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Eiler C. Ravnholt

February 21, 1923 March 8, 2012
Eiler C. Ravnholt
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Obituary for Eiler C. Ravnholt
Eiler Christian Ravnholt, a long time Polk County resident, passed away suddenly on March 8, 2012 in his winter home in Henderson, Nevada.

Mr. Ravnholt was born on February 21, 1923 on the family farmstead in Milltown, WI, the fourth of ten children of Ansgar and Kristine Ravnholt.

He attended public schools in Milltown, West Denmark and Luck, graduating in 1941. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1948 with a BS in Education and did graduate work at the University of Southampton (England).

He served with distinction in World War II as a member of the 104th Infantry Division in the European Theatre of Operations. It was while recuperating from an illness in England that he met and got engaged to Edna Joyce Collis. They were married on March 23, 1947 at West Denmark Church in Luck.

After completing his education, he taught school in St. Croix Falls, WI (1950-52) as well as at Mankato High School (1952-62) in Mankato, MN. It was during this time that he served as Chairman of the Blue Earth County Democratic-Farmer Labor Party and as a delegate to the 1960 Democratic National Convention. In 1962 he moved his family to the Washington DC area to serve as the Assistant Librarian of the US Senate Library. In 1965 he became Assistant to Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey. After Humphrey’s defeat for President, he joined the staff of Hawaii’s Senator Daniel K. Inouye as Administrative Assistant, his top aide. It was during his tenure with Senator Inouye that he was an active participant in the Senate Watergate Hearings, investigating misdeeds and criminal acts of the Nixon Administration. Mr. Ravnholt retired from public service in 1980. At that time he became Vice President and Washington Representative of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association until his retirement in 1990. In 1991, sugar industry leaders awarded him the Dyer Memorial Award, “Sugar Man of the Year”. He continued to consult for the Hawaiian Sugar Industry until 1995, when he and his wife moved back to Luck, WI.

In 1969, Mr. Ravnholt was chosen to give the commencement address at Luck School. After retirement, he occasionally spoke to high school classes in Mankato addressing many national legislative topics.

His love of politics and social sciences kept him busy and active. He was past officer at the Luck Senior Center and a generous contributor to the Luck Library and Museum. Additionally he provided thoughtful commentary to local press in his “Letters to the Editors” on a variety of political issues, the last being published the day before his death. Since his wife’s death he was a dear companion of Ms. Marlys Pedersen of Luck.

He is survived by four of his five children, Elizabeth (Michael) Zipser of Vienna, VA; Ann (Henry) Bokelman of Hanlontown, IA; Margrethe (Christopher) Ravnholt-Hankin of Kensington, MD; and Jane (Gary) Ellingson of Mankato, MN. Six grandchildren also survive him, Seth (Holly) Bokelman of Cedar Falls, IA; Jessica (Scott) Rosendaul of Peoria, IL; Jana Ellingson of Sacramento, CA; Emily Ellingson of Cambridge, MA; Erik Hankin of Arlington, VA; and Lars Hankin of College Park, MD. He is also survived by six siblings: Dr. Otto Ravenholt, Las Vegas, NV; Joanne Fremont, Kansas City, MO; Agnes Nussle of Bonney Lake, WA; Dr. Reimert Ravenholt, Gerda Bune, and Astrid Ravenholt all of the Seattle, WA area. His wife of 53 years, Edna, and son, Christopher, preceded him in death. Also preceding him were three siblings, Thora Ravnholt, Albert Ravenholt and Halvor Ravenholt.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Luck Senior Center, P.O. Box 522, Luck, WI 54583 or West Denmark Lutheran Church, 2478 170th Street, Luck, WI 54853.

The public funeral will be held Saturday, March 17th at 11:00 a.m. at West Denmark Lutheran Church in Luck, WI. Visitation will be held at the Rowe Funeral Home in Luck, WI on Friday, March 16th from 4 to 7 p.m.

Online condolences may be left at, or call Bruce Rowe at 715-472-2444 for additional information.
Rowe Funeral Home of Luck, WI has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.
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