NORMAN — Earl Leslie “DeDaddy” Holman, of Duncan, left his earthly body to be present with the Lord Jesus Christ on Monday, March 4, 2013, following a lengthy hospitalization at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas.
Memorial services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Grantham Funeral chapel in Duncan, officiated by Rev. Randy Southerland.
Earl was born Aug. 6, 1922, in Stratford to Charlie Aven Holman and Vashti (Unsell) Holman. He married Nadine Guyer in June 1946 and they relocated to Duncan in 1949, where they lived, worked and raised their two children, Jackie Lynn and Sheila Jean.
He attended school in Noble but wasn’t able to complete his education because his elderly grandparents, Dick and Hattie Unsell, needed his help to operate the family farm in Stratford. Noble High School honored the World War II “purple heart” veteran at a formal reception to present Mr. Holman a high school diploma in recognition of his military service.
Earl entered the Army of the United States of America on Nov. 18, 1942. He served under direction of Gen. George Patton with the 712th Tank Battalion, Company C, in Normandy, northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe, Belgium and Germany. He was a tank crewman and received the EAME Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal and a Purple Heart for injuries received during combat. Corporal Holman was honorably discharged from military service on Oct. 31, 1945, at Camp Fannin, Texas.
He worked at various jobs over the years, including Holman’s Shoe Repair and Leather Shop, owned and operated by his father, Charlie Holman, in Noble. However, he spent the majority of his working career at Jones Drilling, Eason Oil, ITT and Helmerich & Payne. After falling 35 feet through the substructure of a rig, he eventually retired from the oil field services in 1986. Not wanting to become complacent, he busied himself helping family, friends and neighbors. During this time, he was recognized as a “Good Citizen” of the month and featured in a Duncan Banner article for his hard-working efforts to mow vacant lots and hand pick weeds to beautify the neighborhood. He eagerly assisted elderly, disabled neighbors and others in the community with household chores and lawn care, without pay for his services. Having an excellent working knowledge of auto mechanics, he was known to assist stranded motorist and others with necessary auto repairs.
His desire to stay busy and volunteer continued after moving to Houston to live with his daughter and son-in-law. He was the first volunteer in a program at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Houston, working for Operations Manager Martha Welu in the jury section. In August 2003, Earl was honored for his excellent services and awarded an Honorary Federal Deputy title and plaque.
He was a man of faith with wonderful attributes, including integrity, loyalty, honesty and a pure heart of gold. He always had something good to say about everyone, or else he’d say nothing at all. He was a hard worker from a very young age. He fought for our country and was devoted to his family, friends, church and community. He attended the Church of Christ during early years and later became a member and attended Immanuel Baptist Church. Named “DeDaddy” by his granddaughter, Christina Brooks, he was most attentive and always eager to support and attend her piano recitals, band concerts, soccer games, etc. He was an excellent father and grandfather, doing all he could to ease their loads and set a perfect example to follow. He had a passion for sports and was an avid OU Sooner, Dallas Cowboy and Denver Broncos football fan. He loved traveling to Stratford every year to attend the Morris/Holman family reunions and also frequently attended annual reunions reuniting with his Army comrades from Company C, 712th Tank Battalion and 90th Division. He used to sit for hours shelling and cleaning paper shell pecans and readily shared these with friends and loved ones. He was always eager to do something nice for others and never complained about anything.
Earl was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Jackie Lynn Holman; a granddaughter, Christina Jean Brooks; and siblings Mildred Holman, Raymond Leroy Holman, Bonnie Sue Reese and William “Bill” Donald Holman.
Earl will be greatly missed and remain in the hearts of his family and friends forever. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Sheila and Dan Brooks; Mitzi, his Shih Tzu companion; life-long friend, Betty Marie Hooper of Oklahoma City; three sisters, Nadine Lea of Noble, Iola Caldwell of Moore and Lynda Gale Webster of Noble; and several nieces and nephews.
Interment will be at Duncan Cemetery under the direction of Don Grantham Funeral Home.
Pallbearers will be Harold Guyer, Pete Lea, Weldon A Brooks Jr., Jerry Lea, Jesse Caldwell Jr., Kevin Webster, Conn Goodwin and Johnnie Glenn.
Honorary pallbearers will be surviving WWII veterans.
Norman Transcript, Wednesday, March 6, 2013