John F. Holland, 81, Wilburton, died Monday October 11, 2010 surrounded by loved ones.
He was born in Okemah, Oklahoma on June 20, 1929, to Floyd and Lottie (Farris) Holland. He was the second-eldest of six children and grew up in and around Prague, Oklahoma. He married Betty Ruth Jackson on August 10, 1955 and together they raised four children, first in Midwest City, Oklahoma and then in Wilburton—spending more than 40 years in two homes they built on a small acreage in the Centerpoint community.
He loved his country and served her in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953 and in the Army Reserves from 1953 to 1956. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Central State College (now University of Central Oklahoma) and a M.S. in Biology from the University of Montana.
He loved imparting knowledge and taught science at Midwest City High School from 1959 to 1965. He joined the faculty of Eastern Oklahoma A&M College (now Eastern Oklahoma State College) in 1965, serving as head of the Biology Department until his retirement in 1984.
He loved God and was an active member of First Baptist Church, Wilburton where, throughout more than 45 years of quiet service to the Lord and His people, he taught Sunday school, sponsored Royal Ambassadors, ushered, served as a deacon, and, in the final decades of his life, traveled to disaster scenes all over America and the world through his work with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team.
He loved his family and is survived by his wife of 55 years, Betty Ruth (Jackson) Holland, and their four children and 10 grandchildren—son, David Holland, his wife Tracy and their children Caitlin, Grayson and Olivia; son, John D. Holland; daughter, Elizabeth (Holland) Ray, her husband Brook, her children Kirsten, Steven, Zachary, and Brook’s son, Dakota; daughter, Laura (Holland) Harwood, her husband Adam, and their children Anna Kate, Nathan, Jonathan, and Rachel.
Surviving siblings include—brothers Elvin “Breezy” Holland, Leo Holland, Bob Holland and sister Ruth (Holland) Suggs. He is also survived by hundreds of dear friends—among them longtime colleagues in Christian service, Dr. J.N. Baker and J.C. Vester.
He is preceded in death by his father Floyd Holland, brother Alvis “Pete” Holland, and mother, Lottie (Farris) Holland.
He is with his Lord but leaves an enduring legacy of impacted lives, helped families, and countless individuals inspired and challenged by his example of selfless service.
Services will be held Wednesday, October 13, at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Wilburton, Rev. Doug Miller officiating. Pallbearers will be the deacons of First Baptist Church and honorary pallbearers are attending members of the Oklahoma Chapter of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
He will be interred at Centerpoint Cemetery with all arrangements handled by Waldrop Funeral Home (1208 Highway 2 N Wilburton, OK 74578-3480 – 918-465-2228)
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief initiative or to the First Baptist Church building fund.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief
3800 N. May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
First Baptist Church Building Fund
101 W Blair Ave
Wilburton, OK 74578-2420
God. Country. Others.