JOHN HOLLAND (1955-2011); Owner of Oak Ridge Estate

( By Nick Hahn)

John Holland was the owner of Oak Ridge Estates in Nelson County.  A decade ago, he built a harness and steeplechase course at Oak Ridge Estate, one of his many projects on the 4,000 acre parcel.  Partial built with recycled cupolas from demolished 7-11 convenience stores and Civil War cannon balls, he operated live harness racing with a limited pari-mutuel wagering license he obtained from the Virginia Racing Commission and the Oak Ridge Steeplechase Races.  He gave me the opportunity to call races live.  Quite the patriarch of his close-knit family.  


John C. Holland, Jr., 56, of Oak Ridge Estate passed peacefully on December 16, 2011 at the University of Virginia hospital. Born on August 30, 1955 in Portsmouth, Va., he grew to become a successful husband, father, grandfather, friend, and businessman.

He envisioned the invisible to achieve the impossible in every aspect of his life. He was the President of John C. Holland Enterprises and Hampton Roads Disposal, both located in Suffolk, Va. He served on the Board of the Elizabeth Building and Loan and was recently nominated by the Governor of Virginia for Waste Management Facility Operators Board.

He was preceded in death and will be welcomed in heaven by his parents, John C. Holland, Sr. and Marie Holland. His passing will also reunite him with his son John C. Holland, III who he has missed dearly over the last twelve years.

He will be remembered in this world by his beloved wife of 34 years Rhonda M. Holland and two daughters Heather H. Goodwin and husband JC, and Reagan H. Thompson and husband Ben. He is also survived by three grandsons, Logan, Lawson, and Ledger Goodwin who will greatly miss their “Granddaddy”. He was also survived by his siblings JoAnn Nesson and husband Ed, Jeanne Tippett and husband Bill, Jonnie Franklin, many nieces and nephews, and an abundance of friends who he treasured.

A service will be held at The Carriage House at Oak Ridge Estate Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. immediately followed by a burial service also on Oak Ridge Estate. A memorial service will also be held in Suffolk, Va. on December 28, 2011. Details are not yet available. The family suggests that those wishing to make memorial contributions consider donations to either the Food Bank of Nelson County or to the Toys for Tots program in Suffolk, Va.

Arrangments by Wells/Sheffield Funeral Chapel, Lovingston, Va. (434-263-4097)