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Dr. Wayne H. Holtzman

Obituary for Dr. Wayne H. Holtzman

January 16, 1923 - January 23, 2019
Austin, Texas | Age 96


Dr. Wayne H. Holtzman, age 96, was born in Chicago on January 16, 1923, and passed away on January 23, 2019.

Although his family suffered during the Great Depression, he had what he considered to be an idyllic childhood learning about plants, butterflies and carpentry from his grandfather and playing with his younger sister, Eleanor and the many friends in his neighborhood. Starting when he was only five, his father took Wayne on short fishing trips to Wisconsin and Minnesota. Wayne loved the North Woods and eagerly looked forward to each trip. It was a great way to be close to his father.

In middle school, Wayne sold the weekly Saturday Evening Post door to door, making enough money to buy a bicycle. Later, while in high school, he worked twenty hours a week for a local cleaner and tailor shop, sewing cuffs and buttons on clothes, and delivering dry cleaning on his bicycle. Working hard, Wayne saved enough to pay for his first year at Northwestern University. Also, while in high school, Wayne joined the Sea Scouts where his many sea adventures convinced him he wanted to be a naval officer.

After receiving a BS degree in Chemistry from Northwestern University, Wayne was commissioned from the Naval ROTC as an ensign in February 1944. He served as an anti-aircraft gunnery officer on the USS Iowa in the Third and Fifth Pacific Fleets. Wayne was in Tokyo Bay and witnessed the Japanese surrender ending the Pacific conflict. His observation of the varied behaviors exhibited by men under stress during battles was a subject of great interest to Wayne and shaped his future career.

After discharge from active duty, Wayne returned to Northwestern University where he received his Master's degree and met Joan King, to whom he quickly became engaged. Wayne decided to pursue a PhD degree at Stanford University in Psychology. When Joan received a scholarship offer from Stanford for a Master's in music education, they got married in Aberdeen, South Dakota and headed for California.

In 1949, Wayne accepted a faculty position in the Psychology Department at The University of Texas. In 1961, Wayne made what would prove to be his most important contribution as a research psychologist when he published an inkblot perception and personality test that addressed some shortcomings in the Rorschach inkblot test. The Holtzman Inkblot Technique would go on to be widely recognized and still used by psychologists and psychiatrists in a variety of settings in the United States, Mexico and Europe.

During his 54-year career at The University of Texas, Wayne served as Professor of Psychology, Dean of the College of Education, and President of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. He received numerous honors and awards including the Centennial Award from the American Psychological Association for his distinguished contributions. He served as President of the International Union of Psychological Science travelling the world assisting with the development of psychology in China, Mexico and many other countries.

Wayne worshipped at University United Methodist Church and in addition to accompanying JoJo to Symphony board meetings and to her other activities, he enjoyed Town and Gown, Knights of the Symphony and other groups. Wayne spent most of his lunch breaks swimming at Barton Springs where he was a member of the Polar Bear Club. JoJo joined in with her Olympic style dog paddle and provided the customary peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Above all else, Wayne was a loving husband to JoJo for 71 years and a wonderful father to his four sons. He loved his extended family and coordinated vacation trips to Mexico, Hawaii, Europe and every state in the nation. Wayne is survived by the love of his life, Joan, sons Wayne (Elsa), Jamie (Mickey), Scott (Denise) and Karl (Leslie) as well as 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Love you, Papa!

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wayne H. Holtzman Regents Chair in Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin by visiting Donations can also be mailed to the College of Liberal Arts Development Office, Attn: Stacy Clark, 116 Inner Campus Drive, G-6300, Austin, TX 78712. Contact Stacy Clark at (512) 471-8861 for more information. Donations may also be made to University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe, Austin, TX. 78705

Memorial services will be held Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Weed-Corley-Fish 3125 North Lamar Blvd. Austin, Texas.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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