In Memoriam: Howard A. Holland


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death on September 19, of retiree Howard A. Holland, surrounded by his devoted wife Jessie and a circle of loving family members who will always maintain memories of Howard’s sparkling sense of humor, his generosity, his compassion, and above all his Christian determination. He was 84.

Howard was born September 17, 1931 in Holland, VA, to the late Rev. John Jasper Holland and the late Iola Hargrove Holland.  Howard grew up in a Christian home under the strong leadership of his parents.  He graduated from Nansmond County Training School in 1949 and after graduation, he joined the United States Army for three years before transferring to the United States Air Force where he served for twenty-one years.  Among his overseas military locations were: Korea, Japan, Germany, and Thailand.  His domestic military base assignments involved his family being relocated to Michigan twice, to Cape Cod twice, and to Virginia.  He retired from the United States military in 1974 after twenty-four years of honorable military service.  Among his family friends and associates who were United States veterans, Mr. Holland was highly respected as an American veteran who was exceptionally knowledgeable regarding veterans’ rightful benefits and earned entitlements. 

After retiring from his military career, Howard began working at WHOI in 1974 as a receiving clerk. In 1975, he was promoted to senior shipping and receiving clerk.  In 1977, he was promoted to assistant traffic supervisor and retired in 1994.

Howard was a faithful and active member of the Mashpee Baptist Church where he rendered his outstanding Christian service and participation in the Men’s Fellowship, the church Trustee Board, and past chairman of the Usher Board.

Howard was married to Jessie I. Somerville for sixty-four years.  Together they raised three children:  Carolyn, Roy (Ricky), and Carlos.  Their son Roy died in 2007.  Howard was also predeceased by his siblings:  John William, Helleon, George, Ronnie, James, and Judith.  With his wife Jessie, Howard was a most loving and proud grandparent of Andre, Tyrone, Theresa, Michal, and Chrystal.

In addition to his surviving siblings Mary, Waymond, Jackquel, Lenora, and Marie, there are many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who will proudly keep the precious memory of Howard in their hearts.

A visitation was held at the Chapman Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Mashpee on September 25.  A funeral service was celebrated in Mashpee Baptist Church on September 26.  Burial was on September 27, at the Massachusetts National Cemetery.

Information for this obituary is from the Cape Cod Times.


Media Relations Office

(508) 289-3340