Ronald Holder
Ronald Holder

Obituary of Ronald B. Holder

Ronald B. Holder passed away peacefully the morning of February 17, 2024, at the age of 81.

He is lovingly remembered by his daughters, Elizabeth Dowling, Emily Olson, and Leslie Holder; his sons-in-law, Jason Dowling, Devin Olson, and Paul Paternostro; his grandchildren, Faye and Beatrice Dowling; one sister, Sally Walter; many nieces and nephews; cats, Tiger, Eddy, Fluffy, and Bub-barian; and countless friends, drinking buds, former co-workers, and congregation members.

He is greeted in heaven by his wife, Coletta Holder; sister, Phyllis Palillo; parents, Pearl and William Holder; many cousins; and best-ests dog, Bear (with the other pets, Charcoal, Rebel, Puffy, and Goldy impatiently waiting their turns).

Ron’s original stomping grounds were Texas and New Mexico, but he found jobs throughout the US.  He worked as a toy constructor, paperboy, grocery tech, construction worker, USGS surveyor, aluminum manufacturer, railway tank car welder, and garbage tech.  He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and served as a radio section chief on the North/South Korean border.  He later returned home to become an electrician.  This daredevil joined the IBEW Local #9 and worked many years as a lineman.  He later settled down as an employee of the City of Joliet, where he ensured the street and traffic lights worked well for decades.

When not earning every cent he was paid, he reveled in his lifetime passion for motorcycles and travel.  He would proudly tell you that he visited all 49 out of 50 states and that he flew over Hawaii.  Ron loved driving and bitterly mourned ever selling his MR2, red Beetle camper, and 1960s Corvette. Ron was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church and School. He was the volleyball coach and helped the team earn 2nd place in an epic 1990s tournament.  He also served as the church’s elder and helped the maintenance staff for many years.  Ron joined the Gideons and handed out many bibles during the 2000s and 2010s.  He was an early adopter of home computers and loved playing his Xbox and PlayStation later in life.  Always young at heart, he loved playing endless games with his grandchildren. Otherwise, you’d find Ron herding cats and enjoying a beer.

You can celebrate Ron's life with us in many ways.  Visitation will be held Wednesday, February 21, 2024, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., at Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Road, Joliet.  Funeral services will be held Thursday, February 22, 2024, at St. Peter Lutheran, 301 N. Broadway, Joliet, where he will Lie-in-State from 9:00 a.m., until the time of services at 10:00 a.m.  Interment with military honors will follow at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Doctors Without Borders ( or The Gideons International ( would be appreciated.

Otherwise, please toast this great human being whenever you’re on the open road and your heart soars, you’re surrounded by friends and loved ones and feel content, or you kill a terrifying dragon or staggering zombie hoard in a videogame.

For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at where you may share a memory or leave an online condolence.



5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Fred C. Dames Funeral Homes - Joliet
3200 Black at Essington Roads
Joliet, Illinois, United States
(815) 741-5500

Funeral Services

10:00 am
Thursday, February 22, 2024
St. Peter Lutheran Church
310 N. Broadway
Joliet, Illinois, United States
Ronald will Lie-in-State from 9:00 a.m., until the time of services at 10:00 a.m.


12:00 pm
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
20953 W. Hoff Road
Elwood, Illinois, United States

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Doctors Without Borders or The Gideons would be appreciated.
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