Laura Elizabeth Holland died unexpectedly on March 5, 2022, after a twelve year struggle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 69 years old.
Laura was born on May 25, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Eugene and Jean Davidson. She was greeted by three older siblings: Dee Ann, Neil, and Mark. The family soon relocated to Abernathy, Texas, where Laura doted on beloved farm animals -- frogs, kittens, and her dog Pinto -- and wore matching home-sewn outfits with her inseparable best friend, Cindy Dunn. She was a drum major and clarinet and basketball player at Abernathy High School. Laura moved to Abilene in 1970 to obtain a music degree at Abilene Christian College, where she played clarinet in the Big Purple Marching Band and piano accompaniment for student recitals. During band practice, a friend encourage her to invite Gary Holland to a Sadie Hawkins event for Sigma Theta Chi. They dated until 1978 and married at Broadway Church of Christ in Galveston, where Laura taught music for elementary students and Gary attended medical school. She then moved to Phoenix with Gary, where their first child John was born in 1983. John died after seven months, and Laura grieved his loss for a long time.
At the invitation of Dr. Joseph Crumbliss, Laura and Gary moved to Abilene in 1984 to start a medical practice. They had three more daughters from 1985 to 1989: Erin, Rachel, and Kathryn. Laura enjoyed playing and teaching piano at home and taught music at Bonham Elementary in 2003. Her portable CD player followed her into every room, surrounding her with classical tunes or hymns, and Rodger and Hammerstein's score for "The Sound of Music" became a fond comfort. Laura was a deeply spiritual person; she fervently studied the Bible, never missing a church service at Hillcrest or Highland Church of Christ, and led Bible Study Fellowship for many years. She loved people of every kind and formed close relationships with those in her church community, including her dearest friend, Carol Fowler.
Laura's love lit up the room. She was gregarious and sanguine, had a great laugh, knew instinctively how to nurture others, and became the glue that held her family together. Her love for animals remained throughout her life, and she derived much joy and comfort from the family's pets. Her sister Dee once remarked that Laura "didn't have a mean bone in her body". After developing early onset dementia, she remained at home where her family and friends cared for her.
Laura was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Mark Davidson, her sister Dee Ann Andrews, and her son John Holland. She is survived by her husband Gary Holland; daughters Erin Holland of New York City and Rachel and Kathryn Holland of Abilene; son-in-law Quentin Walker of Abilene; a recent grandchild, Elliott Walker of Abilene; and brother Neil Davidson of Flanagan, Illinois.
We wish to thank all of her friends, our Highland Church family, and Drs. Keith Robinson and Erin Garner for their love and support. In her years with Alzheimer's, Laura would sometimes say, "I want to go home". She is home now, and we hope to see her there soon.
Visitation will be Friday March 11 from 6-8 PM at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 US Hwy 277 S.; and the funeral service Saturday March 12 at 11 AM at Highland Church of Christ, 425 Highland Ave. Pallbearers will be Neil Tatom, Bill Fowler, Jim Franks, David Green, Kyle Tippens, and Chas Payne.