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Albert V. Ravenholt

September 9, 1919 April 25, 2010
Albert V. Ravenholt
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Obituary for Albert V. Ravenholt
Albert Victor Ravenholt, 90, formerly of Milltown, died April 25, 2010, at his home in Seattle, Wash. He was born Sept.9, 1919, on the family farm in Milltown, one of Ansgar and Kristine Ravenholt's ten children. After the death in infancy of an older sister, Albert became the eldest of five boys and four girls in this Danish-American family who survived the difficult years of the Great Depression. After high school and the loss of the family farm to bank foreclosure, Albert attended Grand View College, Des Moines, Iowa, for one semester before leaving to work at the New York Worlds Fair in the summer of 1939. Inspired to travel, he hitchhiked across the country to California where he signed on as cook on a Swedish freighter sailing for Asia and on to the Mediterranean Sea and Marseilles, France, before returning around Africa to Shanghai where he remained. During 1941 and 1942, Albert led the trucking of medical supplies for the International Red Cross on the Burma Road and into the Chinese interior. From 1942 to 1946, he served as a war correspondent for the United Press International in the China-Burma-India theatre where he interviewed such luminaries as Mao Zidong, Zhou Enlai, and Ho Chi Minh. In 1946, Albert married Marjorie Severyns, who was then serving with the OSS, in Shanghai. Later that year, they returned to the United States where Albert became a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs and studied at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellows Associate in 1947 and 1948. Albert and Marjorie then returned to China where he reported on the Communist takeover of China and wrote widely for the Chicago Dally News and the Institute of Current World Affairs. In 1985, they were among the seven veteran journalists invited to return to China by the Deng Xiaoping government. Albert was a founding member of the American Universities Field Staff and from 1951 continued his research and writing throughout Asia for many decades. Periodically, he lectured at AUFS member universities. He was the author of The Philippines, A Young Republic on the Move as well as numerous expert articles that appeared in the journal Foreign Affairs, The Reporter magazine, the World Book Yearbook, and the Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year, among others. Albert provided guidance to John D. Rockefeller III In the creation of the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation and, with his wife Marjorie, endowed at the University of Washington the annual Severyns-Ravenholt Lectureship, the purpose of which is to promote awareness of contemporary Asian politics, economics, and cultures. In 1998, Albert was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters. For many decades, Albert and Marjorie maintained homes in both the Philippines and Seattle, where Albert was an early investor in real estate on Bainbridge Island and in Sagemoor Farms or the Columbia River near Pasco. As a result of his life-long interest in agriculture, Albert developed mango and coconut plantations in the Philippines, provided early support for the nitrogen-fixing tree association, and was a pioneer grower of wine grapes in Washington State. Albert had many far flung interests but he always valued his roots in the Milltown-Luck area. He acquired forest acreage on the Chippewa Trail and became an important benefactor to his boyhood church in West Denmark and to the Luck library and museum. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Marjorie Severyns Ravenholt; and brother, Halvor.He is survived by four sisters, Johanne Fremont, Gerda Bune, Agnes Nussle and Astrid Ravenholt; three brothers, Eiler, Reimert and Otto Ravenholt; 26 nieces and nephews; his devoted housekeeper of 55 years, Segundina Lotilla; and many friends and acquaintances both professional and personal around the world.Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 5, at 2 p.m. at West Denmark Lutheran Church of Luck.  Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until the time of service.  Burial will take place at West Denmark Cemetery following the service.As information is updated it can be found on the following website: or call Bruce Rowe at 715-472-2444.Rowe Funeral Home of Luck has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.
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