Charles Edward Holland, 84, died Sunday Feb. 11, 2018, at his home surrounded by his family.
Born in Sumter on June 24, 1933, he was the son of late Hoyt Holland Sr. and Cora Lee Brown Holland. He was a member of Gateway Baptist Church in Sumter.
Charles served in the United States Army from 1959 to 1962, serving as a military policeman at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. He then went on to serve the Sumter community as a firefighter with the City of Sumter Fire Department from 1962 to 1991, retiring as assistant fire chief.
Charles' passion was, for anyone who knew him well, the volunteer work he did with the Southern Baptist Association Missions Program. He served in the mission field from 1985 to 2003, assisting missionaries from 14 different counties.
Other notable memories that will come to mind when people think of Charles Holland would be the times he served as a Boy Scout leader in the 1950s, the Jesus sticks he made for missions work, the dulcimers he made and played, the harmonica he would always have handy to play a tune or two, the pack of gum he always had to give to kids and the song he was always singing, "Swing Low - Sweet Chariot."
Survivors include three daughters, Virginia (Ginny) Holland-Yonson (Pete Hulon) of Sumter, Robin Holland-Wells (Gary Phillips) of North Myrtle Beach and April Holland-Reed (Jason) of Dunellon, Florida; one son, Charles (Chad) Edward Holland Jr. of Sumter; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; seven half-brothers and sisters; numerous nieces and nephews; and his ex-wife and caregiver, Rita Riles Dunlap.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Hoyt Holland Jr., and a sister, Mattie Louise Holland Richardson.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday in Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Charles Ahtonen officiating. Burial with military honors will be in Sumter Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be five of his grandsons, Travis Yonson, Kevin Yonson, Jamie Brunson, Justin Brunson and Eric Holloman, and a close family friend, Robbie Croft.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday at Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home and other times at the home.
Memorials may be made to the Southern Baptist Association Missions.
Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home & Crematorium is in charge of the arrangements.
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