John H. Holoman
John H. Holoman
John Henry Holoman beloved husband, father, grandfather brother, uncle, cousin and friend was called home at the age of 70 on July 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
Born on March 21, 1939 in McCaskill, Arkansas to Maejordie, a homemaker, and Cashie Holoman, an entrepreneur, John was the third of five siblings: Theodies, Frank, Barbara and Donnell. Armed with a sparkling personality and a sharp wit, John was affectionately known as “Sonny” to his family and friends.
In search of new opportunities, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1943. John flourished in his new surroundings. An avid athlete and scholar, John developed a network of friends with whom he remained close until his passing. Though they met for the first time at camp in elementary school, it was while attending Lincoln High School in Kansas City where John, fell in love with the love of his life Lucille Foster.
While studying Business Administration at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, John and Lucille married in 1958. In 1959 he and Lucille welcomed the birth of their beloved daughter Stephanie on January 9th and moved to Los Angeles six months later.
The New Year in Los Angeles was a remarkable year of joy for John and Lucille as he began a job with the United States Postal Service. On October 23, 1960, John and Lucille were graced by the birth of their adored son Eric.
Interested in business from an early age, John sought career pathways that afforded opportunities for personal growth as well as professional and economic mobility. While working at the Post Office, John became a licensed real estate broker and began a long and lauded career in real estate sales and development, during which he worked on one of the first African American home developments in Los Angeles County, Centerview, in Gardena, California, where the family resided for a number of years before moving to View Park, and then on to Lafayette Square.
Never satisfied with one career, in 1965, John went to work as an executive for Allstate Insurance. In 1974, John went on to work for Reynolds Aluminum where at the height of his career he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing and was named Salesman of the Year.
In the early 80’s, he left Reynolds Aluminum for Home Savings. It was during his tenure at Home Savings and Loan that John became known as the “Original Urban Banker” and later became instrumental in founding the LA Urban Bankers. John was among the first African American Senior Vice Presidents of a major banking institution in the U.S. He used his position to fight for equal opportunity and access to main stream financial services for all races. He also mentored and fostered the career growth of countless minorities in the financial services arena.
As a business leader and activist, John became concerned with manner in which the African American experience was being reported in the mainstream press and decided along with Lucille in 1982 to acquire and publish the Herald Dispatch where they worked closely with Stephanie who managed day-to-day operations.
In the late 80’s, he and Eric began Holoman Food Service where they owned and operated 17 Church’s Fried Chicken restaurant franchises.
Throughout his career, John was the recipient of numerous awards and commendations from city, state and federal elected officials and n
ever really stopped working; consulting for Diageo as well as family holdings well into retirement. John was proud to have served as a founding member of the Black Business Association and a member of the Board of Directors, as well as a Board Member of the Consolidated Realty Board, Past President of the West Coast Black Publisher’s Association and a member of the National Black Publisher’s Association.
Possessed with an insatiable curiosity and a keen analytical mind, John was a voracious reader of books on history and politics. His interest in politics transcended partisan ideology and John, previously a Democrat, registered and ran for the State Assembly as a Republican in 1974; later changing his party affiliation in 2008 in order to vote in the California Primary for our first African American President Barack Obama.
A gentleman’s gentleman, John’s civic and social activities included serving as a member of the boards of Morehouse School of Medicine, Jackie Robinson Foundation, founding member of the City Club on Bunker Hill and member of the Jonathan Club, LA Guardsmen and the “Number 1” member of the LA Rat Pack. John also enjoyed traveling with Lucille and attending L.A. Lakers basketball and Raiders football games with his family and friends.
John always believed that the measure of a man was not what he took from life but what he gave to it. In addition to his business and civic leadership, John was deeply committed to mentoring and developing future generations of young people as a Pop Warner coach for a number of years.
Even with his unparalleled professional accomplishments, John’s family was always the source of his pride and joy. In 1977 the first of his grandchildren, Tony II, was born to Stephanie. Eric’s family grew as well when in 1991 he and his wife Terri became the proud parents of Eric II followed by Simone in 1994 whom John referred to lovingly as Pretty Princess. John was blessed to have lived to know his great grandchildren: Tony III who was born in 1999 and Chace in 2008.
John’s busy schedule never stood in the way of spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He took great pleasure in performing magic tricks for them, introducing them to football and attending nearly all of their sporting activities. He was a man of many great achievements and inspired his grandchildren to aspire to be the best they could possibly be by his infamous vocabulary and knowledge quizzes, gift cards to bookstores, and incessant encouragement. Among all of his talents, John never achieved the rank of “chef”, so when it was his turn to cook breakfast he took his children Stephanie and Eric to Capitol Burgers. In later years, John continued the tradition with his grandchildren with trips to IHOP, Tony Ps, and the Ritz Carlton. John also extended himself to the friends of his grandchildren, becoming “grandpa” to many of them.
John was preceded in death by his mother Maejordie and father Cashie as well as his brother Theodies. John H. Holoman embraced his role of husband, father, family-man and mentor with pride and joy, and leaves to treasure his life and legacy his devoted wife Lucille, loving children Stephanie and Eric, adored and beloved grandchildren Tony, Eric and Simone, great grandchildren Tony III and Chace, siblings Frank, Barbara, and Donnell, daughter-in-law Terri, granddaughter-in-law Kisha, brothers-in-law John M. Foster, Charles L. Foster, Elmer D. Garrett, sister-in-law Barbara L. Garrett, best friend of 65 years William “Wick” Rogers and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and cherished friends.