Edwards Funeral Home

201 North 12Th Street, Fort Smith, AR


William L. Holder

February 8, 1930November 18, 2019

William L. “Bill” Holder (Retired Col. USAF), died November 18, 2019 at the age of 89. He was born February 8, 1930 on a farm outside McCrory, AR to Nathaniel B. and Ida (Reaves) Holder. He graduated from U of O in Clarksville and received his Masters in hospital administration from Baylor University. He served 28 ½ years in the Air Force as a Hospital Administrator.

In retirement, Bill enjoyed visiting family, especially his children and grandchildren who were very special to him. Bill loved the University of the Ozarks and spent many hours giving back to the school after he retired. He also volunteered in many different ways, in the churches they attended. At his death, he was a member of Faith UMC. Bill was a “people person” and truly enjoyed life.

He was preceded in death by a son, William L Holder Jr.; a brother, Donald N. Holder; a sister, Mary Elizabeth Holder; a daughter-in-law, Molly Holder; brother-in-law, Thomas Johnson; and a great-granddaughter, Emma Ann Holder.

He is survived by his wife, Jane; one daughter, Roberta Holder of Fort Smith; two sons, Larry Holder of Chandler, OK and John Holder and his wife Toni, of Denver, CO; daughter-in-law, Melinda Holder of Little Rock, AR; one sister, Ann Johnson of Little Rock, AR; one brother, Jerry Dale Holder and wife Danette of Little Rock; seven grandchildren, Lauren Weems and her husband Juston, Erin Holder, Lee Holder and his wife Kristy, Peggy Jane DeBruler and her husband James, Emily Swanson and her husband Travis, Steven Holder and his wife Madeline, Samantha Ferguson and her husband Parker; and seven great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be Friday, November 22, 2019, from 5-6:30 PM at Edwards Funeral Home.

Memorial Service will be 2:00 PM Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Edwards Chapel, with Military Honors. Services and cremation are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home.

Memorials may be sent to: Wilson-Holder Endowed Scholarships at: U of O, 315 College Avenue, Clarksville, AR 72830, or to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be sent to www.edwardsfuneralhome.com


  • Jane Holder, Wife
  • Roberta Holder, Daughter
  • William L Holder Jr., Son (deceased)
  • John Holder and his wife Toni, Son
  • Larry Holder, Son
  • Ida (Reaves) Holder, Mother (deceased)
  • Nathaniel B. Holder, Father (deceased)
  • Mary Elizabeth Holder, Sister (deceased)
  • Ann Johnson, Sister
  • Donald N. Holder, Brother (deceased)
  • Jerry Dale Holder and wife Danette, Brother
  • Molly Holder, Daughter-in-law (deceased)
  • Melinda Holder, Daughter-in-law
  • Thomas Johnson, Brother-in-law (deceased)
  • Lauren Weems and her husband Juston, Grandchild
  • Erin Holder, Grandchild
  • Lee Holder and his wife Kristy, Grandchild
  • Peggy Jane DeBruler and her husband James, Grandchild
  • Emily Swanson and her husband Travis, Grandchild
  • Steven Holder and his wife Madeline, Grandchild
  • Samantha Ferguson and her husband Parker, Grandchild
  • Emma Ann Holder, Great Grandchild (deceased)
  • Billis also survived by his seven great-grandchildren.

  • Wilson-Holder Endowed Scholarships at: U of O
  • Charity of your choice


  • Visitation Friday, November 22, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 23, 2019


William L. Holder

have a memory or condolence to add?

Roy Baggett

December 1, 2019


Frank Rohrbough

November 23, 2019

Jane: Diane and I were so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. May God's peace be with you and your family. He will be missed by his many friends and colleagues.
While Bill was the Hospital Administrator at Barksdale AFB LA, I quickly learned of his skilled leadership qualities and his practice of mentoring of younger officers. He sponsored me and managed my follow-on assignment to the Command Surgeon's Office at HQ. Strategic Air Command at Offutt AFB, NE. It put me on track for a very successful career resulting in my promotion to Colonel and eventual selection as the 12th Chief of the Medical Service Corps. Bill was recognized for his leadership skills which led him to become the first non-physician Commander of the Medical Service School at Sheppard AFB.
I truly appreciated Bill's dedicated service to many MSCs and to the USAF Medical Service. Diane and I will miss him!
Respectfully, Frank and Diane Rohrbough

Judy Holder-Whitehead

November 21, 2019

On behalf of Larry and myself, we would like to express our sympathy on the passing of Bill who was a beloved cousin to everyone in the Holder family. Because of Bill, our family had many years of reunions bringing all of us together! It’s so important for family to know family! One of the last times seeing Bill, he arrived with a black eye, skinned knee and bruises from a fall he had a few days earlier but he wasn’t going to miss that reunion! He knew so much history of our family and I was always asking him something about our history. I’ve missed not seeing him in the last few years. My memories ofBill will last me until we have our reunion in heaven! Prayers to Jane and his family.

Jo, Ronnie and Adam Hall

November 20, 2019

Dear Roberta,
We feel odd calling you Roberta as your were Miss Holder to us for so many years. But today as your friend, please accept our deepest sympathy in the passing of your father. He sounds like a wonderful and caring man which I know has to be true as we believe you have those traits also. We are praying for you and your family. May God grant you peace through these days and days ahead. Your will be forever in our hearts.