John Baker Holder


John Baker Holder, 87, of Mineral Wells, Texas, passed away at his home on April 4, 2019, after a short illness.
Memorial service is 11 a.m. Friday, April 12, at First United Methodist Church in Mineral Wells.
John was born on December 29, 1931, in McCrory, Arkansas, to John Lester Holder and Bonnie Baker, the oldest of nine children. He graduated from McCrory High School and Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and later obtained a Master of Science Degree from Old Dominion University in Virginia.
It was at Henderson, where he attended college on a football scholarship and was a member of the ROTC, that he met beautiful Madge Lee, whom he married in 1952. Daughters Kim and Shannon, born in 1955 and 1956, completed their family. John entered the Army in 1953. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Infantry upon completion of the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. While at Fort Benning, Lt. Holder became a parachutist. Deciding he had rather fly than jump, he attended primary fixed wing pilot training in San Marcos, Texas, and advanced pilot training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He was a Master Army Aviator, and served two tours in Vietnam.
As with any military family, moves were frequent, and they lived in several states as well as Germany and Japan. In the late 1960s, they were fortunate to be transferred to Fort Wolters in Mineral Wells, Texas, where they were finally able to put down some roots, staying for almost 6 years, the longest they had ever lived anywhere during his military career. After being transferred to Virginia, and Fort Hood, Texas, John retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1978, after 25 years of service, and he and Madge moved back to Mineral Wells to stay. It was then that he started his second career in the construction business. He formed his own company, John Holder Construction, building and remodeling numerous residential and commercial buildings in Mineral Wells and the surrounding area, including Possum Kingdom Lake.
He made many friends and acquaintances in those years and it was rare for him to go anywhere in Mineral Wells without seeing someone he had worked with in some capacity of construction. His construction business gravitated into still another career that took him to Clark Gardens, where he worked with Billie and Max Clark in the development and building of their spectacular gardens. John formed a deep and special friendship with the Clarks, and worked with them for 15 years, until he retired at the age of 83. If one visits the gardens, you will see John's touch everywhere, from the channel gardens, chapel, train station to the rose pavilion.
As much as he didn't like the idea of retirement, he was ready to spend time at home with Madge, who sadly passed away in 2015. During his life, John enjoyed playing the guitar and banjo, tennis, golfing with his sons-in-law Randy and Ken and favorite granddaughter Bailey, and working in his yard with Madge, where they spent countless hours developing a showcase of beautiful blooms.
He was previously active in the evening Lions Club and FUMC of Mineral Wells, where he sang in the choir and was a longtime member. He had a wonderful sense of humor which remained intact until the very end of his life, was a loving husband, and possessed a patience and kindness that is hard to match. As a father, he was the absolute best daddy we could ever have asked for, and he loved his girls with all of his heart. We are so grateful that God let us have him for so long.
John was preceded in death by his beloved wife: Madge; mother, Bonnie Conway; father, John Lester Holder; stepmother, Wade Holder; brother, Ted Holder; and sister Patty McCabe.
Survivors who will miss him dearly are daughters Kim Adcock and husband Ken, of Katy, Texas; Shannon Cavness and husband Randy, of Mineral Wells, Texas; granddaughter Bailey Hundley and husband Clay, of Houston, Texas; great grandchildren Ellison and Baker Hundley; brother Mickey Holder and wife Billie; sisters Susan Fall; Gloria Allgood; Judy Whitehead; Betty Cary and Doris Farley, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church of Mineral Wells or Clark Gardens Botanical Park.
Leave condolences at
Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home
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Published on April 8, 2019
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