Cover photo for Donald Eugene Holderman's Obituary
Donald Eugene Holderman Profile Photo
1931 Donald 2023

Donald Eugene Holderman

April 16, 1931 — April 5, 2023

Burton City

     April 5th. 2023, Donald E Holderman, circled his Burton City home of 68 years, waggled the wings of “Julie Fox”, his Cessna 172 a few times, then headed to that great airport in the sky, VFR all the way. I’m sure by now he has Jesus buckled into the right hand seat and they’re enjoying side slipping steep banks, stomach dropping stalls, and maybe even a heart stopping loop and roll combo or two! He always wanted to be a stunt pilot, and he pushed that little plane to the max. No, it was not a stunt plane. Hang on Jesus!

     His passion for flying began in the Air Force in the early 1950’s, where his job as a propeller mechanic never got him off the ground. He proudly wore his Air Force and Korean War hats whenever he could, and flew the American flag on his property in support of our country’s freedom, liberty, and justice for all.

     He taught all of us Holdermans to look up whenever we heard the sound of an airplane flying over; Mom, wife and mother of 72 years, Wilma LaVonne (Garver), my sister Marnell (Rick) Wagner, and the rest of us boys, me, Daniel (Cindy), Scot, Mark (Val), Tim, Paul (Tina) and Andy. The habit he instilled in us comes as natural as breathing. Clouds and contrails paint the sky he loved, as a backdrop for those crazy men in their flying machines, and now he’s up there soaring with them like an eagle. It will be up to us to pass this habit on to his 19 grandchildren and 30.75 great grandchildren.

     Dad worked hard earning a living good enough to support a family of nine, mostly whistling through the aisle-ways of Horst Machine Shop and then The Shafer Valve Company. Everybody liked him, and I don’t recall him ever talking bad about anybody, well, there were a couple of politicians!

     He didn’t hunt or fish, but he loved to camp. From the first plywood Gypsy wagon to the last fifth wheel, he enjoyed getting away, even if it was just to sit back and enjoy a good book. Dirk Pit, Jack Reacher, and Joe Pickett are a few of his favorite characters. He also enjoyed reading about Moses, Noah, Jesus, and of course, Daniel. The last few years, reading was how he spent his time, escaping his chair by living with the characters of a good book.

     Dad wasn’t much help to mom in the kitchen. Can’t boil water comes to mind. But, sit him in one of mom’s macrame lawn chairs in front of a campfire, with a griddle balanced just right over a perfect pile of coals and kindling, he could chef up and make the best tasting crispy bacon, fried potatoes, over-easy eggs, and wiener fork toast you ever ate, all while rubbing smoke from his eyes!

     Of the many things he taught me, the two I remember most is, first, how to get the plane safely back on the ground, and second, the fire has to be just right.

Have a great flight dad, and when you land, treat Jesus to a great campfire breakfast.

     A future memorial service (including military honors) for family members and close friends, is being planned. Dad wanted a quiet service.

     Roberts Funeral Home, Sherwood Chapel is assisting the family. Online tributes may be made at  

     In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to support our local LifeCare Hospice, 1900 Akron Rd. Wooster OH 44691. They have been. GREAT! 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Eugene Holderman, please visit our flower store.


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