Longtime newspaper editor and community leader Gary Jones Holland passed away Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, at his home in Pascagoula, Mississippi. He was 81.
Born in rural Echols County, Georgia, on Jan. 21, 1937, he was preceded by his parents, Warrene and Bernard Bruce Holland, and six older sisters: Ruby, Lois, Polly, Jackie, Bettie and Warrene.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ann, and daughters Gina Shelton (George) and Joanna Triplett (David); grandchildren Katherine and Carrick Shelton and Will, Tyler and Tanner Triplett; and beloved nieces and nephews.
Holland graduated from Pinehurst (Georgia) High School, where he was a standout basketball player. He served as editor of the University of Georgia student newspaper, The Red & Black, graduating with a journalism degree in 1958.
Holland was a newspaperman from a bygone era. After moving to the Gulf Coast in 1964, he spent 32 years as editor of the Mississippi Press, (initially the Chronicle). Known as “Chief” by his newsroom colleagues, Holland spent his life covering the community that he loved. He mentored many young journalists and won a reputation for his fair but steely reporting style.
Holland left the newspaper business and joined Ingalls Shipbuilding for seven years, writing features about the hard-working employees responsible for building America's military fleet. He finished his career at the Sun Herald, part of the news team honored in 2006 with the Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service for coverage of Hurricane Katrina.
He was an avid fisherman in the coastal bayous, and every Sunday he could be found at First Baptist Church. Among his activities were Rotary Club, Civil Service Commission, Salvation Army and the advisory board of the Baptist Record.
Visitation will be at First Baptist from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. Service at 1 followed by burial at Machpelah Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the church, 902 Live Oak, Pascagoula, MS 39567.