Ann Holzheuer of Hale, Michigan passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 13, 2023 and joined her beloved husband, Bill, with whom she shared a life for 56 years.
Ann Rufine (Nielsen) Holzheuer was born on August 29, 1947 in Parma Heights, Ohio. Every summer as a girl she and her family would make the long weekend commute from the suburbs of Cleveland to their little patch of paradise on Long Lake, where Ann and her younger brother, Paul, would fish for perch and sunfish off their dock and where she and her older sister, Janice, would turn heads as they sped past the other cabins on their water skis, Ann’s blond ponytail flying in the breeze, and baby sister, Gayle, riding along in the boat. One of the heads Ann turned while spending time up at her family’s cabin in Hale was a local boy named Bill, who was home on summer break from Central Michigan University and working at his family’s hardware store. They began a long-distance relationship during which time Ann enrolled in Thiel College, in Greenville, Pennsylvania to study biology and physical therapy, but true love, the beauty of northern Michigan, and the opportunity to start a family and grow a business brought Ann and Bill together in marriage on August 23, 1966. They have two children, Amy and William (Bill).
Ann was an accomplished pianist, who accompanied countless local students in solo and ensemble contests and choir concerts, played the piano and organ at church services and weddings, and played and sang at lively family gatherings with her talented sisters, Janice and Gayle, and other family members to the delight of everyone, especially her mother, Rufine. Ann
was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing on leagues with longtime friends in Hale and at their condo at the Hideaway in Fort Myers, Florida. Ann was also committed to supporting long term care, and served for many years as board chair of the Iosco County Medical Care Facility, as well as on the statewide Michigan County Medical Care Facilities Council. Her lifelong work in
furtherance of this cause came full circle as she ultimately became a resident of the facility she championed as she battled and ultimately succumbed to a progressive neurological disease. Ann was a great cook, whose specialties were her amazing Caesar salad, simple but elegant dinners, French toast breakfasts with the grandkids, and Grandma Nielsen’s homemade
Swedish bread for the holidays. Unfortunately, her brownies always came out like hockey pucks! Ann was above all a champion and cheerleader for her children and grandchildren. For her children, she was their first and best teacher; incessantly correcting their grammar, reading favorite books and poems, playing endless games of chance and strategy (and never letting
them win on purpose), and volunteering for every field trip and school activity (except baking brownies). For her granddaughters, Claire, Jane, Avery and Bellamy, she was their biggest fan and loudest proclaimer of their accomplishments. They could do no wrong in her eyes. For the world at large, however, Ann was bluntly forthright in her assessments and was always willing to express her honest opinion.
Ann is predeceased by her husband Bill and her parents Paul and Rufine (Rogers) Nielsen. She is survived by her daughter Amy (William) Barkholz; Her son William (Angela) Holzheuer; her granddaughters Claire (Holden) Dippel, Jane Barkholz, Avery Holzheuer, and Bellamy Holzheuer; Her sisters Janice Newsted (Barry Nauroth) and Gayle (Ray) Chapman, and brother
Paul (Nancy) Nielsen, as well as so many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, other extended family members and friends far and wide.
It was Ann and Bill’s wish to have their remains combined in celebration of their love and life together. To allow for more family to participate, a celebration of Ann’s life and an internment ceremony for both of them is planned for a future date. In recognition of Ann’s commitment to long term care, her many years of service as chair of the board of the Iosco County Medical
Care Facility, and especially to honor and support the vital and often unsung work of long term caregivers and all who care for our most vulnerable, we ask that donations in Ann’s name be made to the Iosco County Medical Care Facility.