Cover photo for Gary L. Holdeman's Obituary
Gary L. Holdeman Profile Photo
1941 Gary 2022

Gary L. Holdeman

December 29, 1941 — December 1, 2022

Gary Holdeman of Grandview, MO went home to be with his Lord on December 1, 2022. Gary was born in Carthage, MO December 29, 1941, to Emerald and Helen Holdeman. He was the oldest child of three (Gary, Sue, and Marty). He graduated from Smith Cotton High School in Sedalia, MO where he excelled in sports. He was especially adept at polo vaulting, setting state records. After high school Gary attended the University of Missouri, where he continued his track career as a pole vaulter, Southwest Baptist College, Southwest Missouri State University and Central Missouri State University.

Gary met the love of his life, Mary Ann Dickison, while at Southwest Missouri State University. They were introduced by their fathers who served together in the Navy during WWII. After a whirlwind period of dating, they were married on June 16,1964. After a brief time living in Springfield, they moved to Kanas City where he began a career working at Honeywell.

Gary had a zest for life from a very early age. His stories of his childhood always centered around his hard work ethic, tackling any activity with an unbridled energy. This energy was in display in everything in which Gary became involved. If you happened to help him, you had better be prepared to go at a pace that would leave you exhausted!

Gary had several passions but the one that comes to mind first is fishing. He loved to fish. But Gary didn’t fish for relaxation and sport. He fished to win! A bad day on the water was not reaching the limit of crappie on a Kansas lake. Why Kansas as a Missouri resident? Well the Kansas crappie limit was almost double that of Missouri. While crappie was his favorite fish to catch and eat, he would always try to snag a catfish or two for those friends that liked catfish. Gary enjoyed sharing his angling skills by hosting several fish fries for his former work colleagues, his church and family.

Gary had a big heart to serve others. He shoveled/blew snow, picked up leaves in the fall, and did other odd jobs for his neighbors. He served his church in the same way, making sure the grounds, building and equipment were taken care of so that the church could serve its members and community. It was not unusual to find him at church several days a week mowing, patching the roof, and any other task that needed done.

Gary loved to garden. He turned the biggest part of his yard into a garden and most years grew bumper crops. He studied ways to improve his methods in order to produce more and better tasting crops. Before retiring he would get up early to take care of the garden and then come home and finish up after work.  He loved his fresh vegetables, but his favorite had to be his peaches and cream corn. He would feast on platters of corn as long as the crop held out. Just like in his other passions, Gary blessed other by sharing his fresh vegetables.

Gary loved to travel. He and Mary Ann visited all seven continents. Not only that, they have visited both Artic circles. Whether a trip to Branson or a cruise to see the aurora borealis, Gary couldn’t wait to go and was in no hurry to return home. His last trip was to Branson in early November with Mary Ann and his sister and brother-in-law. He saw his favorite show, Daniel O’Donnell.

When Gary wasn’t pursuing one of his passions he loved to watch sports. He was an avid Chiefs, Royals and Missouri Tigers fan. It really didn’t matter who was playing as he loved to watch football and baseball. However, his favorite sport was NASCAR. He knew about all the tracks, and drivers, as well as the intricacies of the cars. One of his favorite gifts was a day at the Petty Driving School at the Kansas Speedway. His only disappointment was they wouldn’t allow him to “really open it up” during his laps around the track.

Gary’s deepest passion was saved for his family. He loved Mary Ann, and it was evident that their love grew every year. The apple of his eye was his daughter, Beth. He loved her fiercely and would do anything for his little girl. Gary was very active in his grandsons’ lives. He took them fishing and attended countless sporting events from T-Ball to state football championship games. He rarely missed Friday Night Lights, regardless of the weather. When his great grandsons showed up, he would light up like a Christmas tree! The screams of “GRANDPA!” made his day. He became a real “softy” around them, even letting them dig in the garden with their trucks while their dads lamented that “we never got to do that”.

Gary is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Ann; his daughter Beth Cox and her husband Steve; grandson Steven Cox, his wife Elise and their sons, Trey and Henry, and grandson Alex Cox and his son AJ. He is also survived by his brother Marty Holdeman (Pam) and sister Sue Morris (Jerry) as wells as many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Emerald Holdeman and his mother Helen Holdeman DeLapp.

Visitation is December 6, 2022, at 1 pm with the service to follow at 2 pm at Park Lawn Funeral Home 8251 Hillcrest Road, Kansas City, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest gifts in memory of Gary to South Kansas City Baptist Church or a charity of your choice.

Service Information:

Visitation is December 6, 2022, at 1 pm with the service to follow at 2 pm at Park Lawn Funeral Home 8251 Hillcrest Road, Kansas City, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest gifts in memory of Gary to South Kansas City Baptist Church or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary L. Holdeman, please visit our flower store.

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