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Ralph P. Holder
(09-26-1936 - 05-07-2019)

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 Ralph Preston Holder was born in Louisville, Mississippi, on September 29, 1936. He was called Home
on May 7, 2019, in Elgin, Illinois, at the age of 82. Ralph was the second child of Clyde Hilton and Mary Sue (Gregory) Holder. Ralph grew up in the Nanih Waiya community, located in the eastern part of Winston County, Mississippi. The son of a sharecropper, he picked miles of cotton with his brothers and sisters: Henry, Travis, Betty, and Kitty. He
attended Calhoun School through the 7th grade and then transferred to Winston, which is now known as Nanih Waiya School. In 1955 Ralph moved to Chicago, Illinois, to work. While there he met a feisty, beautiful young lady named Gladys Hancock, who also happened to be from Winston County, Mississippi. They were married
on March 5, 1957. Together they rejoiced with the birth of two sons who love their country: Master
Sergeant Rick Holder, United States Army, retired, and Allan Holder, Elgin, Illinois, Police Officer, retired/
Illinois Army National Guard, First Lieutenant, retired. Ralph worked at a variety of jobs over the years, including Chicago Environmental Company and Friendship Village Assisted Living Home of Schaumburg, Illinois. Always working hard, he did not retire until he was 70 and even then, he always had projects to work on. One of his favorite things to do was
visiting with family, reminiscing, and sharing stories. He was known for the “Holder goodbye” that
included a walk to the car and talking through the open car window as one backed down the driveway.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, his oldest brother Henry Holder, of Salemburg, North
Carolina, and a baby brother. Ralph is survived by his wife of 62 years, Gladys Hancock Holder, of Elgin,
Illinois; his son Rick and wife Lynn of Glen Ellyn, Illinois; his son Allan and wife Becky of Sycamore,
Illinois; four grandchildren: Richard Holder of Starkville, Mississippi; Bryan Holder of Crystal Lake,
Illinois; Christina Holder Moody of Columbus, Mississippi; and Austin Holder of Sycamore, Illinois; as well
as seven great-grandchildren: Annabelle, Lilly, and Alex Holder, all of Starkville, Mississippi, and Blake,
Kyle, Gavin, and Parker Holder of Crystal Lake, Illinois. He is also survived by his brother, Travis and wife
Bobbie, of Louisville, Mississippi; sisters Betty Parker and husband Neal of Noxapater, Mississippi, and
Kitty Spears and husband Jesse of Philadelphia, Mississippi; and many nieces and nephews. Arrangements by Laird Funeral Home. 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com

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