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Candler - David Michael (Mike) Holbrook of Candler, NC, passed away at 67 years of age on March 9, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Lynn Price Holbrook. He is survived by his two children: Scott A. Holbrook of Clifton, VA and his wife Sara; and Jodi H. Trantham of Candler and her husband Richard; and three grandchildren, Dalton and Price Holbrook and Logan Trantham.
Known to many as 'Hard Rock', he grew up like a young boy should in the Starnes Cove area of Buncombe County and was the son of the late James A. Holbrook and Hettie U. Holbrook, and brother to the late Robert F. "Bob" Holbrook. Mike, along with his gang of friends, cousins and brother, knew every inch of Holbrook Road.
After graduating from Enka High School in 1963, he entered Clemson University and received B.S. and M.S. degrees in 1967 and 1972, respectively. As an undergraduate at Clemson, he played baseball, was elected to student government as a Senior Class Senator, and was a member of Sigma Kappa Epsilon, a social fraternity.
Upon graduation from Clemson he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army and served on active duty from 1968 to 1970. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
In 1972, he entered a Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University but shortly thereafter accepted an employment offer from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Further in 1972, he was elected to membership in Gamma Sigma Delta, an honor society recognizing distinguished achievements in agriculture and other sciences. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Food Technology and co-authored several scientific publications.
In 1988, he completed Harvard University's Senior Managers in Government Program and was a member of the WNC Harvard Alumni Club.
Also in 1988, he was appointed to the Senior Executive Service by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Richard E. Lyng, as Director of Poultry Programs. As Director, he formulated and administered policies and programs to carry out the program's marketing and regulatory services. These included nationwide grading of poultry and eggs; development of standards, grades and specifications for these products; domestic and international market news reporting covering about 90 markets and 60 commodities; mandatory and voluntary egg product inspections; poultry purchases for school lunches, institutions, and other feeding programs; and oversight of research and promotion activities of the American Egg Board ("The Incredible Edible Egg"). Also, he represented the Programs before the public, the industry, Congress, Federal and State agencies and the media.
He retired from the USDA in 2001. During his career, he received numerous USDA awards for meritorious performance.
He enjoyed reading, gardening, golf, his dogs and most of all, his grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday in the Patton Ave. chapel of Groce Funeral Home with a burial service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park immediately following. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, do something nice today for someone you love, root for Clemson's next game, or buy a kid a baseball glove.
The online register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Mar. 12, 2013