John William “Doc” Holden, DVM

Dr. John William “Doc” Holden, DVM passed away on July 6, 2013 at home with his family. He was born to John W. and Winifred A. Holden (Hackett) on December 12, 1928 in Bonne Terre, Missouri.

Jack graduated from high school early in order to join the Marines. After serving for four years, he returned to Missouri to attend college and graduated from the University of Missouri, at Columbia. After graduating, he then went back into the service, writing his application for Veterinary school while in a fox hole during the Korean conflict. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. He re- entered the service as a reservist until 1965, retiring as a Major in the Marine Corps.

Jack came to Sonoma to work for Dr. Marioni in 1959 and worked for him for four years before starting his own practice. He was a large animal Veterinarian in Sonoma for nearly 50 years, and most enjoyed working with the local dairies. Jack was a dedicated professional who worked nights, weekends and holidays often accompanied by one or more of his five children. He literally brought his work home. The family never knew when he would bring home an extra dog, a sick goat, a crippled piglet, or an orphaned lamb to care for, which eventually became the kids’ pets. The Holden kids didn’t receive much traditional medical care. If someone got cut, Jack would stitch them up. If they had a rash, sprain or a sore, he had the perfect ointment in the back of his truck. If he couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t broken.

Jack had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Civil War and the Indian Wars. He was an avid reader and occasionally traveled to see historic sites. He also spent many hours working in his “Bonne Terre” vineyard trying to produce the ever elusive drinkable glass of Chardonnay . Some of us liked to refer to it as moonshine.

Jack was a man true to himself. He held duty, honesty, integrity and responsibility above all else.

Jack is survived by his former wife Ellen of Sonoma, their five children, Jeff (Cathe) Holden of Petaluma, Heidi (Mike) Stovall, of Sonoma, Patty (Tom) Lowenstein of Napa, John (Krista) Holden of Sonoma, and Katie Holden of Sonoma. He is also survived by his grandchildren Bennett, Jamie and Sarah Holden, Katie and Michelle Stovall, Nathan Lowenstein and Hannah Holden. He is also survived by his two brothers, Ronald (Helen) Holden of Decatur, IL, Michael Holden of White Fish Bay, WI and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Monday July 15th, 2013 at St. Francis Solano Church in Sonoma at 11:00am. Visitation is Sunday July 14th at Duggan’s Mission Chapel from 2:00 – 5:00pm.

Donations may be made to the charity of your choice in Jack’s name.


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