Vail Daily obituary: Richard (Dick) M. Holsten, Jr., 1925-2014 |

Vail Daily obituary: Richard (Dick) M. Holsten, Jr., 1925-2014

Coal mining CEO and ski patrol exec Richard “Dick” M. Holsten Jr. passed in comfort in Hinsdale, Illinois, on Saturday surrounded by his loved ones.

Born June 4, 1925, in New Rochelle, New York. Dick attended Eaglebrook School, Phillips Andover Academy, Princeton University and Cornell University, majoring in mechanical engineering. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in WWII and Korea as a 1st Lieutenant.

Following five years at the Electro Motive division of General Motors, Dick joined the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Co., working in offices in Chicago, Kansas City and Denver and rising to the position of CEO/chairman before retiring in 1990. Son, Peter Holsten, comments on growing up with a high-achiever: “At Dad’s retirement party, his successor as CEO came up to me and said, ‘Your dad was a real taskmaster.’ I commented back, ‘You should have grown up with him!’ We both had a good laugh.”

“After Dad retired in Denver, he wanted to remain out West so that he could ski, and Mom wanted to return to Chicago. Well, we all know who won that battle,” chuckled his daughter, Jennifer.

It was at this last location that he fulfilled his dream of “skiing the Rockies darn near every weekend.” Not one to “idly ski,” he worked for many years with the National Ski Patrol System, topping off his service in the position of assistant national director. After he taught his children Peter and Jennifer to ski at age 5, they carried on the family tradition by passing down the same benefit to their children. A regular member at the Hinsdale Golf Club, Richard’s “longest drive” accomplishment was rewarded with a cut-up range ball tastefully mounted on a burnished wooden plaque.

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Richard Holsten was loving husband of the late Jeane Holsten. He is survived by: sister Janet Perry; sister-in-law Ruth (John) Gaspar; daughter Jennifer (Phillip) Templeton; son Peter (Jacqueline) Holsten; and grandchildren Klari (Michael) Barcelos, James Senk, Lindsey Holsten, Whitney Holsten, William Taylor III and Mackenzie Holsten; he also leaves behind longtime companion Anita Holcomb.

Active in numerous other organizations, including the National Coal Association (chairman and director), American Mining Congress (director), the National Coal Council (charter member), the National Mining Hall of Fame (trustee), the Coal Industry Advisory Board, and the International Committee on Coal Research, his life reached far and touched many in positive ways.

Services are private. For those interested, memorial gifts in the name of Richard M. Holsten, Jr. may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., 200 SE 1st St., Miami, FL, 33131.

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