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David N, Holtam


No. 19973April 6, 1930 - April 15, 1993          

Died: Winter Haven, FL

Interred: Winter Haven, FL


David Nord Holtam grew up on the south side of Chicago, the youngest of three sons and two daughters, in a loving family. He entered West Point in July 1950. His walk up the hill from the train station to the Academy was the first step of a twenty-year military career. Dave was in A-1 Company, in the days when the Plain was sloped down from the center. The tallest cadets were on the outer sides, and the shorter cadets on the hill were in the middle. So positioned, the corps presented itself as equal in height from flank to flank to those in the reviewing stands. Hence the term “flanker” for tall cadets of which Dave was a proud member.

With little or no difficulty, Dave mastered the academics and was able to put some thought and effort into trying to get on “trip squads” to leave plebe life behind as soon and as often as possible. Dave grew up in a home full of singing and music, and he was blessed with a good ear and fine voice; so the Cadet Chapel Choir and Glee Club was a natural outlet for the cadet. And, by the way, through his singing, he was able to take trips to New York City and many other destinations. As an upperclassman, his participation in the Portuguese Club augmented the cultural trips to the big city. In addition to intramural sports, the Weight-Lifting Club kept Dave in shape.

Upon graduation, Dave was off for Ft. Sill, OK, and a career in the Field Artillery. He served proudly in the 68th, 21st, and 8th Field Artillery Battalions learning the ropes of battery operations, fire direction, and maintenance. After advanced branch school, he was selected to attend the University of Oklahoma where he earned an MS degree in nuclear physics. He returned to the Artillery School to join the faculty dealing with Nuclear Weapons. After a tour of duty in Vietnam, he returned to attend the C&GSC and then joined the Nuclear Weapons Surety Group at Ft. Belvoir, VA. He served a tour in Heidelberg, Germany, and then returned to Ft. Monroe, VA, where he was awarded the Legion of Merit upon his retirement in 1974.

After a period of adjusting to retirement, Dave explored a number of opportunities. In 1979, Dave and his family moved to New Jersey where he provided consultation to the military at Ft. Monmouth, first as a project engineer for the Merdan Group and subsequently as president of Emendee and Associates, Inc.

Early in the 1990s Dave and his wife Midge moved to a warmer environment in Winter Haven, FL, where he died of cancer in 1993. Midge died just eight months later on December 24, 1993. Their two daughters, Diane and Susan (USMA 1984) are married. Diane and her husband Randy reside in Williamsburg, VA, while Susan and her husband Ron live in Gig Harbor, WA.

Dave is fondly remembered by his roommates and fellow officers for his great sense of humor and enthusiasm for mission accomplishment. His daughters hold fast to their memories of their Dad:  so full of life, happiness, singing, love of family and country, and undying loyalty; they remain so very thankful for their Father, whom they miss every day. Be Thou at Peace.


Originally published in TAPS, 2014

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