Holland Sr., Robert Byron (1925-2014)
Robert Byron Holland Sr. died July 2, 2014. He left this life as he had lived, with dignity, respect, and his indomitable spirit and humor in tact. He lived a full productive life with his wife Helen Lorraine Yost who preceded him in death 5 years. Their marriage lasted an impressive 62 years. He leaves behind his brother Jack Holland in Atlanta; his 4 children; Robert Jr., Terri, Donna, and Chris Holland; 6 grandchildren; and 5 great grandchildren who choose to rejoice in the legacy of his life which ended at the age of 89.
Bob was born Feb 23,1925 in Columbia SC, to James Gillam Holland and Mable Clare Humphries, and grew up one of four boys, Jimmy, Jack, Robert and Linwood. He is a graduate of Columbia HS. He lost his father at the age of 12 to a railroad accident and was raised by his resourceful mother alone, during the depression. Bob joined the US Navy in WWII and served in the 130th Seabee's South Pacific. He descends from a long line of Patriots who have served valiantly in every war beginning with the American Revolution.
His career began by working for the US Treasury Bureau of Engraving under Truman. Data Processing became his focus 6 months after the first Eniac Computer in 1946. He completed a long career with Douglas Aircraft through ownership transitions now owned by Boeing. Bob helped pioneer, develop and install the "first" commercial cross-country data transmission system in the United States. He worked with Saturn V and the Apollo Program and finished as one of the first section managers over Data Security with McAuto in Long Beach. Bob retired in 1990 with 31 years with MDC and 50 years in the computing industry.
Bob was often asked to spearhead roasts for work because of his quick wit and gift for exaggerating a good story. His grandson Ryan wrote "Poppy" had a southern drawl that stubbornly resisted five decades of life in SoCal and a charm that persisted even as his body withered. He was a southern gentleman, with an endless reservoir of tales that he loved to tell. I will always remember how his face lit up while he shared them. These stories aren't just the echoes of a grinning rapscallion with his contagious laugh, they are also the highest form of currency - to share them makes everyone richer - and my grandfather was the richest man I have ever known."
Published in Orange County Register on Jul. 15, 2014.