O. Holding Sr.
1936 ~ 2012
O. Holding, Sr. age 75, passed away on August 24, 2012.
He was born on October 30, 1936 to Oscar Seth Holding and
Veda Alma Doss in Joplin, Missouri. They moved to Antioch,
California in 1943 where he grew up and attended high school
being recognized as a super athlete.
He attended ECCJC for one year then transferred to Stanford
University on a baseball scholarship. He converted to the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in December
of his Sophomore year. He achieved All-American status as
a catcher his senior year and was installed in the Stanford
Hall of Fame. He signed a professional baseball contract
with the Chicago Cubs playing minor league ball in Burlington,
Iowa then Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
In 1960 he married Renee Hunt also from Antioch and continued
his career in Winter Ball at Mesa, Arizona then on to San
Antonio, Texas where his team won the Pan American championship.
His first daughter was born the day he received word he
would be required to report to Fort Lewis, Washington as
part of the reservists called up for the Berlin Crises as
well as a major league contract with the Chicago Cubs.
He played ball with many professional reservists such as
Tony Kubek during that year. They were released in August
of 1962 and he played ball for Wenatchee, Washington then
back to Mesa, Arizona for winter baseball, spring training,
then on to the Salt Lake Bees in Salt Lake City, Utah. Due
to the overload of catchers on the major league team , many
were sent down and that meant Ralph was sent down to Amarillo,
Texas where the second daughter was born. He completed the
season but was determined to turn to teaching and coaching.
He went to San Jose State College to receive his master's
degree and credential for teaching and taught his first
year in Brentwood, California. He was asked to return to
Fremont to teach at a new school--John F. Kennedy High School.
He taught there for forty years and initiated a baseball
program which developed two more professional ball players--Randy
Ready and Dennis DeBarr and when he retired in 2001 the
baseball field was named after him and he was presented
with the Northern Coast Section Coach of Year Award in the
Oakland, California Coliseum.
Six years before he retired he had cut his knee allowing
staph infection to enter which resulted in his becoming
a paraplegic. He continued teaching for those six years
from his wheelchair and continued to serve in church callings
which had included Bishop, High Councilman, YWMIA president,
and Ward Mission Leader. In 2003 he and Renee moved to Alpine,
Utah to be near children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife- Renee Holding, their children-
Tina Holding, Shari Beck (Tom) Ralph Holding Jr. and Lori
Holgate (Trent) and thirteen grandchildren- Steven Beck,
Sara Beck, Ralph Holding III, Shalisa Beck, Kimberli Holding,
Lindsey Holgate, Cynthia Beck, Bryan Holgate, Ryan Holding,
Craig Holding, Jason Holgate, Tyler Holgate, and Amy Holgate.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 31, 2012,
at 11:00 am in the Alpine 9th LDS Ward Chapel located at
901 East Village Way, Alpine, Utah. A viewing will be held
Thursday, evening August 30, 2012 from 6:00-8:00 pm, at
the Alpine 9th Ward Chapel, and also from 10:0 to 10:45
am prior to the funeral services at the church. Interment
will be at the Highland City Cemetery.