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James E. Holden, 73, a resident of 442 Takitezy Road, Franklin, died peacefully Saturday, November 9, 2013 in UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, with his loving family by his side, following a very brief illness.
He was born December 6, 1939 in Erie, a beloved son of the late: Edmund and Ruth Mallory Holden.
Jim was a 1957 graduate of Harborcreek High School. He earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics from Edinboro University and a Master's degree in Mathematics from Penn State.
During the 1960s, Jim will be fondly remembered by many as a Math teacher at Rocky Grove High School. He retired, following more than 20 years of service in education, as a Professor of Computer Science, at Clarion University.
A kind-hearted and humble man, Jim always wished to sidestep the spotlight. Never-the-less, his numerous achievements to our small local community will live on as his legacy. His love of the outdoors and his commitment to the environment was perhaps as strong as his desire to protect it for future generations. He was president and co-founder of The Allegheny Valley Trails Association, known to many as "The Bike Trail," and was co-founder and vice-president of the Allegheny Valley Conservancy. He was proud, in part to his own love of cycling, when Franklin was nationally recognized as a "Bicycle Friendly Town."
He was named "Man of the Year" by the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce in 1994. In 2006, he was awarded The Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award for his continued commitment to the Frenchcreek Watershed. In 2012, he was named to The Isaac Walton League Venango County Conservation Hall of Fame.
Jim always had a strong passion for farming, and will be remembered by his loving family as a devoted husband, father and grandfather.
He was a faithful member of the Grace United Methodist Church of Rocky Grove, where he was very active in many facets of the church, most especially with the church's music program.
He was married to the former Caryl Winkler, who survives.
In addition to his beloved wife, Jim is survived by two sons: John Holden and his wife Kelly of Franklin and Tim Holden and his wife Jennifer of Harborcreek; also surviving are two stepchildren: Shane Ross and his wife Lucy of Franklin and Shauna Kush of Charlotte, N.C., in addition to 13 grandchildren. Also surviving is his sister: Linda DeAngelo and her husband Bob of Harborcreek, in addition to a niece and two nephews and a host of friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers: an infant brother and brother: Ernie Holden.
Friends may call Thursday, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. in the Timothy E. Hartle Funeral Home, 1328 Elk Street, Franklin. Family and friends may also call Friday from 11 a.m. until 12 noon in the Grace United Methodist Church of Rocky Grove, 350 Front Street, Franklin. Funeral services will be conducted Friday at 12 noon, in the church, with Reverend Ed Gresick, pastor, officiating.
Memorial contributions, if desired, may be directed in his name to either: The Allegheny Valley Trails Association, P.O. Box 268, Franklin, PA 16323, The Grace United Methodist Church of Rocky Grove, 350 Front Street, Franklin, PA 16323 or to The Allegheny Valley Conservancy, P.O. Box 96, Franklin, PA 16323.
Published in the Erie Times-News on Nov. 12, 2013