James Cecil Holden Sr., 94, WWII veteran and lifelong Brunswick County resident

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James Cecil Holden Sr.
James Cecil Holden Sr.

James Cecil Holden Sr., a lifetime resident of Brunswick County, went to be with our Lord on Jan. 1, 2016, at the age of 94. He lived on the Intracoastal Waterway at Lockwood Folly Inlet between Holden Beach and Long Beach.

Born May 20, 1921, in Brunswick County, he was the son of George Washington and Florence Jane Lewis Holden.

After Cecil graduated from Shallotte High School, he spent one year working at the shipyard in Wilmington. While working at the shipyard, he was drafted into service during World War II. He served in the European Theater, landing in Marseilles, France with the 62nd Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division. He was promoted to sergeant and awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Cecil always said that his lost war buddies should have received his medals. During his time in service, he was fortunate to have several close friends become “brothers.” Now deceased, they were David Ferrell of New York and Florida, Robert (Bob) Beall of Oregon, Jack Lemhouse of Oregon, and “Pop” of New York.

After returning home, Cecil resumed farming with his brother, Wilbur, who served in the Pacific Theater. Cecil was a founding and lifetime member of the local VFW and lifelong member of Sabbath Home Baptist Church near Holden Beach.

Cecil is predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Mildred Cherry Holden; his brother, Wilbur Holden; half-brothers, Clyde and Rutherford Holden; and half-sister, Beulah Parker. Since two years of age, he lived in the home on the inlet built by his parents.

Survivors include his children and their spouses respectively: Jim and Kathryn Chubb Holden, Marston Holden, Jeff and Majannah Holden Turlington and Cecile Holden. Surviving grandchildren are Jameson and Meghan Gurlitz Holden, Daryl Turlington, Trisha Turlington, Ryan and Sharay Beeson Holden with great-grandson, Carter Holden. He is survived by his two sisters, Marie Scola and Margaret Sellers, and sister-in-law, Etheline Dance Holden. In addition, he is survived by many nieces and nephews.

A service was held Sunday, Jan. 3 at Sabbath Home Baptist Church, with graveside service at the Holden Family Cemetery.  Pallbearers were Danny Galloway, Jameson Holden, Ryan Holden, Vann Pyatte, Trisha Turlington and Daryl Turlington.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sabbath Home Baptist Church, 990 Sabbath Home Road SW, Holden Beach, NC 28462 or Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 955 Mercy Lane SE, Bolivia, NC 28422.

Please leave online condolences for the family at White Funeral Service.

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