January 19, 1932 - Janury 30, 2016, WINDSOR, CO
Lee Holder, Jr., was born in Upland, CA, Jan. 19, 1932, to Lee Newcomer Holder and Mattie Richards Holder. He passed away on Jan. 30, 2016, in Windsor, CO. Lee grew up in the small northern Oklahoma farming community of Dacoma. His grandparents were homesteaders who had taken part in the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. His father died while Lee was a baby, and Lee's family later moved to California, where he was raised by his aunt, Pearl Grace Holder, and his grandmother, Mina Murrow Holder. Lee graduated from Colton High School and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.
After getting married to Charlotte Rosa LaVars on Feb. 15, 1954, Lee was called to serve overseas as an Army lieutenant in Germany. Lee and Charlotte always looked back on those first years of their marriage and their experiences in Germany and Austria with great fondness. After leaving active duty, he worked as a public health inspector of the slums of Oakland, CA, and later as a public health inspector for the Wyoming Health Department. Lee earned a doctorate in public health administration from the University of Michigan. He served at various times as a professor on the faculties of Johns Hopkins University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Tennessee, Memphis State University, The University of Oklahoma, and the Army Command and General Staff School. Lee's education and experience working in the field of public health led to his appointment as the founding dean of the College of Community and Allied Health Professions at the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences in Memphis, TN, where he served from 1972 to 1982.
Lee was offered a position as dean of the College of Allied Health at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, and so he and Charlotte returned to the land of his early childhood. He served in this position until his retirement in 1994. During his professional career, he also served as national president of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions and as an international consultant on allied health programs in the countries of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Venezuela.
In addition to his professional career, Lee was a community volunteer before and after retirement. Among many organizations, he served as a lifelong member of the Kiwanis Club, and served a term as the chairman of the Oklahoma Council on Aging. Lee was an officer in the Army Reserve, rising to the rank of colonel. He retired from the Army in 1992 with 30 years of active and reserve service in the Quartermaster and Infantry branches. He was a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Military Order of the World Wars.
One of Lee's avocations was flying. He earned his private pilot's license, followed by an instrument rating and a commercial pilot's license. Lee flew himself, and on occasion, his family, around the country for most of his adult life. He was an active member of the Oklahoma City Hangar of the QBs. After hearing Lee recount some of the adventures he had while flying, his family is grateful that he returned to tell the tales.
Lee gave his life to Jesus Christ in the year 2000, and once his decision was made, remained a faithful follower of Jesus for the rest of his life. He worshipped at Crossings Community Church for many years. He wants all of his loved ones and friends who also love God to know that this is not a final parting, but rather "till we meet again" in heaven.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, the great love of his life to whom he was married for 61 years; his son, Lee Kurt Holder, with his children, Lee Davis Holder and Claire Jennings; daughter, Liese Anne Holder Thomas, and her husband, Oswald H. "Tommy" Thomas, III, with their children, Anneliese Hairston, Maria Thomas, and Matthew Thomas; son, Lawrence Keith "Larry" Holder, and his wife, Rebecca Bullington Holder, with their children, Heather Davis and Lindsay Holder; son, Lon Karl Holder, and his wife, Patricia Floersch Holder, with their children, Joseph Holder and Michelle Holder; and daughter, Laurie Kristin Holder Brashier, and her husband, James "Ricky" Brashier, with their children, Kristina Grubbs, Sarah Grubbs, and Anna Grubbs. Also surviving are many wonderful great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Memorials may be sent to the Reformed Church in America, for the Mission to Internationals ministry, Tom and Liz Stewart, 4500 60th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512.