Arthur John Roy Holding, 90, died Jan. 24, 2017 at the Harper House Hospice in Stuart, Fla.

Arthur John Roy Holding, 90, died Jan. 24, 2017 at the Harper House Hospice in Stuart, Fla.

Roy Holding was born in the Riverside section of Windsor, Ontario, on Feb. 23, 1926, the son of John and Maude Holding.

His family immigrated to Detroit when he was in grade school. He graduated from Highland Park High School in Detroit and attended Highland Park College before entering the U.S. Army during World War II. He received the Bronze Star for his service in France and Germany after actions in the Colmar Pocket and Siegfried Line campaigns. His regiment received two Presidential Citations.

He graduated from Michigan State University with a journalism degree and married Mary Lou Harris, both events occurring in 1949. He worked on weekly newspapers in Michigan before joining the Kalamazoo Gazette where he was a reporter and editor. In 1958, he purchased the Galva News. The newspaper was twice named the best weekly in the state by the Illinois Press Association. Roy earned numerous national and state awards for reporting and his weekly column, Gilding the Lily. He was the first recipient of the Ken Smith Memorial Award for the Outstanding Community Journalist presented by the Northern Illinois University. He served a year as the president of the Illinois Press Association.

While editing and publishing the Galva News, Roy began writing advertising for Heinold in 1959, a small livestock buying company which eventually became Heinold Hog and Cattle Markets and Heinold Commodities on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. His role as advertising director grew with the company culminating with his idea to race pigs. That idea triggered a national phenomenon at Farm Progress Shows and state fairs during the 1970s. Roy appeared on national TV and in nearly every major newspaper and magazine talking about the racing pigs which were trained as a promotion for Heinold.

Roy was a community leader in Galva and championed the development of the Park District, a new high school and recruiting businesses to the town. He also managed Galva’s American Legion Baseball Team for over 10 years. He worked briefly as a scout for the Detroit Tigers.

Roy and Mary Lou retired to Port St. Lucie, Fla. in 1981 eventually moving to Palm City. During his early years in Florida, Roy wrote and edited the Sailfish Point newsletter. As an American Red Cross volunteer, he helped set up and manage emergency relief centers in Martin County and other areas of the country. He was a member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. He enjoyed boating on the Florida waterways and was an avid reader.

Roy was preceded in death by his wife and parents; one son, Bruce Jon Holding; two brothers, Walter and Joseph; and three sisters, Frances Bottles, Maude Holding, and Alice Stewart.

He is survived by one sister, Anne Cooper of Vero Beach, Fla.; a daughter, Nancy DeKalb of Nashville, Tenn.; two sons, Brian Holding of Champaign, Ill. and Jeff Holding of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be planned at a future date.

Contributions may be made to the Galva Park District.