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Verlin Dempsey "Demp" Holden

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Verlin Dempsey "Demp" Holden, son of the late Roy Holden and Leona Kyle Holden, was born on March 2, 1926 in rural Shannon County, Mo. and died in the Saint Francis Medical Center at Cape Girardeau on March 27, 2012 at the age of 86.

He was united in marriage to Iva Celeste Yates on September 19, 1946, at Pocahontas, Ark. Mr. and Mrs. Holden lived in Fisk for several years prior to moving to Dexter. Mrs. Holden survives.

Mr. Holden was a founding member of the Southwest Church of the Nazarene in Dexter and most recently had been attending the First Baptist Church in Dexter. He was a veteran of the United States Army Air Force.

He was the owner of Verlin Holden and Sons Sawmill and Lumber Company. Demp was a lifelong sawmiller and has cut and sold timber everywhere from the Ozark Hills of Missouri, to the swamps of western Kentucky, to the mountains of Colorado and finally the flat land and river banks of Southeast Missouri. It was early in 1980 , as the economy hardened, when Mr. Holden told his youngest son, "We need to find ways to capitalize on our scrap from the saw mill".... On that day a dream was born which led to the formation of Holden Pallet Company in Dexter. Holden Pallet has grown to one of the largest manufacturers of pallets in the Midwest.

Since his retirement, Demp has become an avid golfer. He enjoyed spending time with his family, friends and golfing buddies and imparted infinite love and wisdom on everyone he met.

Besides his wife, he is survived by three sons, Bill Holden, Stephen W. Holden and wife Mary Kay and Timothy Ray Holden and wife Julie all of Dexter; by two daughters, Geneva Diane Garrett and husband David of San Antonio, Texas; and Terri Rene Morgan and husband Robert of Dexter; by 16 grandchildren and their spouses, Jamie and Johnny Manees of Dexter, Andrew and Amy Holden of Dudley, Natalie D. and Edward A. Riley II of Dexter, Stephen Ryan and Lindsay Emelio Holden of Dexter, Alexa Atkinson of Poplar Bluff, Brian David and Betsy Garrett of Olathe, Kansas, Bradley Holden Garrett of San Anotonio, Texas, Geoffrey Phillip Garrett of San Antonio, Texas, Jason Lee and Cristi Jo Comfort of Dexter, Joshua S. Comfort of Dexter, Shelly Renee and Wade Wingfield of Henderson, Ky., Jennifer M. and Quinton Stone of Henderson, Ky., Amy N. and Kip Lemons of Dexter, Robert J. Morgan Jr. of Essex, Tyler and Jeannie Holden of Dexter and Chance Holden of Dexter; by 23 great-grandchildren, Austin Manees, Alexis Holden, Camden Lewis Riley, Avery Catherine Riley, Amelia James Holden, Emma Kay Pennington, Phillip Montgomery Garrett, Maci Jo Comfort, Cali Celeste Comfort, Jase Holden Comfort, Clair Paige Comfort, Wyatt Riley Comfort, Charlie Katelyn Comfort, Jessica Shaw, Jonathon Wingfield, Issac Wingfield, Ava Stone, Eli Stone, Addyson Atherton, Aslyn Lemons, Kylee Morgan, Taylor Morgan and Ashton Holden; and by one sister, Pauline Bailey of McKinney, Texas.

Besides his parents he was preceded in death by seven brothers, Sterling Holden, Earl Holden, Cleo Holden, Sam Holden, Carl Holden, R.M. "Mock" Holden, A.D. "Dink" Holden and by one sister, Emma Jean Hall.

Visitation will take place at the First Baptist Church in Dexter from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 29, 2012. Funeral services will be conducted at noon, Friday, March 30, 2012, in the First Baptist Church in Dexter with Rev. Wayne Dismuke officiating. Interment will follow in the Dexter Cemetery with full military honors.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimers Association, 9370 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63132.

Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home of Dexter in charge of arrangements.

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