Robert Gary Holland

Robert Holland

Robert Gary Holland, a resident of Bothell, WA, passed away in the morning hours of Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018.  Bob was surrounded by his wife, daughters, all of his grandchildren, son-in-law and granddaughter-in-law.

Robert was born in Saginaw, MI, to Herbert and Ann Holland on June 2, 1940. He grew up with his four siblings in Saginaw, where he was raised Catholic. He attended St. Andrew’s and St. Helen’s parochial schools where we are sure he gave the nuns a run for their money.  Bob loved to sing and performed with the choir. His favorite performance was his solo of the ’50s song, “Earth Angel.” He also served as an altar boy and played on the St. Andrew’s football team. His extended family, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins all lived nearby and all gathered together for many family functions.  Bob would always make the time to visit his Michigan relatives each time he traveled back home.  He followed in his dad’s footsteps and started his sales career early.  As a boy he worked summers buying popsicles and filling up his ice cream cart and selling them on the street. He often recalled wonderful childhood memories of lakeside vacations with his family in upper Michigan – something he would later duplicate for his own family, taking them on camping trips every summer.

Bob had many childhood friends in Saginaw who all remained close throughout the years. In fact, Bob along with three of his Saginaw buddies all piled into one car and drove from Michigan to San Francisco, CA, to start a new adventure in 1961.  While working at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco he was introduced to Patricia “Patty” Stromstad-Sprague on her first day as a new employee of the bank.  He was smitten from the get-go and pressured one of the secretaries for Patty’s number.  When Bob called her that evening, to his dismay Patty had no idea who he was: “Bob, who?”  From then on they had lunch together in the bank’s commissary and Patty was quickly taken by Bob’s charm.  Three months later they eloped and were married in Reno, Nevada, on June 8, 1963.  Their first daughter, Loralee, was born the following spring in April of 1964. Another daughter, Leanne, was born in September, 1968.  A son, Eric, was adopted in 1970.

Robert continued to work hard to provide for his family.  Finding success in sales working for William Volker Company selling home furnishings, he moved the family to San Jose, CA.  During the economic downturn in the mid-1970s, he moved the family to Auburn, WA, where he worked for a construction company and later sold carpet and flooring, traveling around Washington State.   A great opportunity for him arrived when he became the west coast Vice President of Sales for Kerr Steamship Company. In the late 1980s, Kerr transferred him back to San Francisco.  Bob and Pat moved to Concord, CA, where they enjoyed being closer to their family and friends, and welcomed the arrival of grandchildren.  In his spare time, he was an avid golfer and enjoyed traveling with friends. In 1993 Bob and Pat moved back to Washington State where he started his own shipping agency, Cascadia Agencies, in Bellevue, selling import/export shipping-container space for Cascadia Container Line out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Semi-retiring in 2007, Bob continued his sales career in the flooring department of Home Depot in Bothell.

After moving back to Washington, Bob found faith again with the Westminster Chapel in Bellevue, WA.  He and Pat really enjoyed the church and Pastor Gary Gulbranson’s sermons, and they especially loved attending the choir performances together.  Bob’s deep faith in Jesus grew and became his strength to lean on during the loss of son, Eric, who died in August of 1995.  He called on Jesus again in 2015 during his two-month hospitalization where he was able to be weaned off of IV medications that stabilized his heart. He returned home, enduring dialysis treatments four times a week.  He was at peace during the last years of his life, knowing he would be returned to his Lord Jesus Christ.

To his family, friends and anyone who came across his path, he was a friend.  Bob could talk to anyone about almost anything. He was a quick wit, always interjecting his sense of humor and ability to tell a good story.  People were naturally drawn to him and he had an amazing ability to maintain long-lasting friendships. Bob loved being a grandfather, and he enjoyed a close bond with each of his five grandchildren who all called him “Papa.”  He enjoyed many sporting events, piano recitals and school plays, and he supported wholeheartedly anything and everything his grandchildren were involved in.

Robert is preceded in death by his son, Eric Holland, and is survived by his wife of 54 years, Patricia Holland; daughters Loralee and Leanne; his grandchildren, Steven Hartl, Hannah Taylor, Kaitlyn Hartl, Jessica York and Sarah Taylor; son-in-law Jim Hartl; granddaughter-in-law, Amy Hartl and grandson-in-law, Trevor York; his siblings David Holland (Sally), James Holland (Jamie), Carol Holland and Herbert Holland as well as many nieces and nephews.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16

A private memorial will be held at a later date.

Bob enjoyed giving back to his community locally and globally.  Donations can be made in his name to your favorite charity of choice.

3 Responses to “Robert Gary Holland”

  • Debbie Holland says:

    My sincere condolences to all of our family and his friends. He was truly loved by all. I will miss him so very much! Rest In Peace, Uncle Bob!

  • Barbara Edwards says:

    Bob was loved by all. I got to know Bob for over 50 years and have wonderful memories of all the fun we had. He will be so missed! Sending prayers to the family who have suffered a great loss. Rest In Peace Bob, you did good!

  • Joanne Tucker says:

    Bob was truly one of a kind. I had the pleasure of knowing him over the last 20+ years through my friendship with Loralee. Such a kind and funny man. His family was his pride and joy, so full of love. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of a close knit family and wonderful friendships.

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