Norman B. Holden Sr.

Published 4:12 pm Friday, February 16, 2018

FRANKLIN — Norman Brooks Holden Sr. died peacefully at the Village at Woods Edge, surrounded by family and friends on Feb. 15, 2018. He was 96 years young.

Dad was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts, on Sept/ 16, 1921. He was raised in Port Byron, New York. Dad enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He qualified to be a pilot, but became a B-24 Gunner and radio operator instead. He learned Morse Code and never forgot it.

Dad tells the story that while he was in California training with a B-24 bomber; a group of officers approached the pilots and gunners to ask for volunteers for a “special mission.” Later, Dad learned the mission was to deliver the atom bomb to Japan.

Dad remained in the Army Reserves and was called to active duty for the Cuban Missile Crisis. After the war, dad used his G-I bill to obtain his B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of New Hampshire. Dad worked as an O.T. at several V.A. hospitals, eventually moving to Roanoke and becoming Chief of Occupational Therapy at the VA hospital in nearby Salem, Virginia, where he retired in 1980.

Dad married our Mom, Esther, in 1946, and they were married almost 65 years until she died in 2011. Dad and Mom raised four children; Norman Brooks Holden Jr. M.D. (Meredith), Linda Chitwood, Robert Holden (June) and Judy West (Rusty).

He was Grandpa to Nora Bryant, Mark Chitwood, Stephen Holden, Alison Chitwood, Matt Holden, Amanda West, Christopher Holden, Thomas West and Kent Holden. He had 11 great-grandchildren. The family wishes to extend sincere appreciation for the outstanding love and care provided by the wonderful care-givers at the Village at Woods Edge. The Village was home to Dad and he felt valued and loved there. We sincerely thank everyone there. We also extend our sincere thanks to New Century Hospice for their devoted, compassionate and holistic care for Dad. The quality of care provided by the Village and New Century Hospice gave us peace of mind for Dad’s final days.

Dad’s celebration of life service was on Saturday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m., in Millfield Baptist Church followed by a graveside service at Tombstone Cemetery in Roanoke, Virginia.

The family thanks everyone for their condolences and thoughtful expressions of sympathy.

The family is being served by R.W. Baker and Co. Funeral Home, Wakefield Chapel where condolences may be posted at