The Passing of Merlin J. "Red" Holland

  • 25 Feb 2014
  • 12:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • ACI


Dear ACI Members,

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Merlin J. "Red" Holland, 92, passed away Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Holly Creek Retirement Community in Centennial, Colorado. Red was born on the family farm in Audubon County, Iowa on November 8, 1921 to Carl and Minnie Holland. His father, his mother's parents, and most people in the area were Danish immigrants, so Merlin's first language was Danish. He attended nearby country schools and graduated from Anita High School in 1938 at the age of 16.

On August 21, 1942, he married his high school sweetheart, Betty Weaver, and the next day boarded a troop train headed for Fort Leavenworth and U.S. Army training. Red spent most of WWII in China as a 1st Lt. and Camp Commander of a truck convoy camp. He brought and drained a rice field and used his ingenuity to plan and construct the camp.

After the war, he earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University. He worked in the cement and concrete industry, advancing to Regional Manager of the Portland Cement Association, and was a Registered Professional Engineer.

He was a member of the American Concrete Institute and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Red thoroughly enjoyed his 60-year membership in Rotary International. Rotary's motto is "service above self," and Merlin did volunteer work such as taking special-needs children to the zoo, driving a disabled member to the meeting each week, and sponsoring visitors from other countries.

Merlin loved all babies and children. At family gatherings he always could be found surrounded by the children and was a favorite of the neighborhood kids. He enjoyed watching sporting events on TV, making repairs around the house, and working in the yard. He was a generous man who believed in helping others.

Red is survived by his wife, Betty; his daughters, Karen (Jon) Eikenberry of Portland OR, Judith Stalnaker (Pete Jenkins) of Denver, Susanne (Michael) Hay of Highlands Ranch, and Kathy (Dennis) Houck of Centennial; six grandchildren, Scott (Ashley) Eikenberry, Jennifer (Julian) Wilcoxon, Todd (Holly) Stalnaker, Jason Bachman, Lisa Houck, and Lindsey Houck; five great grandchildren; and a brother, Francis Holland of Mason City IA.

A memorial service will be held at Holly Creek Retirement Community, 5500 E. Peakview Ave., Centennial, CO 80121 on Thursday, February 27 at 3 pm. View parking information at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rotary Club of University Hills Charitable Endowment in honor of Merlin "Red" Holland , c/o Laura Nichols, 8300 Fairmount Dr., Unit P-101, Denver, CO 80247.

Parking in the Holly Creek Retirement Community lot is very limited, so memorial service attendees will need to allow additional time to park on the street (S. Forest Drive) and walk a short distance.
Please share your memories of Red and condolences with his family by signing the guestbook.


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