Alice Leona (Schwandt) Holtquist, 95, a former resident of Milbank and Big Stone City, SD, passed away 9/20/2021 at Mother of Mercy Nursing Home, Albany, MN.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 am Friday, September 24 at Emanuel Lutheran Church, Milbank, SD. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 pm Thursday, September 23, at Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Alban Township, Grant County, SD.
The family has requested that those attending the visitation and funeral service wear masks.
Alice was the seventh of nine children of William and Rosa (Mueller) Schwandt, born in Big Stone Township, Grant County SD on the Schwandt family farm on the State Line Road. Born right after Independence Day, July 5th, 1926, her favorite colors were red, white, and blue. Alice loved her family, farm life, 4-H, and enjoyed working in the dairy barn milking cows with her elder brother, Earl, before going to school. Excelling at most things she did, Alice’s superior milking skills meant that Earl didn’t have as many cows to milk; she soon realized that this was probably his plan all along. Alice and Earl remained best of friends their whole lives.
She loved roller skating at Sioux Historic Pavilion and most outdoor sports activities. It was at a school picnic that she met the handsome love of her life, Donald Holtquist, impressing him with her unassuming good looks and her super softball skills catching high flying balls in the outfield! They started dating soon after, were married October 5, 1946, in an evening candlelight service at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Alban Township, Grant County, SD.
Alice and Don started farming on the shores of Lake Albert, Milbank, SD, getting by with no electricity, running water, or telephone. Later they purchased a farm west of Clinton, MN, before returning to run the Schwandt family farm on the State Line Road south of Big Stone City, SD. Upon retirement, they settled in a Big Stone City home with a panoramic view overlooking the scenic Whetstone River valley, and took pleasure in seeing all the deer, foxes, and flocks of wild turkeys. They took memorable bus trips around the country, and also visited Hawaii and Alaska.
Baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Alice was also a long-time member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Ortonville, MN, and the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. She taught Sunday School at Trinity for 11 years. Later she transferred to Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank.
Alice enjoyed: cooking for her family; collecting and trying out new recipes; word puzzles, dominoes, card games, and putting together jigsaw puzzles with her children and grandchildren; making many quilted wall hangings, placemats, and bedcovers; picking and preserving strawberries, tomatoes, and sweet corn with her family. Her sewing room was filled with many ribbons and trophies that she won for her quilts, peanut brittle, angel food cake, and other baked goods. The grandkids loved Grandma’s frozen sweet corn, canned peaches, strawberry jam, and countless cookies. Alice enjoyed the seasonal factory work at the Big Stone Canning Company. She was a member of the Chat N’Do Ladies Extension Club for more than 49 years. She enjoyed family reunions and loved to see her grandchildren and great grandchildren. For nine years the lucky students and teachers at Big Stone City School looked forward to their school lunches as Alice was in charge of desserts.
Cherishing her memory are her children: Susanne Ethel (Susan Woodman) of Lawrence, KS; Sandra Marie (Ron) Paulsen of Albany, MN; Douglas Allen of Woodbury, CT; Bruce Donald (Jan) of Springfield, SD; Rebecca Rose of Northfield, MN; Michael Mason (Julie Thomson) of Big Stone City, SD; daughters-in law: Connie Holtquist, of Ortonville, MI; and Shelly Holtquist of Waterford, MI; 17 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Alice is also survived by sisters: Ethel Anderson of Brainerd, MN; Evelyn Henderson of Lincoln, NE; and sister-in-law, Kay Schwandt of Bowie, MD.
Alice was pre-deceased by her parents; husband of 56 years; three sons: Gary William, Gregory Wayne, David Mark; great grandson, Brian James Friedrich; brothers: Roland, Alvin, Earl, Rev. Herbert; sisters: Verna Stoehr, Elvera Cooper; brothers-in-law: Raymond Stoehr, Robert Cooper, Gordon Anderson, Howard Henderson, Allan Holtquist, Harold Holtquist, Kenneth Holtquist; sisters-in-law: Elaine Schwandt, Edna Schwandt, Beatrice Schwandt, Mary Ann Holtquist, and Lalah Holtquist.
The family would like to thank Alice’s multitude of guardian angels at Centra Care Hospice, Mother of Mercy Nursing Home, and the dear staff and her friends at “Dan’s Place” (Wellshire Park Place Assisted Living, Milbank).
Memorials may be given in Alice’s memory to St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery.