Renee Holoien

Renee Anita Holoien

1949 - 2022

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Obituary of Renee Anita Holoien

Holoien, Renee Anita passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, on June 21st after an extended illness. She was born on May 7th, 1949 in Fargo, N.D., the first child of Martin O. and Edith K. Holoien. Renee excelled in school at Hillcrest Academy in Fergus Falls, Minn., skipped a grade, read The Weekly Reader to her classmates, and in high school placed first in the school's Air Force entrance exam. She also won the school's Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow award. She began studying piano at a very young age, and mastering the piano was her lifelong artistic passion. Renee began college by studying physics at North Dakota State University. She later transferred to the University of Minnesota, where she became interested in ancient Indian music. Her doctoral dissertation was a translation of a Sanskrit text about Bharatanatyam, the oldest classical Indian dance tradition. While pursuing her education, she worked at the university's computer center and co-authored a book about computer use in humanities research. She held several other administrative roles at the university before working in IT at Northwest Airlines. In 2001 she opened Eat This, an award-winning vegetarian pizza restaurant in Southeast Minneapolis, and retired a few years later. Renee and her spouse Holly traveled extensively during their 42-year adventure together, mostly in Europe and India. On the Greek island of Crete, they had a beautiful old village house where they vacationed every year for 25 years, always fixing up the house and sharing it with friends and family. In later years, they enjoyed winters in Palm Springs, Calif. Renee continued studying classical piano and hosted frequent dinner parties until just a few years ago, when her health prevented it. Renee expressed her love for family and friends through cooking, spur-of-the-moment gifts, supportive phone calls, and other small acts of kindness. She wrote witty new lyrics to existing songs and sang them to friends for their birthdays. She loved, encouraged, and supported her nieces and nephews, and they held a special place in her heart. Renee was an impeccable seamstress and made her own clothes as well as special gifts for others - mainly whimsical aprons. She loved her dogs like they were children and volunteered at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. She had no reservations about correcting people's grammar or making blunt observations, always with good intent. Her humor ranged from salty to sweet and was a hallmark of her personality. Renee is survived by her spouse, Holly Morris, and by her brother, Dan (Kathie), sister Cindy Karlstrom (Dave), brother Lee (Cindy), nieces Annie Sparrows (Jesse) and Kari Sharf (Jacob), as well as several other nieces and nephews. A celebration will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send tributes to the Wildlife Rehabilitation of Minnesota.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Renee
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota