Remembering Dale Holzhausen

Editor’s note: I was sorry to learn yesterday that Dale Holzhausen passed away. Mr. Holzhausen was a family friend and great American patriot. I wrote about him on a couple of occasions: his honor flight to Washington D.C. and, below, a 2016 article commemorating he and Ruby’s 65th wedding anniversary. This year marked their 69th anniversary. The following article appeared in Saturday Shelby, June 11, 2016.


“We wanted to get married on Valentine’s Day, but that was on a Wednesday,” Ruby (Williamson) Holzhausen said, recalling her 1951 engagement to Dale Holzhausen.

Dale explained: “You didn’t miss work.”

Instead, they were married by Rev. Robert C. Cavaness at 905 S. Pike St. after Friday night youth service. “I wanted to be sure there was somebody at my wedding,” Ruby said, laughing. Despite the lack of pomp or circumstance, the ceremony meant much to both of them.

“I just cried and cried (through the wedding),” Ruby said. “I thought (while taking her vows), ‘How am I going to live up to this?’”

They didn’t think to capture the moment on film. Instead, the newlyweds dashed away to Middletown, Ohio for a short honeymoon and were back in time for work on Monday.

Sixty-five years later, they still have over a decade more to catch Ruby’s parents, Henry and Telphus Williamson, Shelbyville residents who were married 76 years before Henry passed away.

Two years after the wedding, Dale and Ruby endured a challenging time as he trained at an Army base in Va. while the Korean conflict escalated.

One weekend in early March, with only a 150-mile radius pass, Dale flew home to whisk Ruby back to the East coast. Rather than rush to avoid detection, they instead headed to Apostolic Tabernacle for Sunday School.

“We wanted to see everybody,” Ruby explained.

Dale’s father advised taking chains in case of inclement weather on the drive back to base. Although Dale figured he wouldn’t need them, his dad slipped them in the trunk. As they traversed Ohio, the snow started to fall, causing traffic delays. Racing to reach camp, they were pulled over for speeding and later had to stop to install the chains.

“I had everything packed into that car, including my ironing board,” Ruby recalled.

While putting on chains, another car slid off the road, hitting their vehicle. The parties exchanged information and the Holzhausens plodded through further delays and even a flat tire as they neared Washington, D.C.

With no place to stay, Dale hastily dropped Ruby off at a hotel and rushed back to base.

“I got to camp 15 minutes before reveille,” Dale said.

Later that evening, he left to pick her up, but there was one problem: “I had no clue where I left her,” Dale said. He drove to Washington, D.C., backtracked, and finally found the right hotel.

They rented an upstairs attic while Dale continued training before “good duty” deployment to Salzburg, Austria.

“I hated that he had to go overseas, but I was glad to get back home (to Shelbyville),” Ruby said.

After Dale returned, they lived in a couple of local places, including one of the tiny log houses behind the old Porter Pool.

“I’d set my end tables and my coffee table out on the stoop so I could mop, because there wasn’t room,” Ruby said.

They then rented a room above the old Rec on S. Harrison St. before buying a house on Walker St. for $7,500. They lived there five years before purchasing a house and 25 acres in the county. The Holzhausens have spent the past 26 years in Brentwood.

“We haven’t done much moving,” Ruby said.

They aren’t looking for change these days either, as the past 65 years have featured stability in marriage, family, and church attendance.

“I’m going for 100 (years),” Dale said. “At 60 (years old), I said I was just half through.”

While the couple has endured the usual challenges of marriages, they credit one reason for their long-standing relationship: “The Lord’s been good to us,” Ruby said.