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
Published on April 8, 2019
Send flowers
in memory of John
See more

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on July 07, 2019.

Select an emblem

11 posts

Marisela Rubio
Apr 10, 2019
To the sweetest man i know. May your soul rest in peace.
Michael McCabe
Apr 09, 2019
RIP Uncle John. Always was nice to see you. I will see you again. Say hi to Mom and Uncle Ted and Grandma Bonnie when you get home!
Patty Anderson
Apr 09, 2019
Sorry for your loss Mickey and family, your brother sounded like he lived an interesting and gifted life here on earth. Your former Postmaster Patty Anderson
Tracye Holder Nick
Apr 09, 2019
Loved Uncle John- he always spoke with patience and love in his voice. He will be missed by so many.
Vi Shaffer
Apr 09, 2019
Such an amazing man... Precious John, you will be missed! God rest his soul
Billie and Burt Slater
Apr 09, 2019
Shannon, we were so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Love you, Dear Friend.
Diana King
Apr 09, 2019
All though I am no longer living on 7th Ave..myself,I will miss knowing that John will no longer be living there, too. He was such a sweet, caring friend and neighbor. Loved visiting with him sitting on the pew right behind me in church, too. God bless you all and always remember what a loving soul he was.
Judy & Paul Valentine
Apr 09, 2019
We send our love to all of John’s family. He and Madge will always have a very special place in our hearts. John will always live on in the Gardens. I see him every where I go! Our love and prayers are with you all!

Love and Blessings,
Paul and Judy
Barbara Stagner
Apr 08, 2019
My condolences to John’s family. He had a beautiful soul and was a great man. RIP John.
David & Susan Weidner
Apr 08, 2019
Prayers for family and friends.
Sharon & James Maitlen
Apr 08, 2019
A good man, wonderful builder. Enjoyed some visits over dinner at North Oak DQ. The community will miss him.