J.D. Holmberg born in Randolph, Kansas, born August 24, 1922 to Reuben and Delpha (Borene) Holmberg; 3 brothers Merrill, Gerald and Clyde, all of whom preceded him in death. Married in 1944 to Verna L. Baltis, who died in 1988. They had one daughter Donna L. Mehl and one grandson, Kevin Bergendoff. He is also survived by 6 step children.
He married Janice (Haue) Brooks in 1993, this marriage, as well as the one with Verna, was a rewarding experience.
He attended grade school and high school in Randolph, Kansas was the Riley County spelling champion in the 7th grade, and first in the Riley County on standardized tests his eighth grade year.
J.D. was valedictorian for the class of 1940 at Randolph High School, was one of 33 finalists for Summerfield Scholarships at KU (which he did not receive).While in high school, he lettered four years in baseball and basketball, two years in track, winning the county baseball championship in 1940. The baseball team was undefeated the last two years he played. In track, he competed in the pole vault, high jump and half mile. In 1940, he tied for first in high jump and took fifth in half mile in the regional track meet.
In 1940, he became a sheet metal mechanic at TWA, working there from 1940-1942 and 1946-1949. He was a lead mechanic and master mechanic the latter part of that period.
J.D. was in the Army Air Force from 1942-1946, spending his entire service time in tech training command as a student or instructor. During that time, he was a bombsight maintenance school student and instructor from 1942-1943. In 1944 he attended officers training at Seymour Johnson Field and Yale to become an Armament Officer. He taught at Yale and Officers’ Armament School at Buckley Field from 1944-1945. He resigned commission as First Lt. in reserve after separation from the Army.
He finished college at JUCO and KU 1949-1951, receiving his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. J.D. had the highest GPA in the engineering school graduating class, receiving the Danny Taylor Scholarship as the most outstanding engineering student. . While attending KU, he commuted from Kansas City daily and was a member of three fraternities, Pi Tau Sigma, Sigma Tau and Tau Beta Pi.
Out of school, he started as an engineer at the Marley Cooling Tower Company in 1951. In 1959, he became the manager of research and development, then sciences director until his retirement.
J.D. worked with patent attorneys on all patents for the Marley Cooling Tower Company, serving as consultant for some customers and interfaced with consultants for the company. He was given the nickname “Loophole” because of his work with patents.
Throughout his life, he maintained an interest in sports. He played on softball and basketball teams in the Army as well as playing in recreational leagues. He took up golf in the service and continued to play until the age of 80. He enjoyed walking the mountain course in Estes Park, CO without difficulty and shot 2 holes in one.
Upon his retirement, J.D. was a volunteer math instructor for sixth grade and high school in the Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley school districts for 18 years.
He was a member of Merriam Christian Church over the years, having been a deacon, elder, board chairman and elder emeritus. He was also a member of Brookridge Country Club for 30 years.
He owned a condo in Estes Park, CO from 1972 to 2010, spending many vacations there before enjoying his retirement and summers in Estes Park. In 1993, he built a new home in Willowbrook, which he felt was the smartest thing her ever did. He and Jan lived there very happily until his death, October 4, 2018. There will be no formal service, but rather an open house in his home on Oct. 20th, Donations in his memory are suggested to the charity of your choice. His favorites were Heart to Heart and City Union Mission.
Old friend from Marley ,Independence ,Missouri
Joyce was a friend and a very fine man, who as an engineer at
The Marley Cooling Tower Company was highly respected and well liked by all. He will be sincerely missed.
Nephew ,Overland Park ,Kansas
Uncle Joyce was a wonderful uncle and a fine human being.
I'll miss him very much.
Friend/neighbor ,Overland Park ,Kansas
We have been neighbors of Jan and J.D.’s for 9 years. My husband and J.D. had many enjoyable conversations since they were both retired mechanical engineers.
We are blessed to have known him and so thankful that our paths crossed here in Willowbrook.