Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC

5130 Wisconsin Ave Nw, Washington, DC


John Waldron Holaday

9 June , 19454 October , 2019

John Waldron Holaday, PhD, FACNP, FCCM

Born June 9, 1945, John Holaday was a rare combination of many things -- a business man with the heart of a philanthropist; an activist; a man of deep passion and compassion; a scientist; a US Army Captain; a university professor; an entrepreneur; a founder and CEO of three public companies; a holder of over 80 patents; an acclaimed author of more than 230 articles and five books; a father; a husband; and a tireless champion of the underdog.

When most people looked away, John Holaday looked ahead. Over the course of his career, he envisioned and brought to life products and therapies that directly lessened the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people. His tragic death as an innocent victim of gun violence on October 4, 2019 marked the untimely end of a life that still had so much to give to so many. John is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Dori; their two sons, Sean and Jackson; his sister, Delaney Holaday Brandhorst; and many nieces and nephews.

The positive and life-changing impact of John Holaday’s many contributions across the sciences and medicine will be felt for decades to come. As Chairman and CEO of numerous companies, he encouraged his employees to remember that the chief goal was to "do well by doing good” -- a simple credo that exemplified his unwavering devotion to excellence.

Most recently he was Chairman, co-founder and CEO of DisposeRx, a company created to mitigate deaths from opioid abuse. That work led him to testify before Congress about prescription drug abuse last year, and to be invited to the White House when the President signed the Opioid Crisis Response Act into law.

John Holaday was a humanitarian and one of this nation’s most accomplished entrepreneurs -- a man who motivated the people around him with his passion to make a difference. In one memorable circumstance, he had t-shirts made for his team bearing the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” He was a visionary who served as a mentor to hundreds of scientists and executives – committed citizens – who will now carry on John’s legacy of passion and innovation in their own critical work to make a difference in the lives of others.

Family and friends are invited to gather at Gawler’s Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Washington, DC, from 4pm-8pm on October 29th. A memorial service will be held on October 30th at 10am at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in John’s memory to the Davis Direction Foundation via mail at 32 N Fairground St. NE., Marietta, GA 30060 or online at www.davisdirection.com/support-us.


  • Visitation Tuesday, 29 October , 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, 30 October , 2019


John Waldron Holaday

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tim & Mary Palmer

5 November 2019

A wonderful person and humanitarian. Forever loved and never forgotten. Rest In Peace

Edmund A. M. Neugebauer

27 October 2019

We lost a great personality, a friend and father. He was so happy with his wife Dori and the boys and his situation .This is what he lived for. I still can`t believe. I am with you Dori ,your sons and the Family and I promise, I will never forget him.
Eddy Neugebauer (Germany)

J. P. Smith

23 October 2019

Our Holaday cousins visited us in Phoenix during their vacation. The boys were young and enjoyed the geode rocks we brought them. John didn’t appreciate hauling them to their home on the east coast. We got to share stories and genealogy research, with a promise that John would examine the contents of a family trunk in the attic in the near future. Perhaps there might be some artifacts from the family’s origin, County Armagh, Ireland.

The promise of the mysterious trunk and getting to know this part of the family better is sadly lost. As the song says, “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”

Asghar Mostafa

18 October 2019

We lost a great friend, wonderful father and husband, successful entrepreneur and tireless champion for many great causes. He is in our pray and may her soul rest in peace, while we continue where he left us!.
God Bless John and his Family.

Tom Scholl

18 October 2019

Great man with a great family! Our deepest sympathies and love to Dori, Sean and Jackson, and to his extended family.

Tom, Susan, William and Tommy