Ralph Pollard Holding, patriot, patriarch and proud American of the Greatest Generation, passed away February 2, 2021, from complications of a stroke, having served 98 fruitful years in his mortal calling. There is a joyous reunion in the eternal kingdom with the love of his life, Pauline, who he has missed every second since her passing October 1, 2008.
Ralph was born September 13, 1922, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Franklin Eugene Holding and Reva Pearl Johnson Holding, the second oldest of three children. He grew up in the Avenues and graduated from West High School in 1939.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in September of 1940 and left the U.S. in November, 1941, for service abroad. His ship had departed Pearl Harbor just seven days before the bombing on December 7, 1941. He often said, “the ship commander announced over the intercom, we are at war with Japan. We’ve been told we’re on our own.” During World War II, he served in Australia, India, China and the U.S. In the China-Burma-India Theater, he serviced many a B-25 and P-40 bombers, often under attack from enemy aircraft “We often dove into trenches to avoid the strafing of the Zeroes.” Later in life, he purchased some model airplane kits and constructed his own B-25 and P-40s. He was honorably discharged as a tech sergeant from the Air Corps in September, 1945.
He attended the University of Utah. On February 14, 1947, Ralph married Pauline Walkingshaw, the light and love of his life, for time and all eternity in The Salt Lake Temple. They had been an inseparable couple for over 61 years when Pauline passed. They were blessed with two children, who both survive, Susan Kay Holding-Rosetta (Dick) of Midvale and Richard Michael Holding, Sr. (Tamera) of Sandy. Other survivors include two grandchildren, Kimberley Brooke Holding Cardon (Ben) of Lahaina, Maui, and Troy Michael Holding (Katherine M. McCollum), Heber City; five great-grandchildren, Dallin Cardon (currently serving an LDS Mission in Georgia), Hailey Cardon, Grace Cardon, Luke Cardon, and Isaac Cardon, all of Lahaina; sister-in-law Carol Holding; and numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Helen Jean Holding Gerard; brother, Robert Earl Holding; a grandson, Richard Michael Holding II and a great granddaughter, Marielle Madeline Cardon.
Ralph was employed by Mountain Bell and U.S. West for 42 years. He was a lineman, and an installer; was the Bingham Canyon Telephone Exchange manager, then the St. George Area Telephone Exchange manager; and served as Telephone Account Manager for the Utah State Government. He was a pioneer in developing the statewide Enhanced 911 service and was instrumental in communications protocol for the Utah visits of U.S. Presidents.
Ralph was active in the Boy Scouts, serving as a Scoutmaster and as Great Salt Lake Council Treasurer and as an Executive Board Member. He earned his Wood Badge Beads and received the Vigil Honor in the Order of the Arrow. Ralph was an assistant Lodge Advisor and Area 2-A Western Region Advisor. He was recognized for 50 years in BSA Scouting and was a Silver Beaver recipient. He attended the first Boy Scout National Jamboree in 1937 in Washington, D.C., the first of his four jamborees.
Ralph was an active member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a high priest in the Monument Park 14th Ward. He was involved in food drives and was the director for the Deseret Industries drive for the Monument Park Stake for several years. In the summer, neighbors could count on tomatoes the size of softballs from his garden.
After his retirement from the phone company, Ralph enrolled in classes at Salt Lake Community College where he learned welding, cement work and ultimately cabinet-making. Many family members will continue to enjoy his wood-working masterpieces for years to come. He was a true wood-working artisan.
Ralph and his beloved Pauline enjoyed traveling across the country, especially the Western U.S and southern Canada. In recent years, it was Ralph’s desire to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Family members accompanied him in touring the Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial. His son, Rick, was at his side on a subsequent Utah Honor Flight to D.C., where they toured all Memorials.
Ralph was universally loved and will be missed by the legions of friends he made over
the course of nearly a century. “Oh, we love Ralph,” has been a common refrain to family members, a phrase that will resonate throughout the ages.
Services are scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 9, at noon at the Wasatch Hills Ward, 2255 S. Wasatch Dr., SLC. To view services, go to Zoom link, meeting I.D. 990 3663 2442, Passcode 053492. Friends and family will be welcomed at a viewing Monday, Feb. 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E. 1300 South and one hour prior to services at the Ward on Tuesday. Covid19 protocol will be followed at all times.
Graveside services for friends and family will be at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Was a kind and very classy person. I enjoyed working with him as he worked for Mountain Bell and I for the State of Utah. He enjoyed talking about his early life in the military. He truly was an American Hero.