Rodger Vautile Holmen (1908-1971)
Rodger Vautile Holmen was born and raised in Hatton, North Dakota. He attended Mayville State Teacher’s College in Mayville, North Dakota and Bemidji College in Bemidji, Minnesota. A gifted teacher, his students ranged from schoolchildren in rural North Dakota to undergraduates at Mayville State University. Meanwhile, he furthered his own education, attending graduate courses at the College of Puget Sound, Washington College of Education, and Auerswald's Business College, ultimately completing his Master’s degree at the University of Washington. He then served as Principal at the Lakeland Village School in Washington.
Holmen was drafted into the U.S. Army in March 1942. He first served in the Coast Artillery before becoming an instructor at Camp Davis in Holly Ridge, North Carolina. Later he became the director of a special training school at Camp Stewart in Georgia. His unit was shipped overseas to Casablanca in March 1944. Following tours of duty in North Africa and Italy, his unit entered occupied Austria under the direction of General Mark W. Clark, commander of the U.S. Forces, Austria (USFA). While in Austria, Holmen was attached to the MFAA as a Public Relations Officer. Before his discharge in April 1946, he also served as an Educational Specialist with the USFA and an officer with U.S. Army Intelligence.
After returning to Washington in May 1946, Holmen resumed a successful career in education which spanned an impressive thirty-seven years. He worked as a principal at the Lakeland Village School before teaching in the small town of Renton, Washington.
Rodger Holmen died on August 24, 1971.
Photo courtesy of the Holmen Family (private collection).