Obituary: Arlen Rolf Holter, MD |

Obituary: Arlen Rolf Holter, MD

Arlen Rolf Holter
Arlen Rolf Holter
Provided Photo

February 1, 1946 – November 14, 2022

Arlen Rolf Holter, MD, 76, passed away on Nov. 14, 2022 in Vail, CO. Born on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, to Arne and Helen Holter, he was preceded in death by his youngest son, Andrew, and is survived by his wife, Betsy (Elizabeth A. Reid, MD) and by his sons Matthew (Stephanie) and Peter (Adeline), as well as by grandsons Waylon, August and Oskar, Peter’s children. From age two until college years, Arlen lived in Champaign-Urbana, IL, and his friends from those years remain among his best. He graduated from Stanford University and the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. General surgery training followed at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by cardiothoracic residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. A highlight of his training years was a 6-month period in Southampton, England at the NHS chest hospital. He met Betsy in medical school and they were married in Boston in 1974. By then Arlen had already envisioned a life with children, and a house in the mountains of Colorado. He joined a group practice in Minneapolis in 1980, began his own practice there in 1982, and subsequently merged with Cardiac Surgical Associates, working until he retired to Vail in 2011. On the skiing front, he took Betsy, who had never seen mountains or skis, to Aspen for their honeymoon. Yearly trips to Steamboat made the boys into competent skiers and the house in the mountains came in 1991, in Vail, a tribute to Arlen’s lifelong goal-setting and planning abilities. In the intervening years he planned numerous adventures for his family, including dog-sledding and bear-watching trips in Alaska and hiking Spain’s Camino de Santiago. He expanded his marathon running habit to include ironman length triathlons and he was proud to represent the USA in his age group in the 2001 World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Denmark.
Unbeknownst to all, he gradually developed severe Vitamin B12 deficiency which took a toll on all body systems after his retirement, before discovery in 2019. He underwent a mitral valve repair at the Cleveland Clinic in 2020, an operation he had traveled to Paris to learn how to do 30 years previously, but his heart function continued to decline. Despite physical difficulties he continued to take great joy in his sons, the proudest achievement of his life, and to expand his circle of friends. We are thankful for superb care he received in the last few weeks of his life at Vail Health. A small service will be held at the Vail Chapel on 12/15/2022 at 10AM, with a memorial service later in Minneapolis.
Because Arlen was the recipient of such wonderful health care, the family requests that memorials be directed, in his name, for end-of-life care, to:!/donation/checkout

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