John Prosser Holthausen
John Prosser Holthausen, 76, of Middletown, formerly of Guilford, passed away with family by his side on Feb. 7 after a brief illness. John was born on Nov. 22, 1946, to Ernest Arend Holthausen and Mary Elizabeth (Prosser) Kalbfleisch, both deceased. He is survived by his beloved wife, Kathryn (Gunther) Holthausen; and daughters, Erica Anne Holthausen of New London and Linsley Jean Armstrong and husband Derek Armstrong of Marysville, Ohio; brother Thomas Woodward Holthausen of Westbrook; nephew Christian Conley Holthausen of Paris, France; niece Gretchen Ann Holthausen of Branford; three stepdaughters, Jennifer Anne (Holbrook) Sears and husband Richard Sears of Cumming, Georgia; Rebecca Glyn (Holbrook) Raymond and husband Ronald Raymond of Montgomery, New York, and Elizabeth Marie Holbrook of Salem, Mass.; and three grandsons, Michael Paul Armstrong, Matthew James Armstrong, and Patrick James Raymond. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother Stephen Arend Holthausen.
A fine woodworker, John was well-known among antique dealers and collectors throughout the Connecticut Shoreline for his work repairing and restoring antique furniture. He was a brilliant cabinetmaker, and some of his work can be seen at Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford. In addition to his passion for antique furniture, he enjoyed learning about architecture and furniture design, and he greatly admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. He loved poetry, especially Dylan Thomas, who wrote “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”
John had a unique and often humorous slant on life and could always be counted on to express an honest and well-structured (if unsolicited) opinion. He loved deeply and was a friend to many, touching the lives of countless people without ever seeking recognition for his kindness. For years, John traveled with his wife, Kate, to Avon Breast Cancer walks in New York and Boston. While Kate walked the miles or served as an official volunteer, John served as a very unofficial one-man cheering section. Wearing his famous yellow sweater, he would pop up at various points along the walk and greet each walker with his infectious smile while shouting, “Hi, honey, I’m home!”
John was an excellent storyteller, though not always the most reliable narrator. He loved talking about his days traveling the country as a roadie and working as a set designer in theatres across Connecticut. In his final days, he took great care to call many friends and family members to tell them how much they meant to him.
A celebration of John’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, at the North Madison Congregational Church, 1271 Durham Road, North Madison. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Homeward Bound Dog Rescue, 80 Middlesex Avenue, Chester, CT 06412.