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Published: Wednesday, 10/19/2005

Dentist was on Toledo housing authority

Dr. John Wellington Holland, Jr., a retired anesthesiologist and clinical professor at the former Medical College of Ohio, a former longtime Toledo dentist, and a community activist, died Friday in Toledo Hospital of apparent congestive heart failure. He was 84.

Dr. Holland had a private dentistry practice in Toledo from 1950 until 1982, when he retired due to a stroke. He also was an anesthesiologist at the former Maumee Valley Hospital in the 1960s, and then at MCO until 1982.

He was vice chairman of the Toledo Metropolitan Housing Authority from 1967 to 1974.

A San Antonio native and a graduate of Wheatley High School there, Dr. Holland held degrees from Wilberforce University and Ohio State University's dental school.

"He was stubborn, determined, and independent. And his work ethic was one of his priorities in life," his daughter Kathy Lesley said.

"And he believed that each individual should be accountable for his actions," his other daughter, Debra Sudler, added. "‚óŹ'Every tub sits on its own bottom,' he used to say."

Dr. Holland graduated from Wilberforce in 1942 and enlisted in the Army to serve in World War II. A lieutenant, he fought in Italy.

After the war, Dr. Holland went to the dental school, from which he graduated in 1949. In 1950, he moved to Toledo and lived here ever since.

In retirement, Dr. Holland enjoyed reading history books and watching golf tournaments.

He was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church and a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

His other memberships included Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi.

His wife, Catherine, to whom he was married for 57 years, died in 2000.

Surviving are his daughters, Kathy Lesley and Debra Sudler; sister, Edna Goode; brother, Leon Holland; five grandchildren, and four great-granddaughters.

Visitation will be after 4 p.m. tomorrow in the Dale-Riggs Funeral Home. Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in All Saints Episcopal Church.

The family suggests tributes to the Wilberforce University scholarship fund.

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