the whole, how shall we say, nine yards

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 5 23:50:00 UTC 2012

On Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 7:49 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at> wrote:

> (And did the 1962 author, Ferd H., reply to inquiries, Bonnie?

With Bill Mullins's help, I was able to track down Ferd Holtmann, the
1962 user of "the entire nine yards" in *Kentucky Happy Hunting
Ground*.  And I'm sorry to report that Mr. Holtmann passed away on
August 22, after a struggle with West Nile Virus.

I never had the chance to speak with him or to interact with him via
email, but his daughters found my message to him while he was in the
hospital.  I received a phone call from one and exchanged emails with
the other.  Even in the midst of their father's illness they found my
questions interesting and were pleased to know that their dad figured
to some degree in this linguistic mystery.  In fact, one of his
daughters let me know that they asked him about this when he was in
the hospital; she reported that he smiled, but was unable to reply. I
can't think of that many families that would entertain such a trivial
question when facing the deterioration of a loved one.  One of his
daughters shared the sad news with me a few days after his death.

I'm sending along the obituary that one of his friends sent me earlier
this week.  (See below.)

-- Bonnie

Ferdinand Edgar Holtmann

Ferdinand 'Ferd'  Holtmann was born on January 25, 1936, in
Cincinnati, Ohio, across the river from his home in Park Hills,
Kentucky.  He died August 22, 2012, in Tucson, Arizona, after a two
month battle against West Nile Virus.  He was 76.

Ferd grew up in Park Hills with his brother, Leo James, and their
parents Frank and Edna Holtmann all of whom precede him in death.
After skipping two grades in high school, he attended Villa Madonna
College and continued his education at Cincinnati Conservatory of
Music graduating with a Communications degree.  His career began in
Frankfort, Ky, in radio and as a weekend television newscaster in
Lexington.  During this time he married and had two daughters.

He later worked for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife,
Public Relations,  where he anchored Field Radio shows, photographed
and wrote for the department magazine Kentucky Happy Hunting Grounds.
>From there he moved to United Way, Public Relations, in Cincinnati.

At Ortho Diagnostics (a Johnson & Johnson company) Ferd settled into
ten years of sales and management moving to Louisville, Ky, then on to
Vienna, Virginia, and up the chain of command where he received
national honors for his work.  But the call of the West, and his
adventurous and optimistic attitude, lured him and his family to
Portland, Oregon, to work with United Medical Laboratories.  This
short-lived career move became a launching pad for Ferd to build and
then expand his own company, Imperial Furniture Company which, in
turn, he grew to include several retail shops in Portland:  The Brass
Shop, The Lamp Gallery, and The Leather Furniture Company.

Ferd began another chapter of his life in California, then Arizona,
where he turned the travels of necessity into travel adventures. He
eventually retired from art sales and hit the road. Travel took him to
Europe, on a cargo ship through the Panama Canal, on a road trip
through Mexico, to Pitcairn Island where he lived for two months, to
New Zealand, where he and his loving partner, Joan White, lived for
six months on Waiheke Island.  Soon after, they moved to Mexico and
settled in to the local culture for five years.  Together they moved
back to Hereford, Arizona, where he designed and built a home and
pursued his passion of woodworking.  He was just beginning to see
success with Hummingbird Workshop and his specialty of tables and
cutting boards in exotic woods.

Ferd’s many talents ran the gamut from Minor League Baseball to
competitive skeet shooting, hunting and fishing to bowling and golf.
He was always ready for the challenge of the next level confident he
would succeed.  We will all remember his optimism and determination
and his mind-over-matter zest for life. He squeezed the last bit of
joy out of anything he did and shared his infectious curiosity with
anyone who would listen.  He fought with courage, patience and a
kindness that left him with many admirers at the Tucson Medical
Center.  And, blessedly, he spent his last day in perfect peace and
comfort with his daughters and his sweetheart, Joan, by his side.

Ferd is survived by his partner Joan White, his daughters Beni Wegener
(Mike), grandsons Will and Jack, and Kelley Bishop (Brot), grandsons
Henry and Jake, and by Lee’s daughters, Michelle and Amy.

A funeral service and celebration of Ferd’s life will be held on Nov.
3, 2012, at 10:00 am at Our Lady of the Mountains, 1425 E. Yaqui
Street, Sierra Vista, AZ.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made
to: TMC Foundation- I/O, 5301 E. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ, 85712.  We
express deep appreciation and admiration for the TMC ICU team and the
amazing staff at Peppi’s House; your care made all the difference.

The American Dialect Society -

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