Byron Frederick Holst

Byron Frederick Holst

Byron Frederick Holst


Byron Frederick Holst, 85, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023.

Byron was born on March 24, 1937, to Alfred and Stella Holst in Keystone, Iowa, the third of six children. He graduated from high school in Keystone in 1955.

Growing up, Byron’s passions were basketball, cruising the Avenue in Cedar Rapids in his ’56 turquoise and white, 2-door hardtop Ford and life on the farm. After high school, he enlisted and served in the U.S. Army and the National Guard, serving with his brother Harvey and several friends.

He met the love of his life, Sharon Williams, in 1957 at the Lincoln Cafe after a dance in Belle Plaine. They married on Oct. 24, 1959, at Christ United Methodist Church in Belle Plaine and from that point, the focus of his life was his family and farming.

With Sharon, Byron had four children, all of whom remember his ability to make them laugh, to listen, to loudly sing made up songs during rides with him on the tractor and on top of hay wagons as he drove across fields, his skill at shooting hoops on a gravel driveway, and his patience for reading endless stacks of Little Golden Books or comic books any time his youngest daughter caught him in a quiet moment.

Byron farmed for most of his life, eventually residing on the land that had passed through generations of his family and which was honored as a Heritage Farm at the Iowa State Fair in 2018. He was never happier than when he was working with hands out in the fields, or with his cattle. He worked with his children in preparing show cows for the fair, with his son Todd earning Grand Champion with one of Byron’s beloved Simmentals at the Benton County Fair and First Place in the Simmental Division at the Iowa State Fair, both in 1982.

Byron was also involved in organizations that promoted farming. He was a member of the Farm Bureau and served on the Benton County Cattlemen’s Association Board for almost 20 years, serving as its president twice and as treasurer. He could be seen behind the Cattlemen’s grill at county fairs and town festivals, and he treasured his time representing the life he loved and laughing with his friends.

The laughter continued with his card club friends of which he and Sharon were a part of for 40 years, and in his remaining years with his wonderful neighbors and friends, who were always there for him.

Byron was also a member of the American Legion for 22 years and the American Turners for 40 years. He was a supporter of the Benton County Food Pantry in Belle Plaine. Together with Sharon, he was a member of both the Chelsea United Methodist Church and the Belle Plaine United Methodist Church.

Byron is survived by his brother, Lester (Les) Holst of Indianola, Iowa; his sister, Carol McGinnis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; his sisters-in-law, Ann Holst of Independence, Iowa, and Nona (Williams) Kruger of Cedar Falls, Iowa; his four children, Brad (Pam) Holst of Rubicon, Wis., Dawn (Greg) Ingraham of Panama City Beach, Fla., Todd (Karen) Holst of McKinney, Texas, and Heidi (Bill Coombs) Holst of Albion, Maine; 12 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Stella; his siblings, Olga Sikir, Ruth Dvorak and Harvey Holst; his brothers-in-law, Vernon Sikir, Bob Dvorak, Dwayne (Carol) Mulholland and Klaas Kruger; his sister-in-law, Kay Holst; and Sharon, his wife of 63 years.

As was his wish, Byron has deeded his body to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. There will be no public visitation or service at this time. The family will announce a Celebration of Life for both parents, as Byron wanted, at a later date. Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home of Cedar Rapids is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be left at

Memorials may be directed to Benton County Food Pantry in Belle Plaine, the Benton County Cattlemen’s Association or the charity of your choice in his name.

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