Holland, Robert James (Jan. 8, 1936, to Feb. 10, 2020), U.S. Navy Ret. Lt. JG, son of John Edward Holland (March 7, 1892, to Jan. 22, 1965) and Alma Naomi Himes Holland (April 29, 1895, to July 1, 1944), beloved husband, father and grandfather, avid fly fisherman, outdoorsman, lawyer, intellectual, public servant, entrepreneur and philanthropist passed away this week.
Graduating from Fairview High School in Dayton, Bob attended Yale University on the George Mead Scholarship and Ohio State University School of Law, following service in the Navy. He worked as an associate at Chester & Rose law firm, general counsel for BancOhio Financial, a partner at Bodiker & Holland, general counsel for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and a director of First Community Bank and various other company boards. He served as a pioneering first president of the Central Ohio Transit Authority. He was elected to two terms on the Upper Arlington City Council, 1970-1974. He then served as assistant city attorney, 1975-1976 and as city attorney from 1977-1986 for Upper Arlington. In his service, he adhered to the highest standards of ethics and accountability in government. He served as general counsel to Payments Central (part of the National Automated Clearinghouse Association), which created the system for electronic payments; Payments Central is an Ohio member.
Philanthropic endeavors included active participation in Rotary International and Trout Unlimited, as he was an avid fly fisherman and outdoorsman. He was a founding member of Upper Arlington Rotary. However, his crowning achievement was co-founding the Wellington School in 1982, where he was able to combine his expertise in government and public service, belief in the value of education and commitment to and love of family. Additional affiliations included membership at the Athletic Club of Columbus, Scioto Country Club, Union League Club of Chicago, American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and the Ethics Committee of the Columbus Bar Association (where he chaired the Law Institutes Committee and was a member for more than 50 years) and being a founding member, together with his wife, Barbara, of the Columbus Branch of the International Wine & Food Society
He was preceded in death by his siblings, Earl William Holland, Alice Dorothy Holland Barrett, Russell Edison Holland, Jack Vernon Holland, Harvey Eugene Holland, Vera Ruth Holland Daniels, Harriett Jane Holland Daniels and Anne Louise Holland.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Barbara Drake Holland; children, Robert James (Molly) Holland Jr., Duncan Drake Holland, Wendolyn Spence Holland and Justin Keith (Sandra) Holland; and grandchildren, Austin Drake Holland, Devon Marie Holland, Jordan Naomi Holland and Joshua Robert Holland.
Family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at Schoedinger Northwest Chapel, 1740 Zollinger Road, Columbus, Ohio. A memorial service celebrating Bob’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at First Community Church, 1320 Cambridge Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Wellington School, Upper Arlington Rotary and The Nature Conservancy of Idaho. To share memories or condolences, please visit schoedinger.com.