About Corey Holmgren

Corey Comish Holmgren was born and raised in Tremonton, UT. He graduated from Bear River High School in 2002 and loved being on the swim team and playing goalie for their water polo team. He spent 2 summers as a Boy Scout counselor at Camp Loll near Yellowstone on the Wyoming/Idaho border. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florianopolis, Brazil from 2003-2005. Corey graduated from Utah State University in Religious Studies, Portuguese, and Military Science and then went on to receive two Masters degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy and Divinity from Amridge University in Montgomery, AL. As a marriage and family therapist, Corey worked at Lifestar Network in Murray, UT specializing in sexual addiction recovery and worked with families, couples, teenagers, and groups. Corey also served in the Utah Army National Guard as a Chaplain, currently ranking as a Captain, assigned to the 19th Group Special Forces. He loved being in the military and particularly loved working with soldiers. In both professions, he was focused on helping people in their darkest times. Since his passing, we have been blessed to better understand the depth of his influence on everyone he met through those who have reached out to share their experiences. Even months and months later, Corey’s cell phone received text messages from past clients who had not been made aware of the news of his passing and were looking for support or advice or just wanting to catch up with their friend.

This is the same kind of influence he had on his soldiers. Many of the soldiers in Special Forces are not very keen on talking to chaplains. It did take Corey about a year for the unit to warm up to him and trust him, but once they did, Corey was constantly counseling with his soldiers. It didn’t matter who they were, what religion they identified with, or what they needed help with, word quickly spread among all of them, that the “cussing chaplain”, as he was nicknamed, was worth talking to. One soldier in Corey’s unit told Mindi, through tears streaming down his face, that even though he practiced a different faith tradition than Corey, that Corey was the only chaplain he had ever been able to talk to. Corey had completed both Air Assault training (repelling out of helicopters) and Airborne School (jumping out of planes) and was very much looking forward to jumping with his unit. He ended up never getting that chance.

The morning of January 19, 2019, Corey attended a military event where he shared with recently returned home soldiers the resources that were available to them and their families for a positive reintegration experience. He once again offered his services and dedication to them as their chaplain. That afternoon, he went swimming with his family. While swimming laps, he dropped under the water and never resurfaced. He was never able to be revived.

Corey was always dedicated to whatever church calling he had at the time. He served in multiple Elders Quorum presidencies, as a bishopric member, and ward mission leader. Most recently he was a primary teacher and made that class do pushups whenever they misbehaved. He was a great teacher and loved teaching about our Savior, Jesus Christ. Corey loved to meditate and encouraged all of his clients to meditate as well. He was very spiritual in his meditations and would strive to teach others to do the same. His desire was to bring people closer to their Heavenly Father through the healing power of the Atonement.

No matter what work Corey was doing outside of the home, his favorite moments were spent as husband and father. He was constantly bragging, but sincerely and out of adoration, about his wife and children. His kids will remember their dad as someone who made them laugh and always took care of them. In their home, Monday nights are Family Fun Night. The Monday before Corey passed, it was Mindi’s turn to choose the activity. Corey worked a little later than normal that night in a therapy session with a client, so he missed eating dinner with the family. But that ended up working out just fine so there was some extra time to get ready. Since Corey came home late that day, it was dark outside when he got home. Mindi found an random bag that day of some old ping pong balls. The ping pong balls were divided among the kids and Mindi and everyone found a spot to hide around family room. Then everyone waited for Corey to come home. They all waited quietly while Corey walked around the kitchen, then the living room, opening doors and saying things like, “Oh, where is everyone?” “It sure is dark in here!” There was one moment where he opened the coat closet thinking for sure someone would be in there and even screamed himself in an effort to scare whoever it was. But then only to find out that no one was there. As he closed the closet door, the heater turned on. There was a plastic grocery bag sitting on the floor next to a vent and it rustled as the heater was blowing on it. Corey said he was honestly feeling a little nervous at this point. When he came around the corner of the family room, Mindi yelled, “NOW!” Everyone started throwing their ping pong balls at him from the front and from behind. We all laughed and laughed and the kids thought it was so great that “we finally got Dad!”

Corey and Mindi, were married in 2006 in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Together they have four great kids; Nathan, Nora, Lexie, and Jack. At the time of Corey’s passing, Mindi was pregnant with Jack (born 6 weeks later), and the other kids were 10, 7, and 5. While Corey was still with us, he would say he enjoyed dating his wife, spending time with his kids, and reading. His family members like to think he is still enjoying those same things.

(Answered by Mindi, but she’s pretty confident these are the answers Corey would say for himself!)
What is your favorite color? Red
What is your favorite movie? Braveheart
What is your favorite music to listen to? Christian rock or meditation music. But when he would work in the yard he always listened to Classic Rock.
What is one of your hobbies? Reading.
What is your favorite TV show? The Office
What is your favorite sport? Swimming or water polo or running or yoga
Are you usually early or late? Early
What’s your favorite drink? Dr. Pepper. But maybe a Mountain Dew once in awhile.
What fictional place would you most like to go? Kolob? That’s not really fictional, but….
What pets did you have growing up? A dog named Meeka
What is one of your favorite smells? Homemade food from my wife