Thomas Evans Holland Sr. (SGT, Air Force) entered into the presence of the Lord on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. He passed peacefully at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Amanda and Timothy Sample, with his brother, Chaz Maxwell Holland Jr., in attendance.
Tom was born Jan. 25, 1949, in Athens, Ga., and he spent his childhood traveling the world with his brother and his parents, Col. Chaz Maxwell and Wilma Malphrus Holland. He attended school in both France and Greece, and these travels gave him a deep appreciation for history and also for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States. His family returned to the U.S. and he graduated from Morgantown High School. He became an excellent fencer, and qualified for the Olympic trials before he joined the U.S. Air Force. During his service, he worked on nuclear weapons, and after his military service he returned to West Virginia University and completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering and met and married his wife, Jane Hiteshew. They moved to Pennsylvania, where he worked for the Hershey company, and where they welcomed their firstborn daughter, Amanda. He then went to work for Abbott Labs, in North Carolina and then Ohio, where he remained for over 20 years until he retired. During this time, he and Jane welcomed four more children, Thomas Jr., Meghan, Matthew and William. He successfully built a business franchise in his spare time, with a team he considered family.
After being diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, Tom and his family moved to West Virginia. Although it was a difficult fight with the disease, Tom was an avid outdoorsman and weapons enthusiast, and he enjoyed hiking in the woods, crafting beautiful knives and walking sticks, shooting, hunting, fishing, boating and especially the time he got to spend with his children. Tom underwent deep brain stimulation surgery in 2010 in an effort to control his worsening Parkinson’s. Because he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage as a result, which caused left-side paralysis, loss of speech and loss of ability to swallow, he entered a skilled nursing facility. After a short stay in Virginia, he was moved to the Veterans Nursing Facility in West Virginia to be closer to family. When his daughters moved to Denver, he was moved west and stayed at the Hallmark Nursing Center in Denver.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Chaz Maxwell and Wilma Malphrus Holland. He is survived by his brother, Chaz Maxwell Holland Jr. (Janet); his ex-wife, Jane Ann Holland; his children, Amanda (Timothy), Thomas Jr. (Stephanie), Meghan, Matthew and William; his godson, Thomas Christophersen, and parents, Pete and Lori Christophersen, and siblings; his nephews and nieces, Chaz Maxwell Holland III (Saundra), Jason Posey (Amanda), Anna Noon (Ryan) and Georgia Warder; his grandchildren Noah, Michael and Grayson Sample; and by his business family, too numerous to list.
He will be laid to rest in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, Pa., on July 10.