• Letter from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Randy Holland re Simmie Knox August 29, 2007

    Supreme Court of the United States
    Washington, D. C. 20543
    August 29, 2007

    CHAMBERS OF
    JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG

    The Honorable Randy J. Holland
    Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware

    Dear Randy:

    Thanks for the photographic copy of a very fine portrait, and the article telling of Simmie Knox’s earlier painting of you. His talent should have been recognized sooner, but isn’t it grand that he is now thriving.

    Souvenir enclosed.

    Every best wish,
    Ruth

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Letter from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Randy Holland re Simmie Knox June 2, 2005

    Supreme Court of the United States
    Washington, D.C. 20543

    CHAMBERS OF
    JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG

    June 2, 2005

    The Honorable Randy J. Holland
    Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware

    Dear Randy:

    You have chosen your portrait artist well.
    Simmie
    has most recently done the portrait of my D.C. Circuit colleague, Harry T. Edwards, unveiling set for November 4.

    Every best wish,
    Ruth

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg

  • Simmie Knox and Randy Holland: A relationship woven at a woolen mill in Milford, Delaware

    In 1959, my dad was 12 year old. My grandfather was the cafeteria manager at a woolen mill in Milford, DE. A young man named Simmie Knox worked there and offered to paint portraits as a way to earn money and practice his art. My grandfather took him up on it, and for my entire childhood a portrait of my dad as a 12 year old, along with another of his brother, hung proudly on the walls of my grandparents’ house on NW 2nd street in Milford.

    In high school, my dad and my uncle also worked at the same textile factory. It was tough work at a woolen mill in the summer. I grew up hearing stories of the dust from the wool swirling in the heat, allergies, humidity, and heavy machinery. The experience was so impactful, that Dad kept his commercial truck endorsement active on his driver’s license his entire life.

    Simmie went on to the Tyler School of Art and began painting portraits professionally. Over the years, his portfolio placed him among the top of his craft. He’s painted Hank Aaron, Mohammad Ali, Oprah, the Clintons, Thurgood Marshall, David Dinkins… the list is incredible.

    Almost 50 years after the first portrait of my dad, Mr. Knox painted a second portrait – this time for dad’s appointment to the Delaware Supreme Court.

    In this portrait, dad asked to include his wedding ring, his Lincoln’s Inn tie, his book on the Delaware constitution, and a family photo. I wore the same tie when I have his eulogy.

    As one of only a half-dozen black students at the school, Knox recalled feeling isolated in the dining hall, ignored by white students.

    “Every now and then, some brave soul followed the courage of conviction,” he says.

    While attending school and working at a textile factory in Milford, Del., he painted an 11-year-old Randy Holland at the request of Holland’s father, who worked with Knox at the factory. Nearly a half-century later, Holland returned the favor by asking Knox to paint his portrait when he was appointed to the Delaware Supreme Court.

    USA Today: “Artist Simmie Knox captures spirit of trailblazers”

    Dad with Simmie in 2007, standing with both portraits.
    Photo credit: The News Journal/William Bretzger

    When Justice Ginsburg died, dad wrote an article for the Delaware State Bar Association which brought the three of them together:

    I knew that Justice Ginsburg had her portrait painted by the renowned
    artist, Simmie Knox. I wrote to her that he was also going to paint my
    portrait. I told her that he was a longtime family friend who had previously painted my portrait when I was a teenager and he was a college
    student with no training. She was happy to hear my story about Simmie.
    She wrote that she appreciated his talent in portraying her, after a recent
    illness, “as I hoped I would be after my health and strength were restored.”

    -Randy J. Holland

    After my dad died, I found two letters from Justice Ginsburg to my dad about Mr. Knox’s work.

    What an amazing shared connection. Two men from humble beginnings, who met at a woolen mill in Milford, followed their hearts, never quit, and fulfilled their dreams.

    Simmie Knox’s iconic signature on his portrait of Randy Holland
  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: Gary Baker Remarks

    To the Holland family from the Holland Inn family, we send you our love, our care, and we undergird you with our prayers and our thoughts. So many times you have reached out to us, and now we in turn reach out to you in this time of loss.

    As has been recounted by so many, one of Justice Holland’s greatest passions was the American Inns of Court. This was such a natural fit for him since he not only espoused but also exemplified the objectives of the Inns of Court, which include the promotion of professionalism, civility and legal excellence.

    Nine years ago during a chance meeting, Justice Holland mentioned to me that he thought that an Inn of Court could be of benefit to our practice area of workers’ compensation. It proved to be one of the most consequential meetings of my professional life.

    I had no idea at the time what an Inn of Court was or what it did. But I knew that if he was recommending it, it had to be something worth checking into. In forming our then-nascent organization, it was a strong priority for us that it be named for someone who best personified each of the Inn’s virtues. 

    We knew there could be no more obvious or honorable choice than Justice Holland and in November of 2013, we proudly were chartered as the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers’ Compensation American Inn of Court.

    On November 13, 2013 the Delaware Bar launched the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers’ Compensation American Inn of Court as the state’s seventh chapter. 

    Ilona would often tell me “It means so much to Randy that you all named the Inn for him”. But in point of fact we were the truest beneficiaries, as he left an indelible imprint on each one of us who knew him and shared with him in that venture. His example and presence challenged us, inspired us and pushed us forward. Our Inn felt like much more than just a legal enterprise; there was a true kinship of partnership and purpose.

    In 2019, past and present members of the Executive Committee, their families, and Ilona and Justice Holland met in Rehoboth Beach for the second annual Funland excursion.

    From that time forward, Justice Holland was our backbone, our inspiration and our mentor, tirelessly giving in his trademark fashion. There was an occasion when he had just returned from a trip to Taiwan. After the long flight, rather than simply returning home, he instead traveled directly from the airport to attend one of our meetings. And even as recently as a month before his unexpected passing, he was a participant in our orientation welcoming new members. We will deeply miss his company and his counsel. But the impact of his contributions remain, as they are limitless and timeless.

    Gary Baker presents Justice Holland with a book containing all the congratulations letters received in conjunction with the Holland Inn’s inauguration. Letters were received from Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Alito, Sotomayor, Stevens, O’Connor, Souter, V.P. Biden, the Delaware Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for Delaware, each of the then-Justices of the Delaware Supreme Court – CJ Steele, JJ Berger, Ridgely and Jacobs and the Superior and Chancery Courts.

    If there was any one attribute that most succinctly detailed the qualities of Randy Holland it would be that he cared. He cared about the Delaware legal community, about the community at large, about the Inns of Court, and most especially about his family. And he put that caring into practice.

    The words of the prophet Micah perfectly sum up the life and legacy of this great man: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Randy Holland left deep and lasting footprints in every way that one could and did so while walking comfortably in humble shoes. And oh how we loved him for it.

    April 30, 2022

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a copy of “Supreme Cuisine: A Collection of Our Most Appealing Recipes”. The Randy J. Holland Inn of Court completed this community cookbook for its 2016/2017 public service project The Inn sold over 500 cookbooks in 2 weeks and donated funds to create a Delaware chapter of Kids Chance America, a national program for the benefit of children of workers catastrophically injured or killed as a result of workplace accidents.

    H. Garrett Baker is a Founder of the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers’ Compensation Inn of Court. He served as the Inn’s Vice-President from 2013-16 and President from 2017-18. Currently, he is the Inn’s Judicial Liaison.

    He is also a director in the Workers’ Compensation Department of Elzufon, Austin & Mondell. Gary was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1990, followed by the Delaware bar in 1992. His next bar admissions were to the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit in 1993 and in 1994 to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gary graduated from Evangel College (B.S., summa cum laude, 1986), Southern Illinois University (J.D., cum laude, 1990) and the University of Delaware (M.A. 1998).

    He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi fraternity. Gary also served as Judicial Intern for the Honorable Carol Los Mansmann, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, in 1989, and the Honorable Joseph T. Walsh, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Delaware in 1992.

  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: William C. Koch, Jr. Remarks

    Good afternoon. I’m Bill Koch from Tennessee, and I am here speaking on behalf of many of Randy’s colleagues in the American Inns of Court and on the state judiciaries all over this country that were affected by his wisdom and his friendship.

    Randy Holland is my friend. I choose to use the present tense today because he is and will always be my friend.

    I knew him as a catalyst, a collaborator, a constitutional scholar, a wise counselor, a cheerleader, and a droll comedian. Randy will continue to be present to each of us in our individual and shared memories of this kind and good and gentle man. As T.S. Eliot explained in Burnt Norton:

    Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.

    My comments this afternoon will have a dual focus – first on Randy’s transformative leadership of the American Inns of Court where our paths first crossed and then on our friendship that grew out of that first meeting.

    Randy joined the American Inns of Court movement in 1990 when he helped found the Terry-Carey American Inn of Court here in Delaware. In two short years, he became the first state supreme court justice to serve as a trustee of the organization.

    Early on, his fellow trustees decided to test Randy’s mettle with a daunting assignment. Chief Justice Warren Burger, the moving force behind the American Inns of Court, decided that lawyers who advertised should be barred from membership in the organization. The trustees had little appetite for this idea and dispatched their most junior member – Randy – to inform the Chief Justice that they did not favor his suggestion. Like Daniel in the lion’s den, Randy was victorious and, in the process, strengthened Chief Justice Burger’s commitment to the American Inns of Court.

    Randy became the fifth President of the American Inns of Court in 2000 and served until 2004. During his tenure, he visited local Inns in forty states. He encouraged the formation of new Inns, particularly ones affiliated with a law school. He also strengthened the Inns’ working relationships with other national legal organizations, including the American Bar Association and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

    Randy convinced the Conference of Chief Justices to adopt a resolution urging all state supreme courts to promote the creation of American Inns of Court in their state. He also encouraged his friends on the federal and state benches to support and actively participate in a local Inn of Court. At the end of Randy’s term, the American Inns of Court was the fastest growing national legal organization in the United States.

    Randy’s commitment to the Inns of Court in Delaware never wavered. He helped establish five of Delaware’s six active Inns and continued to provide support and encouragement whenever called upon. The capstone of his efforts was laid in 2013 when the Randy J. Holland Delaware Workers Compensation American Inn of Court received its charter. It should come as no surprise that Delaware leads the country in the percentage of the members of the bench and bar who are also members of an American Inn of Court.

    Randy’s work on behalf of the American Inns of Court had an international dimension as well. During his presidency, the American Inns of Court and the Irish Honorable Society of the King’s Inns signed a Declaration of Friendship. The organization also forged stronger ties with the four English Inns of Court, the British Bar Council, and Combar, the organization of the English and Welch Bar for commercial barristers.

    Bill Koch and Randy Holland at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

    This “good boy from Milford” (as Judge Latchum called him) did not undertake any of these tasks for fame, honors, or glory. Yet, others saw his good work and praised it. He is one of only two persons to receive both of the Inns’ most prestigious national awards – the A. Sherman Christensen Award for distinguished and exceptional leadership of the American Inns of Court movement and the Lewis F. Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics. Randy was also elected an Honorary Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn in London, a distinction rarely bestowed on Americans.

    Justice John Paul Stevens, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Randy J. Holland – The only three Americans named as honorary Masters of the Bench

    This same Randy Holland who took the American Inns of Court to new heights and who had the ear of leaders of the bench and bar both in the United States and England also made time for me. We first met in the fall of 1999 at the Celebration of Excellence in Washington. Randy was the organization’s newly elected president; I was the new kid on the block.

    In short order, we became good friends, and our wives became like sisters. It was in this setting that I came to experience Randy’s warmth and whimsy. In addition to his judicial robe, I discovered that Randy once had a red plaid suit, as well as Snoopy and Easter Bunny costumes in his closet. He liked funny hats, particularly on other people. A denizen of the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, he was a Skee Ball wizard who sharpened his skill with his own Skee Ball machine in his basement.

    Ilona Holland, Bill and Debby Koch, Randy Holland

    I also learned that Randy enjoyed celebrating birthdays and holidays, particularly the lesser known holidays. April Fools Day was one of his favorites.

    On occasion, he celebrated that day internationally. Not even chief justices could evade Randy on April Fools day.

    Another favorite holiday was Flag Day. After deciding that Flag Day was best celebrated by shopping, Randy faithfully emailed my wife each and every year to remind her to go shopping. For example, in 2017 he wrote:

    Dear Debby,

    Only a few hours to shop on Flag Day. You should also know that today is President Trump’s birthday. So this could be a double shopping day in the future.

    Best always, Randy.

    With Randy’s encouragement, Ilona and Debby became shopping juggernauts. In this sense, Randy was a retail enabler – particularly when it came to jewelry or arts and crafts. While I am the richer for Randy’s friendship, I must say I am the poorer for some of his emails to Debby.

    The Hollands and the Kochs also traveled together in the United States and England. Whether it was Las Vegas – yes Randy wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Celine Dion – or Broadway, London, Chester, Nashville, or Rehoboth Beach, Debby and I treasure our adventures with Randy and Ilona.

    Randy, Don Lemons, Mike McConnell, and I started a book club during the COVID pandemic. Our early choices were weighty, non-fiction tomes, but our tastes changed as the pandemic slouched along.

    Randy’s last suggestion was Ryan Holiday’s, The Daily Stoic. On March 15th, the day that Randy died, the selected reading in The Daily Stoic was taken from The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It contained a passage saying that “the present moment lasts the same for all and is all anyone possesses.” I cannot help but think that this was Randy reminding us that each day is a gift and this is why it is called the “present.”

    From left: Randy Holland, Don Lemons, and Bill Koch

    Ilona, Ethan, Jennifer, Rori, Chloe, and Jim you are most fortunate to have shared your lives with this wonderful, caring soul mate, father, grandfather, and brother. His love for each of you knows no boundaries.

    Now he has joined the blessed company of saints. In your thoughts and conversations, recount the stories of his humility, his kindness, his legal brilliance, his acts of courage and conviction, and the influence he has had on you, his community, and the law. He will be there when you tell the stories. We too will tell our stories about him.

    In a 2005 article, Randy wrote that “satisfaction is… the knowledge that others depended on your judgment, your loyalty, and your abilities, and that at the end of the day, that you had, in fact, helped.” Randy, we did and still do depend on your judgment, loyalty, and abilities. Your good works and good deeds have added to the sum of humanity. Well done, my friend, well done indeed.

    This April 30, 2022.

    With respect, William C. Koch, Jr.

    William C. Koch Jr. (born September 12, 1947) is a former justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. Prior to his appointment to the court in 2007, he served 23 years on the Tennessee Court of Appeals. He retired from the court on July 15, 2014, and accepted the position of dean at Nashville School of Law.

    Like Randy, Koch received his LL.M. in Judicial Process from the University of Virginia School of Law. Koch has taught Constitutional Law at the Nashville School of Law since 1997.

    Koch served as the American Inns of Court president from 2018-2020. He is also the president of the Harry Phillips American Inns of Court.

  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life: Jim Holland Remarks

    Thank you all for coming today to help celebrate Randy’s life.  Your presence honors him and his life’s work.

    You have already heard today about Randy’s many accomplishments, along with his unwavering personal integrity, his passionate devotion to his family, and the quiet strength that came from his innate humility.  In every aspect of his life, he demonstrated his profound faith in people’s goodness and his conviction that the legal system sustains the social fabric that unites and protects us all.

    Randy’s achievements place him among the most accomplished members of his profession.   Impressive as those achievements certainly are, however, for Randy they were never an end in themselves, but a means to achieving his deeply held, life-long values.  I speak here today as his brother, one who knew him long before he became Justice Holland, and I hope to provide some insight into the origins of the person that he became – the seeds that came to fruition in everything that he did.

    Randy and I lost our mother at an early age – Randy was 4 and I was 2.  She was a nurse, who committed her too-short life to caring for others.  Her loss affected both of us in indelible ways, and I see Randy’s devotion to family and relationships as a mission to honor our mother by supporting and serving others. 

    From left: Randy Holland, Virginia and James Holland, Jim Holland

    A few years later, our family moved to Milford, where we both grew up.  It is particularly fitting that Randy was able to devote his life to service in the state that became our new home, and remained his home for the rest of his life.  Delaware became part of him.  Although I have lived across continents and oceans for most of my adult life, Randy was an anchor that brought me back as often as I could.  Visiting Randy and Ilona, and revisiting familiar and meaningful places from our childhoods, renewed and sustained our connection.  Randy and Ilona created a sense of home through their grace and generosity.

    One of my vivid early memories comes from the first days of our time in Milford.  We moved in the middle of my kindergarten year.  As we were adjusting to our new circumstances, I learned that there was no public kindergarten, and that I would have to enter 1st grade without the benefit of the second half of my kindergarten year.  Discovering that other children were attending private kindergarten, which I did not, I became frightened and anxious that I would fall behind the others.  When I expressed this fear, magnified by my five-year-old perspective, Randy immediately reassured me with the words, “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you know how to read.”  So, from his lofty status as a 2nd grader, he took it upon himself to be my teacher and to allay my fears.  Randy played no small part in my love of reading and literature, which became my life’s work. I learned not only to read, but I learned what it means to be loved and cared for – something that never changed over the course of our lives as brothers.

    In much the same way, Randy paved my way through school during our time growing up in Milford.  Trailing behind him by two years in a small school, I was often greeted with recognition, and “You must be Randy’s brother” by teachers and coaches.  This familiarity always worked in my favor, given the impression that Randy left on everyone.  It also set a standard to emulate, and I strove to meet the expectations that Randy had established.  Rather than experiencing these expectations as a burden, I found them to be both comforting and inspiring, for which I remain immensely grateful.  Once, though, after I arrived at the larger world of Swarthmore, also following in his footsteps, he met someone who had previously met me.  We shared a laugh at the fact that, for the first time in his life, someone said to him, “You must be Jim’s brother.”

    Randy (left) and Jim (right) in Milford with their father, James (center)

    Education was a primary focus in our household.  Not himself the beneficiary of a formal education, our father encouraged both of us to do well in school.  For him, education was a path blocked by his early life circumstances, and he wanted to make sure we both benefited from the opportunities presented by education.  His model of reading and self-education had a profound effect.  It was a lesson that stuck, and while I am the one who pursued a career in education, I have always regarded Randy as a teacher at heart.  Although practicing law required partisanship and advocacy, Randy was perhaps the least adversarial person I have ever known.  I have no doubt that he was a great advocate for his clients, but I feel that serving as a supreme court justice allowed Randy to flourish by freeing him from a narrow goal of advocacy and shifting to the broader goal of justice and fairness for all.  The people, especially those at risk, became his greatest client.  As their advocate, he always sought to make sure that no one was at a disadvantage in the legal system, whether by age, financial situation, or other circumstances.  In every situation, Randy always sought to listen, to understand, and to communicate, never to dominate. He built relationships of trust and respect, the essence of every good teacher.  There is a saying in mountain climbing that the measure of a good leader is not how high you climb, but how many people you bring with you.  That’s the kind of leader and teacher Randy was.  Like me, others learned from Randy, whether in the courtroom, at the conference table, or in a law school classroom.  And what they learned far transcended the details of any case or argument.

    Randy admired Thomas More, a man of character and integrity.  In the play A Man for All Seasons, More discusses his principled opposition to Henry VIII with his pragmatic friend, the Duke of Norfolk.  When Norfolk questions the risk More takes by honoring his principles, More responds:

    “What matters is that I believe it, or rather, no … not that I believe it, but that I believe it.”

    For More, belief is not a less-than-certain claim to knowledge, easily compromised in the face of convenience.  Instead, believing constitutes character.  To sacrifice belief is to surrender the core of one’s being.  Randy, too, believed that compromising a belief was a loss of self, something that he never would or could permit.  There are many other wonderful moments in this play that illustrate the principles and beliefs that More and Randy shared, about integrity, about the law, about self-respect, and about humility, regardless of status or station.  Both Randy and More were men for all seasons.

    When Randy and Ilona built their current house in Rehoboth, to replace an old, familiar, but aging one, he asked me to suggest a name for it, something that would capture the meaning and significance of the place that meant so much to them.  I knew that it was both a haven and a fulfillment of their dreams.  The image that immediately came to mind was from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, where he speaks of “the still point of the turning world.”  For me, this image captures a sense of refuge amid the chaos of everyday life, a place that nourishes the spirit.  Yet it is not only the house that is a “still point.”  Randy himself is a “still point of the turning world” – unchanged by circumstances and unchanging as a steady beacon of his good faith, kind heart, and generous spirit.

    The stone in front of Randy and Ilona’s home

    In preparing to speak today, I was reminded of our father’s funeral many years ago.  At that service, I tried to convey the complexity of parent/child relationships by saying that I am who I am both because of and in spite of my father.  He was a powerful influence for good, but also one from whom I, like most children, felt the need to separate, if I were to be my own person.  My relationship with Randy, also immensely powerful, lacked any need for separation.  He supported me in everything that I did, without hesitation or judgment.  His support enabled me to become my own person.  Without question, I owe the parts of myself that I value most to the lifelong support I received from Randy.  I will miss him more than I can say.

    I want to conclude with another key aspect of our shared childhood.  Some of you may remember Boys Town, the orphanage founded by Father Flanagan early in the 20th century.  In the annual appeals for support that arrived at our house, there was always a card.  In the picture on the card, one boy is carrying another, smaller boy, on his back, and the caption read, “He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s my brother.” 

    These cards were always displayed prominently in the house, and our father, as well as Father Flanagan, reminded us frequently that helping is never a burden.  It’s an acknowledgement of shared responsibility and shared humanity.  It’s an image that I will never forget, and it’s an image that Randy lived as one of his core beliefs.  It’s particularly poignant for me, as the younger brother, the one being carried.  I was blessed by being Randy’s brother by birth. Throughout his life, however, Randy embodied the belief that every person, regardless of gender, was his brother.

  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life – Rori Holland

    Ethan Introduction to Rori
    The arrival of Rori, our first child, lit a spark in my dad’s soul. You can see it in every photo of the two of them… his eyes sparkling. From day one, Rori and my Dad made each other laugh with pure joy and an electric connection of mutual adoration.

    Unbeknownst to me, for about a year Rori thought her grandfather was a judge… on American Idol… She might be the only person who was let down when she learned my dad’s true profession..

    As she’s grown up. Rori has been blessed with my dad’s penchant for stoicism, and his even keel. I’ve never met a more Teflon teen. She never lashes out nor raises her voice. She is impossible to embarrass. She lets me hug her in public, and she says “I love you dad” in front of her friends.

    Rori and my dad adored each other. I’d like to introduce you our 14 year old… my oak tree…and my buddy… Rori Holland

    Rori Holland Remarks
    The man you all know as Justice Randy Holland – to me – was just Grandy. 

    Everyone today has talked so highly of my grandfather. I know he would be so grateful to see how many people came who love and care about him. 

    After hearing such amazing things Grandy did professionally, I wanted to share a few of my favorite memories I have of him outside of the office. 

    For as long as I can remember, he never wanted anyone to be cold. He always jumped at the chance to buy anyone a jacket and offered socks anytime we stepped onto the cold tile covering the porch floor.

    He also LOVED snoopy. The landings between each flight of stairs in Grandy and Anyuka’s house, without fail, always had Snoopys. The mantel even had rotating Snoopys for every occasion.

    Everything Grandy did, he did to make other people happy, he went to great lengths to put smiles on other people’s faces. 

    The first memory I wanted to share and probably one of my favorite memories with Grandy was on my Anyuka’s, that’s what we call my grandmother, on her birthday a few years ago. Went down to the basement to decorate her annual ice cream cake. When we got to the basement me and Chloe watched with wide eyes as Grandy pulled out the ice cream cake that he had lovingly stored in the fridge, not the freezer. As we wrote on the cake with icing tubes, our red letters started to slide off the cake onto the table. We continued to carry the melting cake up the steps, leaving drips behind. He never once mentioned anything about the melted cake, until we got all the way up the stairs. He just wanted Anyuka to have a good birthday. Even though in the process, we lost a cake and a pair of slippers, we laughed so much and even tried to eat the cake off the table. 

    The second memory I wanted to share was when we were in Hawaii. We were swimming at the beach when Grandy said “I think I lost some cash…” this simple phrase turned into everyone in the water around us searching for bills. People cried out from all around us, “I found a twenty!” “I found a ten!” Anytime we were with my Grandy, there was never a dull moment, you could always count on him turning even the simplest outing into an adventure full of laughs. 

    Lastly, I wanted to share our conjoined love of music. My whole family has always been connected by our love for music. I will forever cherish the days in the car when we would sing songs together. every time we went to New York, without fail we would sing New York New York the whole way. Our whole family went to a Taylor Swift concert and her song ‘Welcome to New York’ was without doubt one of our favorites. 

    Grandy always made me feel like he was without question, on my side… Even when he disagreed with me. The world could learn a lot from him, and from what I heard today, it sounds like many of you already have. 


  • Randy J. Holland Celebration of Life – Chloe Holland

    I’d like you to meet my dad’s 11-year-old granddaughter Chloe.    

    She was truly one of his best friends. They were more than two peas in a pod. They were soul mates.

    Intensive care units have age restrictions, and for three weeks, little buddy could not visit my dad.

    There came a bittersweet moment, when the rules suddenly lifted away…

    On the last day of my dad’s life, Chloe got her chance to visit

    She went to the window of his hospital room and wrote a message using the dry erase marker. She would look at her note, study it, rewrite it. 

    That afternoon she quietly walked to her grandfather’s bedside She held his hand and with tears streaming down her face yet with a steady strong voice…she leaned in and recited her note from memory.

    “You will always be in my heart.  I love you more than words can say.  I will think of you every day.  I am so proud to be your granddaughter.  You will always be my Grandy.  I am so happy I could be a part of your life.”

    My dad died that evening.

    Three days later we were on our way to York, Pennsylvania for a dance competition.

    Chloe’s solo, “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Midler was one my dad’s favorite songs.  Chloe dedicated her performance to him, and she swept the awards that weekend.

    We were going to have a singer perform the song live during this part of the ceremony, but we decided to use these next two minutes to reflect quietly on the beauty of a child’s love, to honor the bond that Chloe had with my dad, and to remember the ways that my dad was the wind beneath all our wings.

  • Trees Donation from the Miller family

    Thank you to the Miller family for planting trees in Randy Holland’s memory.

  • Randy J. Holland: A Celebration of Life

    Saturday April 30, 2022 2:00 PM
    Delaware State University Education and Humanities Theater

    Justice Holland’s motto was “Your life is your message.”  His message was a love of his family, warmth and kindness toward others, and a life spent in service.  Please join us in celebrating his message that reached all of us.

    To read more about Justice Holland’s life, please visit Justice Randy J. Holland’s obituary.

    In lieu of flowers, the family suggests holding donations to the Randy J. Holland Memorial Fund for History and Civics Education

    Directions and Venue Information

    Delaware State University
    Education and Humanities Theater
    Dover, Delaware 19904

    In Waze or Google, the building will also appear by searching “Education and Humanities Building” with ‘Dover’ or ‘Delaware State’ as necessary.

    Click this caption for a PDF map of Delaware State University’s campus

    Delaware State University’s Interactive Campus Map can be found here. The Education and Humanities Theater is building #31.

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