ATHOL - Raymond A. Holden, 89, of 81 Congress St., died Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, at the Heywood Hospital in Gardner.
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Ray was born in Athol, March 10, 1924, the son of Frank Edward and Pearl Draper (Chase) Holden and had lived in Athol all of his life. He attended Athol schools, New Salem Academy and Worcester Trade School.
Ray worked at the L.S. Starrett Company from 1943 until he joined the Navy. After returning from the Navy, he worked at several other area machine shops, Leavitt Machine, Peterson's Dairy from 1957 until 1974, Rodney Hunt Company from 1974 until 1977, and then at the Union Twist Drill from 1977 until 1983, when he retired.
He was a member of Starrett Memorial United Methodist Church, member of the Athol Rod and Gun Club, an original member of the Pequiog Bowmen Archery Club. He shot archery all over the state and won the state championship for one year. Ray was an avid fisherman, was a dedicated fly tyer and camper, enjoyed hunting and loved being with his family, including all of his dogs. He also enjoyed riding his BMW and Moto Guzzi motorcycles.
He was a lifetime member of the Tully City Council Club and New England Fly Tyers. He belonged to the Deerfield/Millers and Millers River Trout Unlimited Chapters. Ray often demonstrated tying size 28 dry flies. He made fly fishing appear effortless after a lifetime of fishing.
He played the drums for 38 years in area bands. He was a member of the Sterling Male Quartet, Atoga Mixed Chorus, Singing Men of Athol, Yankee Male Chorus, Barnstormers and also sang in choirs in several area churches. Ray loved to visit, share jokes and good stories.
He leaves his wife of 62 years, Priscilla L. (Howe) Holden; three sons, Albert E. Holden and his wife Lori Ann of Athol, Roger C. Holden and friend Gina of Royal Palm Beach, FL, and Frank A. Holden and his wife Mary of Athol; a daughter, Jane L. Holden and her husband Norris Eddy of Halifax, N.S. Canada; three granddaughters, Jennifer A. Holden, Kayla A. Holden and Tanya L. Holden, all of Athol, and a grandson, Ben A. Holden-Jensen of CA. He also leaves a great-granddaughter, Alisha N. Cumberbatch of Athol.
Ray was predeceased by his sister, Barbara Holden Cline, who died in 1999.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, at 1 p.m. at Higgins-O'Connor Funeral Home, 146 Main St., Athol, with the Rev. Fr. William Hobbs, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, officiating. Burial will follow at Lawrence Brook Cemetery in Royalston.
There will be a calling hour Thursday from noon until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Ray's memory to: the Monadnock Humane Society, 101 W. Swanzey Road, Swanzey, NH 03446, as his latest puppy "Marley" came from the society.
For further information or to share a memory with the family go to:
Higgins-O'Connor Funeral Home
146 Main St
Athol, MA 01331
Published in The Recorder on Oct. 9, 2013