John Thomas Holley, 83, passed away quietly on October 29, 2012, in Yuba City, California, after a long illness. Born August 10, 1929, in St. Augustine, Florida to the late Floria and John T. Holley Sr. Graduated from Excelsior High School class of 1947. Attended Florida A & M University, received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Education from Minot State University, class of 1971, and a Master of Arts Degree in Education from La Verne University, class of 1994, La Verne. Member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc, Educator Level and Instructor at the Exploratorium, and a Foreman of the Sutter County Grand Jury.
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Served 23 years in the U.S. Air Force as a Nuclear Weapons Specialist Superintendent and honorary discharge and later retired from teaching as the Chair of the Science Department at Bear River Junior High School, in Wheatland, California, after 28 years.
Survived by his loving wife Evelyn married 61 years, daughters, Dedra Agnimel, of the Ivory Coast, Africa, Tyrena Holley, of the Philippines, La Trice Holley, of Sacramento, Carlotta Holley, of Texas, Valerie Holley, of Sacramento, son Christopher Holley (Kellie), of Sacramento, four grandchildren Jean-Vincent, Taylor, Christopher Jr., Kamryn, two great-grandchildren Elijah and Trey and one brother, Joe Holley (Roccella) of Miami, Florida plus a host of nieces, nephews and cousins. John was preceded in death by his son John Thomas Holley III, two sisters Lois Chatwell and Gladys Campbell.
John was a son, a brother, a husband and a father but more importantly a man of great faith. John was not only an educator but inspired others as a mentor. He was a true patriot, who took serving his country beyond his 23 years in the military. He was proud of his service and the flag. He did not brag or complain. He took education to a level that his students remember him not only or what he taught but how. He made education an experience through launching of rockets, growing tomatoes from NASA and yes even from life experiences. Education was as much a part of his life, which he shared with his family through trips in Europe and Africa. He talked with crowds and walked with Kings and did not lose his common touch. John along with his wife of 61 years, Evelyn, taught their children to trust and love God, teaching them to strive for excellence in everything they seek to accomplish. He will always be loved, cherished and remembered by all who knew him.
While as a young man saw the end of WWII, was in active duty during the Korea War, the Cold War and the end of the Vietnam War. He lived through the Civil Rights Movement going from being prohibited from going places and having the racial bar of ignorance lifted. John Holley lived to see many first during his life from a man walking on the moon to this country first African American president.
A celebration of life service for John T. Holley will be on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at 10:00 AM at the Crossroads Community Church, 445 B Street, Yuba City, California, with Pastor Jim Clark officiating. Internment will be at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, California with military honors by the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard. Arrangement under the direction of Ullrey Memorial Chapel.
In lieu of the flowers the family has requested that donations can be made to the John T. Holley Scholarship Foundation at P.O. Box 2492, Sacramento, CA 95812.
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Published in Appeal Democrat from Nov. 4 to Nov. 5, 2012