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Memorial for beloved local historian, Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger

Published on Jan 18, 2018 by Paul K. Logsdon

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger, professor emeritus, passed away Dec. 15, 2017. This story was prepared for local news, with an emphasis on his community service. See links below for his full obituary and a feature story from the AG about his founding of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries.

A leader in the preservation of Ozarks history, Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger III passed away at 89 on Dec. 15, 2017, in Des Moines, Wash., a suburb of Seattle, where he had lived for the last few years.

He will be remembered on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at Maranatha Village Chapel, 233 E. Norton Road. Visitation begins at 1 p.m., and the service will start at 2 p.m. Interment will follow.

For nearly 50 years, Holsinger served as a professor of history and a higher education administrator, the last 33 of which were invested at Evangel University (1971-2004). Most of that time, he served as chair of EU’s  Social Sciences Department.

9 Holsinger lecturing at cabin 07859
Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger, professor of history, lectures a group of visitors about the historic log cabin that once stood on the campus of Evangel University. // PHOTO: Betty Chase Archives (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Holsinger dedicated much of his professional efforts to the field known as Public History. He served as president of the Museum of the Ozarks, the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation, the city and county Historical Sites Boards, the Celtic Society of the Ozarks, the German-Austrian-Swiss Society of the Ozarks, and the Greene County Historical Society.

He also served on local boards for groups such as the Bicentennial Committee, the Greene County Sesquicentennial Committee, and for six years as a member of the Missouri Humanities Council, the state-based arm of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

His honors were as varied as the Ozarks Heritage Award, the Sears Award for Excellence in Teaching and Leadership, and the State of Missouri’s Award for Excellence in University Teaching.

“Long after Dr. Holsinger retired and moved to Washington State with his daughter, Cori, he continued to send many of us on campus notes of encouragement or historical analysis of current events,” said Paul K. Logsdon, spokesman for Evangel. “He would also send me story ideas, and as recent as last October, I quoted him extensively in a feature story about the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.”

Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger
Dr. J. Calvin Holsinger // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Dr. Holsinger was born on Jan. 2, 1928 in Trafford, Penna., a suburb of Pittsburgh. He received his Bachelors and Master’s degrees in history from the University of Pittsburgh, and his doctorate in history from Temple University in Philadelphia.

He was proceeded in death by his wife of 59 years, Adena Seguine Holsinger, a direct descendent of the Puritans who came to Massachusetts in the mid-1600s.

He is survived by their daughter, Cori Holsinger ’78, her husband Lacey Hartje, Jr., and their two sons, Ryan ’09 and Kent, all of Washington state.

Friends who wish to honor his memory may make a charity gift to the Holsinger History Scholarship at Evangel University, 1111 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, Mo 65802.


• Obituary published Jan. 14 in the News-Leader:

• Assemblies of God, PE NEWS story: