Memorial services for Donald E. Holden, Jr., 73, of Portales will be 2:00 PM, Sat., Mar. 20, 2021 at Central Christian Church with Pastor Don Thomas officiating. Gary Robbins, Corey McCarroll, Ernie Holland, his brother, Darryl Holden, the members of "The Great Eight," and the Members of the "Monday Night Board" along with all of his many other friends will be honorary pallbearers. Those desiring to make memorial contributions may send them in the form of gift cards to the local CYFD office to provide relief for local families in need, 1500 S Ave D, Portales, NM 88130 or to the ENMU Alumni Association.
Donald Eugene Holden, Jr. was born Feb. 2, 1948 in Berwick, PA to the home of Thelma Rose (Wolfe) and Donald Eugene Holden and died very suddenly on the afternoon of Mar. 4, 2021 in Portales. While Don was still in grade school, his family moved to Albuquerque. While he was in school, he and seven of his friends became the "Great Eight," and have remained close friends for the rest of their lives. Don graduated from Manzano High School in 1966. He came to Eastern New Mexico University where he earned a Bachelor's Degree with a double major in Sociology and Psychology. He began his career working in programs for the Deaf and Blind Children of New Mexico. Later he worked in Taos for the Arthritis Foundation. From there he began working for the State of New Mexico in the Clovis office for Child Protective Services. He eventually became an administrator and moved first to Hobbs in 1983, and a year later to Carlsbad where he was made the County Office Manager. In 1990, he transferred to the Portales office, where he later became the Office Manager, and eventually was promoted to the position of Regional Manager. Don retired in 2010, but then began working in the Guidance Center in Hobbs where he worked just a few days short of five years, finally fully retiring in 2015.
On May 22, 1976 in Clovis, he was married to Pamela Sue Lee. For many years he had a regular Monday night "Board Meeting," playing poker with his friends. Don loved sports of all kinds, especially baseball, and most especially the Atlanta Braves. He was an avid ENMU Greyhounds fan. In addition he enjoyed fishing. Each year he made an annual Super Bowl/Birthday trip to Las Vegas. He was a member of the Elks Club in Clovis, and at one time was a member of the Lion's Club. Currently, Don was serving on the Alumni Board for ENMU, and in 2009 was chosen as the Outstanding Alum. As an Alum, he worked to establish Social Work as a degree program through the university. In the community, he was instrumental in the establishment of Bruce's Home and the Bonem House.
He is survived by Pamela, his wife of almost 45 years of their home; a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Tim Isaacs of Rio Rancho, NM; three grandchildren, Meganne Hayes, Bailey Isaacs and Cameron Isaacs; a brother and sister-in-law, Darryl and Tina Holden of Springfield, MO; a sister, Shirley Perea of Shickshinny, PA; and his Cuban foster brother, Rafael Garcia and wife, Mayra of Sarasota, FL. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Wallace Holden and Richard "Rick" Holden, and by his daughter, Shannon Holden who died June 7, 2015.
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