now. William sounds to be a wonderful man, for whom we would have loved to have had the pleasure meet. We send our best to his wife & family.
    Sincerely, Linda, Leonard & Lynn

  • Linda A Holtcamp Kahler

    I’m so sorry for your lose and mine for never having meet William. My father, Leonard would have been SO proud of William.
    My thoughts are with you.

  • Orville Branson

    My condolences to all the Holtcamp family. Bill was one of my favorite people when
    I worked foe Western Farmers Assoc. and for Bellingham Frozen Foods. We also
    enjoyed some Lutheran activities together. I left the area in 1993, so he is one person
    I’ve really missed. Rest in Bill. Orville Branson, Lewiston ID


    I send my condolences to the entire Holtcamp family..
    It was an honor to have known Bill. I admired his wit, his sense of humor, story telling abilities
    and most of all his strong importance of “FAMILY”. I thank him and the entire family for sharing his daughter Minda with me and my family, she was a true treasure, never to be forgotten. May your cherished memories give you all comfort. Love and Blessings to you all Shirley

  • Missy Froeber

    Dear Family,
    I am sorry I can not be there for Grandpa’s funeral, but I wanted to share some special memories I have of Grandpa. I remember he would always be the first person up and building the fire. Tina and I would wake up to the wonderful smell of burning logs and come stumbling up the stairs to have Grandpa make us homemade waffles. Yum! In college, Grandpa would write me letters every few weeks. He would tell funny stories about friends he used to know in the area. It got to be quite the entertainment for my roommates and I. They would get almost as excited as I would when a letter came in the mail. I told this to Grandpa and he was tickled.
    I asked my boys what they remembered about Grandpa and David said, “he had a bucket of apples. We went down the road and fed them to the llamas. Grandpa told how the llamas sometimes spit on you!”
    Michael remembered a day at Samish when Grandpa chased a small dog with his wheel chair. The dog barked and barked and Grandpa barked right back at him.
    I am so glad that I have his words in his letter, stories and poems. I will always remember his wonderful sense of humor and his great smile. I will miss him!

  • Sherryl (Sherry) Sanders

    Our dear Family – We were sorry to hear of Bill’s death. He was a very solid, quiet man with strong values and convictions who loved life, had a delightful sense of humor and a spirited story telling which laced his daily hard work. The results were that he grew what he loved: family, religious life, good business, close friends, cattle, plants. I am so glad that he was given a big party to honor and memorialize him when he was alive. He indeed was loved and respected by so many.

    We are so lucky to be able to experience his legacy though the existence of his family and the farm and the books of his poems and stories and family history that he left behind.

    We, Kent’s family, regret that we are unable to attend his funeral and burial. You all are now, and will be over the next few months, in our hearts, memories, thoughts and prayer as you mourn and celebrate a beloved life.

    Many hugs, love and blessings – Sherry on behalf of Kent, Ryan and Andreea, Geoff and Maisa, Kendra and Nathan


    I am sorry to hear of your loss of Bill. He was a kind man & I remember visiting him while my mom Rosie visited with Mildred when we would stop by the house. Travis my son would play with Gretchen & Joe. Joe & Travis shared the same 4th of July birthday. I remember Mom said Bill only liked Mildred’s baked goods & would eat no other baked goods. Sincerely- Joanie Nagatani