William “Billy” Holland - March 15, 2013
William G. “Billy” Holland, age 87, of Oxford, Neb., passed away Friday, March 15, 2013, at Haven Home in Kenesaw, Neb.
Bill was born in a rock house that still stands just south of Beaver City, Neb., on March 7, 1926, to Daniel P. and Hazel B. (Saylors) Holland.
He grew up in the Beaver City area and was “drafted” when he was still in high school to serve his country in the U.S. Army, Calvary Division. He completed basic training in Ft. Riley, Kan., and was then sent to Burma/China for the remainder of World War II. His brother, Eugene, had been killed at Omaha Beach just a short time before. While serving overseas, he suffered a serious bout of malaria.
In the early ’50s, he moved to Wauneta, Neb., and began a salvage business. He sold that business in the mid ’60s to pursue his life long love of horses. He became a thoroughbred owner and trainer for the rest of his career. He retired from racing in 1989. He was responsible for hundreds of wins, and a recent memory book created by his daughters showed many beautiful horses, lots of good friends, and many good memories for him.
He loved country music and spent many hours watching Grand Old Opry videos. He raised wonderful tomatoes and loved sharing those with all who came to see him.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Eugene; a son-in-law, Gene Butterfield; one granddaughter, Melissa Peterson, and two former wives, Erma Delmont, and Maxine Herbert.
He leaves to mourn his wife, Betty, who resides at Haven Home, where they were able to spend their last few months together; three daughters, Donita (Doni) and husband Dave Peterson of Lincoln, Neb.; Connie and husband Gerald Betts of Eugene, Ore.; and Delia Butterfield of Lincoln, Neb.; grandchildren: Chandra, Charla, Sarah, Josh, and Melainie; great-grandchildren: Travis, Trevor, Alex, Spencer, Hailey, Ryan, and William Marley; several nieces and nephews and many racing friends.
Graveside services will be held Friday, March 22, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery in Beaver City, Neb., with Pastor Keith Theobald, officiating. Military rites will be presented by the American Legion Post from Beaver City.
Wenburg Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.