Robert James Holder, 82, of Middletown, RI passed away peacefully at home with his children nearby on March 31, 2021. Bob was born in Newport, RI to the late James and Mary (Cesario) Holder on August 14, 1938. 

Bob was a star athlete at Rogers High School, varsity member of the football team, captain of both the basketball and golf teams.  He was also the Junior Class President and voted “best athlete and best looking”, along with being the President for the Newport Boys’ Club while in high school.  After graduating from Rogers in 1958 he joined the army and he and his wife Kitty moved to Fort Dix, NJ and started a family. They returned to Newport with their first child and Bob started his career as a welder.  He first learned the welding trade at AVICA, where he built parts to support the First Lunar Apollo Flight in 1968. He eventually moved on to work for the Navy at Melville then settled at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center for over 35 years. He was awarded the “Ironman” award annually for his hard work, dedication, and support of the welding shop.  He worked on many military projects for the Navy, including nuclear submarines.  He also traveled to many Navy bases around the US and the world.  He always brought his golf clubs when he traveled and was able to play golf in Hawaii, California, Scotland, Spain, Germany, and Italy just to name a few.

Besides his wife Kitty and family, golf always remained the love of his life. Bob was a member at Wanumetonomy Golf Club for most of his life.  He enjoyed playing golf with his friends and brothers year-round.  He also loved to try new golf courses all over RI and Cape Cod. His happiest achievement was being the medalists in the RI State Four-Ball Tournament with his teammate in 1980.

Bob was a sweet, loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. Always willing to lend a helping hand, attend any sporting event, play, dance recital, history or geography bee, anything.  His thoughtfulness and generosity were always on display.  A lifelong Newporter, he loved and respected the ocean and could be found at the beach, Ocean Drive or Sachuest point regularly.

Bob was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen (Kitty) Teehan Holder.  Bob is survived by his children, daughter, Maureen Wieler and her husband Bill and their children Aidan and Kate of Pocasset, MA, daughter, Roseleen Holder of Middletown and his son Robert of Newport and his children Keelan and Robbie.  He was predeceased by his older brother Bill and his wife Cathy of TX. He is also survived by his brother Michael and his wife Shirley of FL, his brother Charlie and his wife Elaine of Newport, his sister Sheila Russell and her husband Mike of TX and his youngest brother Pat of GA and many nieces and nephews in Newport and around the country.

Bob’s children want to sincerely thank all the Nurses, Aids, Physical and Occupational Therapists at Visiting Nurse & Hospice, John Clark Rehabilitation Center and Newport Hospital for all their kind and gentle care and support.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, April 10th at St. Joseph’s Church, Broadway & Mann Ave, Newport, RI at 9:30AM.  Visiting hours are respectfully omitted, a celebration of life will be held in his honor at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rogers High School Athletics Boosters Club, c/o Grainee Phelps, 15 Wickham Road, Newport, RI 02840.

Source: O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home

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