John J "Jack" Holden was born on Feb. 26, 1940 on the Rohde family farm, twelve miles south of Colome, S.D. He left this earth Dec. 18, 2020 by the deadly Covid-19 virus.
Jack was the eldest son of Francis M Holden and Agnes Marie Rohde. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Tony Holden, and his siblings Mary Holden Allen, Elizabeth Holden Littau, and William Patrick Holden.
Jack is survived by his wife Lisa and children Lacey Keating, Brenda Gehrt (David), Beckie (Raphael) Olivero, Shawn (Marie) Holden. His Grandchildren Alex (Christina) Olivero, Ryan (Naomi) Olivero, Gabriel Olivero, Tee (Bradli) Gehrt, Payton Gehrt and Fiancé Morgan McKnight, Chelsea (Dane) Bennett, Hannah Holden, Hailey Holden, Jackson Arthur, Jace Keating; Great-Grandchildren Macey Olivero, Aniston and Holden Bennett; and by his sisters Linda Holden Schilling, Jewell Holden, and Cynthia (Cindy) Holden.
Jack was always infatuated with animals, especially horses; and he was self-taught. His first job was to break hundreds of horses for his Great Uncle Pat London, who bought and sold horses to the Government for the Remount Program, shipping them to the government by rail. By age 12 he was in business for himself. Harsh Dakota winters never slowed him down. When blizzards stopped vehicles from moving, he would head out to tail up to six head of horses and ride to town for mail and groceries for the neighbors.
Jack married Myrna Manzer in 1961 and they had four children, Tony, Brenda, Beckie and Shawn. He ran ranches in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin and later settled in Sioux City, Iowa where he bought cattle for Sioux City Dressed Beef at the Sioux City Stockyards. He became Partner and Manager of Kay Dee Western Wear in the 70s. He was a Shriner, a Mason, a Lifetime AQHA member, a western wear model, and was instrumental in bringing Little Britches (Rodeo) to the area. He "picked up" rough stock riders at these youth rodeos.
In 1981 he married Lisa Strohm, and to this union their daughter Lacey was born. He shucked his business suit and went back to training horses full time, leaving the cold and moving to Sulphur, La., where he trained, held clinics, and rodeoed for eight years. Those were some of the busiest times of his life and he loved every minute of it. In 1990 Jack and Lisa found a great little ranch and they settled in Ardmore, Okla. Throughout their 39 years of marriage, they trained and sold horses.
During Jack's lifetime he rode thousands of horses and taught countless people to ride, rope, run barrels...you name it, he did it. He was a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend. He will always be remembered for the great horses he trained, his love of good bits, his great hugs, and his unmistakable signature laugh! He left this world a better place and will never be forgotten.
Honorary Pall Bearers are Bill Kluender, Larry Tierney, Doug Clark, Dale Dunn, Carter Gurrola, Keith Tucker, Steve Rohde, Marty Rohde, and David Rohde.
A Celebration of life will be planned at a later date. Arrangements are under the care of Alexander Gray Funeral Home of Wilson. Memories and photos may be shared online
Posted online on December 30, 2020