Gerald “Super Swede” Holm passed from this life on Saturday, March 4, leaving an amazing 95 year legacy to his family and friends.
Born in Minnesota on September 1, 1921 to parents John and Emma Holm, he was one of six children. The Holm family moved west to California only a few months after his premature birth; but traveling on a pillow in a box, he made it.
His first twelve years prepared him to face any obstacle with faith and determination; dangerous mishaps with horses and errant bullets only proved to him the miraculous protection he credited to God.
Those early years also ingrained in him the need and desire for hard physical work on the family farm, being the chief dairy milker before he reached ten years of age, and that was before walking nearly two miles to the country schoolhouse every weekday.
Gerry appreciated music in those very early years thanks to his Swedish heritage; his father’s family was very involved playing many instruments and singing at local venues in Sweden. Not surprisingly, as his music continued on into every decade of his life, Gerry chose the nickname “Super Swede” when he played several instruments and performed solo gigs in the larger Stanislaus area.
There was rarely a Sunday throughout his long life that he was not in church playing violin, trombone, or guitar. He was often the church orchestra leader and was also ready to lead congregational singing when called on.
It was during his early adult years playing in church when he met his future wife Barbara. They had a short courtship, marrying in 1949. They would have celebrated 68 years of marriage next month.
Gerald and Barbara had four children, with three surviving him today. Their son Stanley passed at the young age of 13 from leukemia, which was a very difficult time in their lives.
As the years passed and his farming career came to a close, he then pursued solo musical performances for the next 20 years; entertaining the shut-ins and ministering music in area church gatherings kept him busy into his late 80’s. He was regularly seen at Turlock’s Farmers Market and street fairs for many years.
He was thrilled to have been invited to serve in this capacity to over 100 different groups and venues before losing his ability to drive and carry his equipment.
Gerry added another career to his resume very late in life that provided him the opportunity to minister and serve people in need from every faith and creed - with the Whitehurst-Norton Mortuary and also nearby Lakewood Memorial. He offered his help in driving the hearse as well as speaking at services when needed. His heartfelt sympathy and strength buoyed many families in their time of loss.
“Super Swede” leaves behind his wife Barbara, his daughters Valerie Warda and Gaynell Francis, and son Ken (Kitty) Holm. They were blessed with eight grandchildren: Rebecca, Christine and Timothy Warda; Mark Lawhorn (April) and Jennifer Smith; Megan, Lindsey and Trevor Holm. Also two great grandchildren: Violet Lawhorn and Julius Warda.
Two sisters, Hattie Baggett and Sonja Holm, along with their families, also survive Gerald.
Memorial services will be through Whitehurst, Norton & Dias Funeral Service at 286 W. Main St., Turlock at 10 AM this Saturday, March 11, with interment at Turlock Memorial Park and reception following at Fellowship Bible Chapel at 501 E. Canal Drive in Turlock. Visitation will be from 2-8 PM on Friday, March 10 at Whitehurst, Norton & Dias.
His family appreciates donations to American Heart Association or American Cancer Society in Gerald’s name.