TRENTON – The Rev. Dr. Russell Ward Holder of Trenton, born May 2, 1933, died Jan. 18, 2014, in Ellsworth, surrounded by all his children and family. Dr. Holder was a Presbyterian Church (USA) pastor who served congregations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Maine. Most recently he served as Interim Pastor at First Congregational Church, Ellsworth, and Wales Presbyterian Church, Wales.
Dr. Holder was born and raised in Diamond Township, Pa., son of Ward E. and Martha Clark Holder. He was a graduate of Edinboro State Teachers College, Edinboro, Pa., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, and McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago. He served in the U.S. Air Force after college, training pilots in mathematics, the subject of his Bachelor’s degree. He wed Ellagene Morgan in 1957, whom he met while they were both teaching in Pennsylvania after his military service. They had five children, Katharine Schrader and Robert, of Ellsworth, Cynthia Holder Rich and Mark Rich, of Overland Park, Kansas, R. Ward Holder amd Susan Griesmer, of Westwood, Mass., Calvin Holder and Arlene, of Casa Grande, Ariz., and H. Leigh Holder-Bobo and Jerry Bobo of Chatham, N.J. All of the Holder children are ordained in the Presbyterian Church, as Ministers of Word and Sacrament, Ruling Elders, and Deacons. Dr. Holder took part in leadership across the Presbyterian Church, including serving as Moderator of East Iowa Presbytery, serving as a General Assembly and Synod Commissioner, and in committees across the church. Dr. Holder was an active and faithful member of the Ellsworth Rotary Club and Northern New England Presbytery.
Dr. Holder is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ellagene; his five children and their spouses; his cousin, John Smith and Cassie, of Corry, Pa.; and 11 grandchildren.
Visitation is set for 5-8 p.m. Sunday evening, Jan. 19, at First Congregational Church, 2 Church St., Ellsworth, and a service of witness to the resurrection is set for 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at First Congregational Church, Ellsworth. Memorial gifts should be directed to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Global Mission, www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/make-a-gift/gift-info/102/. Arrangements by Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Homes, Ellsworth.