When Robert Kent Holiday passed from this life on December 16, 2022, he was intimately familiar with joy. His life was dedicated to giving joy by loving and serving others, including his family, friends, colleagues, and his Savior, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He truly lived his belief that “loving people, being nice, and surrounding yourself with nice people. Having joy. That’s what it’s all about. And the only way to have joy is by giving joy to other people.”
For Robert, his journey to have and give joy began when he was born on January 15, 1941, in Los Angeles, California, to Charles and Inez Holiday. He was immediately embraced by his loving sister Charlene, who made it her lifelong mission to give joy to him and his younger brother, James. The three siblings were inseparable and forged a loving bond that would enable them to overcome any hardships they faced in life. In his own words, all of Robert’s childhood memories while growing up in California, Oregon, Nevada, and then again in Los Angeles included the three siblings, with Charlene as their “adventure leader”: huddling together during blackouts at the height of World War II, celebrating the end of The War in their front yard with their neighbors, bullfrog hunting with gunnysacks, chasing trains and collecting flattened penny treasures, sharing pickled shrimp, riding tires down hills, and log rafting the Rogue River.
Robert often shared the stories of his difficult younger years because he believed “everything you experience adds to and opens up your view and possibilities, and they become who you are.” As a teenager, while being raised by his Aunt May following the loss of his parents, Robert had formative experiences that opened his own view and possibilities. These included scouting, softball, attending the opening of Disneyland, and being introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by loving and accepting church leaders. They became an “awakening” that allowed him to see what life beyond his meager circumstances was like and made him determined to overcome them.
Robert had a deep sense of honor for his country, and enlisted in the Air Force after high school, gained training in computer systems, served a one-year tour in Asia, and married his high school sweetheart, Donna Horst, in 1960. Early in their marriage they lived in Idaho before Robert was honorably discharged from service, having served as an Airman First Class in the 9th Armament and Electronics Squadron, with a specialization in aircraft navigational electronics. They returned to California to be reunited with their families and begin Robert’s career as a computer engineer.
Together, Robert and Donna gave joy to others and built their own family. Their greatest joy was found in raising their 10 children, and here Robert’s fondest memories included camping, family home evening, movie nights, t-ball, scouts, hunting, running, skiing, and fulfilling church callings, that spanned across California, Colorado, and Utah as Robert gained proficiencies that would make him a respected and prominent authority in computer systems and quality control. During these years, they regularly returned to California to visit their families.
In 1997, Donna passed away, and Robert continued their work in raising their youngest children, supporting their grown children, and serving his community, to carry on a legacy of giving joy that he and Donna began 36 years earlier. Robert found comfort in seeing Donna’s influence flourish in the lives of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Robert married Janice Bishop in 2003, and together they were committed to giving joy through service, family gatherings and cookouts, a mission, traveling with family and friends, and cheering on the lives and accomplishments of their posterity for the remainder of Robert’s earthly life.
For Robert, life was worth living to its fullest, people were worth being kind to, stories were worth telling, and the gospel of Jesus Christ was worth loving and living. Robert Holiday truly found much joy through serving others and provided so much joy that touched a world of lives and created a legacy that is carried on through those he is survived by: his wife, Janice; his children, Blaine (Gail) Holiday, Jill (Eric) Linford, Gail (Andy) Herr, Kent (Ginger) Holiday, Craig Holiday, Brian (Colleen) Holiday, Dawn (Nathan) Blanchard, Blake (Jamie) Holiday, Steven (Jillian) Holiday, and Nathan (Brittany) Holiday; his stepchildren, Lori (Brent) Bean, Greg (Kristine) Bishop, Janet (Todd) Bischoff, Brent (Courtney) Bishop, and Kara (Brent) Walton—68 grandkids, and 27 great-grandkids. Upon his death, he was reunited with Donna and his siblings to continue their work of giving joy beyond this life.
Please join us in celebrating Robert’s life at 11:00 a.m., Friday, December 30th, 2022, at the Highland South Stake Center, 9626 North 6800 West, Highland, Utah, where a viewing will be held from 9:00-10:30 a.m. prior to services. Interment will be in the Centerville City Cemetery, 650 East 400 South, Centerville, Utah.
Services will be streamed live on Russon Brothers Facebook page and this obituary page.