Thomas Grady Holland

     Thomas Grady Holland, 86, went to be with his Heavenly Father Thursday, January 18, 2007,
while a resident at G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center Nursing Home Care Unit.
     Funeral services were in the funeral home chapel with burial in Lakewood Memorial Park.

     Thomas was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His church, family and friends were very  dear to him. He had a wonderful gift for gab and never met a stranger. Ann Demrow, one of his daughters, said, "If we could pick and choose our earthly parents, I truly believe my brothers and sisters and I would have still chosen him for our father. He taught us truth, honesty, and integrity, and he lived by the Golden Rule. He knew something about everything there was nothing he couldn't build or repair. He was Mr. Fix-It .  He always had a smile on his face and a kind word in his heart."
                              
He was born April 18, 1920, to Henry Grady and Eddie Mae (Savage) Holland in Earle, AR He was raised and attended school in Tallahatchie County, MS. As a WW-II veteran, Thomas proudly served his state and country as a Sergeant in Company K , 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment ,U.S. Marine Corps from June 1941 to May 1946. He was stationed at Cavite, Philippine Islands (P.I.), and was captured as a prisoner-of-war during the surrender to the Japanese Imperial Army on Corregidor Island May 6, 1942. As a special messenger to the Major of Company K, Thomas was ordered to notify Companies K and L of the proper procedure f
or throwing down arms and surrendering to the enemy. He is quoted as saying, "That was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life, especially knowing some of
what was ahead of us". Thomas survived starvation, Beri-Beri, malaria, frostbite, cave-ins in the coal mines where they worked, and many other forms of cruel and unusual punishment at the hands of the Japanese.  During his interment, he was at Camp 1, Cabanatuan, P.I.; Bilibid Prison - Nichols Field, Manila, P.I.;
Camp 17, Moji, Japan, and Omuta Camp 1, Fukuoka, Japan.

After returning to Miss., Thomas began his 35-year tenure at the G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Engineering Service in Jackson. He retired in May 1981. He was an active member of Midway Baptist Church for over 50 years where he served as a Deacon and as a member of various church committees.
He was also an active member of the MS Chapter of Ex-POW's until his health began to decline in the late 90's. On several occasions, he was asked to speak at local schools about his POW experience, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Thomas is preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Fennis G. and Edgar Felton Holland; and sister, Lillian Ruth McAdams. Survivors are his wife of 60 years, Alice V. Holland; two sons, Dr. Thomas V. Holland (Debbie) of Milton, Fla., and Samuel G. Holland, Clinton; six daughters, Lynda Lackey and Alison D. Furr (Tim) of Madison, Brenda S. Hamilton (Scott) of Daphne, AL; Ann H. Demrow (Greg) of Clinton; Regina L. Dennis (Jeff) of Las Cruces, N.M.; and Karen J. Holland of Keo, Ark.; Grandchildren Kim Richardson (Pepper) of Sumrall; Kirby Lackey (Shawn) of Tupelo; Tommy Holland, Jacksonville, FL; Michael Holland (Christina), Macon, GA; Mattie Jones (Tim), Milton, FL; Ron Demrow (Laura), Clinton; Elena Dennis, Las Cruces, NM; Joeray Holland, Keo, Ark.; Bryant and Bethany P. Furr of Madison; Great-grandchildren Kristin Sanford (Eric), Hattiesburg; Nicole and Jamie Stafford, Sumrall; Lacey and Stacey Demrow, Clinton; and Seth Jones, Milton, Fla..; brothers Luther E. Holland (Gayle) of Raytown, MO; Alton D. Holland (Juanita), Charleston; and Kenneth B. Holland (Mary) of Lake Charles, La.; sister Ruby W. Howard, North Fort Myers, Fla., and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and in-laws and their families.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to Midway Baptist Church, 5609 Clinton Blvd., Jackson, MS 39209, or to American Ex-Prisoners of War, 3201 E. Pioneer Parkway, Suite 40, Arlington, TX 76010-539.
       Family and friends may sign the guestbook at: www.lakewoodfuneralhomes.com

Published in the Clarion Ledger on 1/21/2007.

Submitted for the website by son-in-law Jeff Dennis

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