Robert Randolph "Randy" Holland Jr. of Rockton, Ill., a sales director and former editor of the Catonsville Times, died of a heart attack on Jan. 23. He was 56.
Mr. Holland was born Oct. 15, 1957, at St. Agnes Hospital to parents Robert, retired president of Holland Manufacturing Co., and Gloria "Pat" Holland Sr., a homemaker who worked part-time as a substitute teacher. He grew up in Catonsville with four brothers and sisters.
He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism, magna cum laude, from Rider University in 1979, where he was on the school golf team and wrote for the student newspaper. He graduated from Catonsville High School in 1975.
"He was always a good student and had a way with words," said his mother, Pat Holland.
He loved school, and he loved journalism, she said.
Mr. Holland worked as a reporter for the Catonsville Times after graduating from college.
He left the Times to work for the Morning Herald in Hagerstown as a sports reporter and was promoted to editor. He returned to the Catonsville Times to serve as editor from 1984 to 1985.
In 1985, he left the newspaper business to work for his family's company, Holland Manufacturing Co. He worked for the family business as vice president of the company and head of sales with his brother, Stephen Holland, until it was sold in 2001.
He was director of sales at ACCO Brands in Kemper, Ill.
Mr. Holland was known by friends and family as a "go-getter."
A person with a strong competitive spirit, he enjoyed playing basketball, golf and football. He also ran two marathons in Chicago and Las Vegas with his wife of 28 years, Kristina Holland.
"I think I spent half my life growing up playing basketball in his backyard," said Rick Bergin, a childhood friend.
The two friends grew up in the same neighborhood and were very close, Bergin said.
"He was very easygoing. He loved his athletics, excelled in sports and loved to play basketball," Bergin said.
Mr. Holland was a big fan of the Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins.
Another friend, Joe Hook, said, "He was a real good friend, and he worked hard for his family."
Hook said their families were close, spending vacations together. However, they lost touch when Holland moved to Illinois with his family.
"I'm heartbroken for his wife and kids. He was just too young," Hook said.
The couple married May 16, 1986, and have two children: Mallory, 18, and Jon, 24.
"He was a super dad. He was always interested in what his kids were doing," Pat Holland said of her son.
He was actively involved in the lives of his children volunteering at their track meets, volunteering for the Junior Olympics, watching football and playing golf with them.
A short service will be held at Our Lady of the Angels Church at the Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville on Saturday, March 15, at 1 p.m.
In addition to his wife, two children and mother, Mr. Holland is survived by his brother, Stephen Holland; sisters, Cathy Flynn, Terry Holland and Dottie Simpson; and numerous nieces and nephews.