William (Bill) Kenneth Holen 73 of Cozad passed away Oct. 14, 2021 at home after being placed on hospice care for a short time.
He was born June 4, 1948, in Kearney Nebraska to the late Kenneth William & Lucille Ann (Miller) Holen.
He attended grade school in Bertrand through the third grade. Then moved to Lexington with his family, where he graduated from Lexington High School with the class of 1966.
At the age of fifteen, after telling his parents he was going to the movie in Lexington he went to Plainville, Kansas to ride his first bull. Needless to say his Mother was waiting at the door for him when he arrived home about 4 hours after the movie was over. Thus began the next ten years of rodeo. His highest accolade was to win the Tri State Championship for bull riding, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
On May 17, 1969, Bill Married Nancy L. Rouse at United Methodist Church in Denver Colorado. He enjoyed traveling and visited most of the 50 states and Vancouver Canada with friends, Lee and Karen Shafer and Bruce and Patty Bader whom they crisscrossed the country with. Over 45 of those years Bill enjoyed getting their families together for Thanksgiving and Easter dinners at their home, sometimes with as many as 40 attending. He loved playing nickel dime quarter poker with his family at Harry and Sook’s at Johnson Lake. Growing up in land locked Nebraska Bill was all about rodeo, and meat and potatoes. After marriage he learned to salt water fish and crab on the James River and Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. The seafood never replaced beef but the saltwater fish, Blue Crab, Oysters & Clams all ran second place. He loved spending time at the family cottage in Virginia, getting to know Nancy’s family and making lifelong friends there too. Last but not least he loved Nebraska Football and Volleyball.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Lucille Holen, brother-in-law, Jerry Bryan, nephew, David Bryan and In-laws Harry & Marion (Sook) Rouse.
Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years (Nancy), three sisters; Susan Bryan of Lexington, NE. Sandra (Tim) Johnson of Omaha, NE. and Patricia Holen of Overland Park, KS. One Daughter, Shelby Forrester (Chris Votaw) of Oconto, NE, two sons; Shawn Holen and Mike Lisa (Schmidt) Holen of Cozad, NE., five grandchildren; Robert Forrester of Broken Bow, NE., Chase & (Tori) Forrester of Kearney, NE., Kiera Holen, Lisa Holen and Alec Holen of Cozad, NE., four Nieces, one nephew as well as extended family and many friends.
A celebration of life will be held Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington.
Inurnment will be at a later date in the Robb Cemetery, south of Lexington.
Memorials are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Shriners Children’s Hospital.
Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefunerahome.com