Raymond E. Holland

Published 3:50 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2013

FRANKLIN—Raymond Edward Holland, 89, former resident of Franklin went to his eternal rest April 1, 2013 at McGuire’s Veteran Center in Richmond, Virginia. He was the son of the late Coleman Edward and Hattie Dundlow Holland.

He was predeceased by his devoted wife and constant companion for 56 years, Virginia Hedgepeth Holland.

Survivors include one daughter, Sylvia Livesay (Mike) of Virginia Beach; sons, Coleman Holland (Sherren) of Lake Gaston and Chris Holland (Kathy) of Hillsboro, OR; one sister, Gloria Vick (Wayne) of Newsoms; five grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild and many other relatives and friends.

Raymond was an honorably discharged Corporal from the United States Army Company C, 157th Combat Engineer Bn. He served his country during World War II in the Battles in Normandy, Northern France, and Rhineland Campaigns. He suffered wounds and lost his eyesight in December 1944 at Lambic, France. Raymond’s decorations and citations included the European-African, Middle-Eastern Ribbon with three battle stars, Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal. After discharge he entered rehab at Old Farms Convalescent Hospital, Avon, Connecticut and Walter Reid Hospital.

He went on to complete occupation and civilian training for the blind becoming proficient in the operation of drill press, tapping machines and spinners, hand and automatic milling machines, Braille and typing. He assisted the Veterans Administration in developing an engraving machine for the visually handicapped, which he used to engrave nameplates, name badges and signs. He and his wife operated an upholstery and refinishing business for years in Franklin and were representatives for the Watkins Company. He loved fishing, boating, camping and traveling. “Can’t do” was not in his vocabulary.

He was a member of the Franklin Presbyterian Church, the CB Radio Club, Blinded Veterans Association and VFW. His constant companion for over 12 years was his Seeing Eye dog, Sandy, who walked with him daily visiting business establishments and friends in Franklin.

Raymond enjoyed the company, companionship and support of fellow veterans at McGuire’s Community Center and made many friends there.

“God Bless America and May God Bless all of the men and women who faithfully and sacrificially serve their country.”

The family would like to thank the outstanding doctors, nurses, staff members and volunteers at the Veterans Center for the loving care and support they provided.

A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 am on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at Poplar Spring Cemetery with Rev. Kent Leydens officiating. The family will receive friends Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Wright Funeral Home and suggest that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Blinded Veterans Association, 477 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 or DAV, 5517 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23462. www.wrightfuneralhome.org