Rev. Donald Holtzapple


MANSFIELD -- Rev. Donald G. Holtzapple, 83, of Mansfield, went home to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday morning, July 31, 2014.

He was born April 4, 1931, in Elida, Ohio, to the late Marian (Montague) and Earl S. Holtzapple. He graduated from Elida High School in 1949 and Wheaton College in 1959. He served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Don received Jesus as his savior in Naples, Italy, under the Ministry of the Navigators. He graduated from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and served at the Balligomingo Baptist Church in West Conshohocken, Pa., while in seminary. He was passionate about sharing God's love with others throughout his life.

Don then came to Mansfield and served Diamond Hills Baptist Church for 16 years. While pastoring at Diamond Hills Baptist, he served as chaplain at Mansfield General Hospital. Rev. Don pastored at many churches throughout the years including serving as interim pastor at multiple churches. He retired from First Baptist Church in Defiance after 11 years. He then came back to Mansfield, becoming pastor emeritus of Diamond Hills Baptist Church. He also served as Ohio Baptist State Evangelist for seven years.

In 1951, he married the love of his life, Janet Burget, and together they raised a wonderful family. Don was an excellent golfer and enjoyed fishing in Canada, spending time with his family and friends, and preaching and teaching God's word.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by three children, Philip (Barb) Holtzapple and Laura (Jack) Martin, both of Mansfield, and Carol (Jim) Underwood of Lorena, Texas; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and many treasured friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Joe Beckman.

The family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. Monday, August 4, 2014, in the Ontario Home of Wappner Funeral Directors, 100 S. Lexington-Springmill Road, Ontario, Ohio. The funeral service will be held Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in Diamond Hills Baptist Church, 647 S. Diamond St., Mansfield, with additional visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Rev. Christopher R. Thomas and Dr. Donald Lake will conduct the service. Private graveside services in Mansfield Memorial Park will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to Gideons International or Hospice of North Central Ohio. Online guest registry at

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  • Don was a great friend and loyal pastor when I served in his church in Defiance, Ohio.  He will be missed by my family.