Bob Holly of Cokato is the Enterprise Dispatch’s 2007 Christmas profile

December 3, 2007

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Bob Holly of Cokato is the Christmas profile for 2007. His last name, Holly, also is the name of a bush with bright red berries and glossy evergreen leaves traditionally used in Christmas decorations.

Holly was born in Los Angeles, and grew up in Oregon. He came to the Dassel Cokato area because his first wife, who he met in Alaska, was from Darwin.

Holly now is married to Barb, a school nurse at Dassel Elementary School. He is CEO at Robar Insulation in Cokato, and has been since November of 1970.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

“Silent Night.”

What is your favorite Christmas food?

Smoked, cured and cut ham.

What is your favorite Christmas decoration?

Christmas tree.

What is your favorite Christmas movie or TV show?

“Miracle on 34th Street.”

What was your most memorable Christmas?

Christmas Eve of 1985. Our house burned down in Dassel. The fire started from a wood burning stove, and burned everything. We were so thankful that no one was hurt, it became the best Christmas ever, despite the loss of all the material trappings of the holiday. People were so kind, stores in Dassel, Cokato and Howard Lake opened their doors Christmas Eve so our nine children could get whatever they wanted.

Where was the best Christmas program or worship service you ever had?

Christmas Eve in 1968. A Navy chaplain led our worship service and gave us Holy Communion in a bunker in Vietnam. We had a 24-hour cease-fire, so there was no outgoing or incoming gunfire. It was literally a “Silent Night.”

What was the most memorable Christmas gift you received or gave?

About 10 years ago, we had a professional photographer take a family photograph. We have nine children and 15 grandchildren. “It’s hard to get them all together.”

What was the most amusing or funny Christmas incident you remember?

The tradition of eating lutefisk at Christmas. My wife knows how to make homemade lutefisk. It is a tradition in her family to eat lutefisk at Christmas. I eat it, too, but it surprises me that people flock from miles around to go to lutefisk dinners.

What is your favorite Christmas activity?

I like to have the entire family get together.

What is your favorite Christmas candy?