John Holland

Raleigh, North Carolina

John C. Holland, 70, of Raleigh, North Carolina, passed away peacefully at home August 7. His wife and daughter were with him.

John was born in Bloomington, Indiana to John Winepark Holland and Hazel Lois Holmquist.

John graduated valedictorian from Columbus High School in Columbus, Indiana. He attended Principia College and earned his PhD in analytical chemistry from Purdue University. During the Vietnam War, John served in the U.S. Army as MP and forensic chemist in Frankfurt, Germany, an assignment he valued greatly.

For over two decades John worked for ManTech (Northrup Services) on contracts with EPA. For the last ten years he was a senior scientist in the Division of Air Quality Air Toxics Team for the State of North Carolina. Colleagues found him to be thorough, accurate, patient and principled. His role was to monitor air quality in sites across the state, and this occasionally took him to industrial fires and hazardous spills. Twice John volunteered to go to New York after 9/11 to test the air quality around the World Trade Center site so that effects on public health could be determined. He was moved at the grateful comments his hard hat inspired from New Yorkers and by the handwritten notes of local schoolchildren thanking and cheering the volunteers at the Red Cross breakfast center.

Besides his devotion to work, John valued family and faith. He was so proud of his daughter Krista’s accomplishments, gladly welcomed her husband, Kurt, into the family and cherished his closeness to his brother, Jim. He treated his wife, Cynthia, with extraordinary thoughtfulness and she told him daily how much happiness he had brought into her life. John remembered his father fondly and reached out to cousins, aunts, uncles and especially his mother in her last years. He kept up with family visits in faraway states, and sent emails and cards to many. His kindness and generosity to Cynthia’s family were felt by all, and they were glad to accept him as dad and grandpa.

John loved his Christian Science faith for its uplift, moral grounding and practical daily help. In gratitude he served his churches in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh in many roles. He was elected several times to conduct the services as first reader or second reader for a total of nearly ten years. John believed his consistent prayers and willingness to live by their intentions brought better relationships in work, family and church. He often saw how prayer improved and recovered his health, solved problems at his office and lab, and gave him a deeper love for God and mankind.

He is survived by his wife, Cynthia Powell Barnett of Raleigh; his daughter, Krista Nordback (Kurt) of Chapel Hill; his brother, Jim Holland (Sally); and nephew, Sam of Minneapolis; step-daughters, Becket (Paul) Franklin of Ashland, Virginia, and Kendra Stern of Chicago; step-son, Micah Cover of Los Angeles; and step-grandchildren, Paul Franklin Jr., Henry Franklin and Lillie Stern; his first wife, Gretchen Frank Holland of Durham; and his aunts and cousins.

Those who love John Holland thank God for the life of this modest, honorable and endearing man.

A memorial service to celebrate John’s life will be held in First Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science church) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at 1400 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27605.

Contributions may be made to First Church of Christ, Scientist or to the Triangle’s public television station, UNC-TV at P.O. Box 1490, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709-4900.

Arrangements are under the direction of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s St., Raleigh, North Carolina, (919) 828-4311. Condolences may be made through