Henry Lawrence Holman, 56, tireless volunteer for children

July 29, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Henry Lawrence Holman, who for more than 20 years organized and participated in countless volunteer youth activities in Baltimore, died Friday of cancer at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care in Towson.

Mr. Holman, 56, of Randallstown was involved in a variety of youth-oriented programs, including tutoring elementary and high school students, serving as a hugger for the Special Olympics, and helping establish a computer learning center in the 4500 block of Garrison Blvd. that is to open this year.

"Anything that he felt could make a child better, he would do it," said his wife, the former Jacqueline Bush, whom he married in 1982. "He was always thinking about helping out in any way that he could."

Many of Mr. Holman's activities were through his fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, for which he helped establish an alumni chapter in 1970. He recently was named the fraternity's first president emeritus and received its Man of the Year Award.

An outgoing man with a seemingly ever-present smile, Mr. Holman organized and delivered Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets for the poor, established scholarships and organized and participated in sickle cell anemia walkathons.

Wilbur Harrell, a fraternity brother and friend for more than 25 years, said Mr. Holman excelled at rallying people to attend events.

"The fraternity was an integral part of his life, and that meant all of the activities that were part of the organization, he was part of them, too," Mr. Harrell said.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Holman graduated from Frederick Douglass High in 1959 and received a degree in history from Morgan State University in 1975.

He served in the Army from 1964 to 1966, the last year seeing action in Vietnam. Upon his discharge, he began a 31-year career as a freedom-of-information specialist with the Social Security Administration in Woodlawn.

For many years, he was a member of Wayland Baptist Church, where he belonged to the trustee board, was assistant superintendent of the adult Sunday school and sang with several church choirs.

Lawrence A. Bell III, the Baltimore City Council president and a longtime friend of Mr. Holman's, called him a "sincere man that everybody liked."

"He was like an uncle to me," Mr. Bell said. "Everybody felt comfortable with him."

Mr. Holman enjoyed cooking, reading and sports -- especially playing and watching football.

Services are scheduled for noon today at Wayland Baptist Church, 3200 Garrison Blvd. in Northwest Baltimore.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, David Holman of Baltimore and Royal Chavious of Westminster; a brother, Robert Hampton of Baltimore; and a sister, Jacquelin Holman of Baltimore.

Pub Date: 7/29/98

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