Obituary of Richard T. Holland
Richard Tufts Holland passed away at home in Somerville on Saturday, February 25, at age 83. Born in New York City in 1939, Mr Holland had a lifelong fascination with gadgets and machines, and even as a young boy he’d be in the basement or garage disassembling and rebuilding motors and toys. His love of cars began with his first, a Jaguar XK120 which he had purchased in the late 1950s. This was his car when he met the love of his life, Patricia Graboski, in the early 1960s, and they were married in 1965.
With the arrival of his son Richard Jr a few years later, Mr Holland left the car behind as his family grew. Robert became the newest member of the family, and they moved from New York City to Somerville in 1976.
Mr Holland’s inventiveness could be seen every Christmas in Somerville: the bright red locomotive he built was the centerpiece of his ever-growing holiday display, with a new mechanical wonder added year after year.
And after more than thirty five years of being exposed to the elements, the Jaguar XK120 returned: Mr Holland and his son Robert of Raritan shipped the car to New Jersey where they completely restored it. The car, with its apt “CURMUDGN” license plate, was a mainstay at Somerville’s Cruise Nights, and Mr Holland was always keen to talk, about his car, other cars, or just about anything else.
Working his entire career with Bell Telephone and AT&T, Mr Holland was a sharpshooter with the Army Reserve, and active in Scouts, the Dawn Patrol motorcycle club and a passionate vintage Jaguar enthusiast, gaining lifelong friends in every venture.
In his retirement, he loved spending time with his grandsons, Billy, Skylar and Devon, and his love of tinkering and building lives on in them. He also became an international traveler, visiting England, Scotland, Wales, and elsewhere with his son Rick, of London.
Mr Holland is survived by his wife, the former Patricia Graboski, his sons Rick and Rob, and his grandsons Billy, Skylar and Devon, his brother Thomas, cousin Billy, brother in law Randy, as well as and many nieces, nephews, and cousins and family.
Think of him every time you see a red sports car.
Richard will be cremated and a celebration of life will be planned at the Bongiovi Funeral Home for spring 2023.
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In Loving Memory
1939 - 2023
416 Bell Avenue, Raritan, NJ 08869
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