John Joseph “Toby” Holland, Jr.
November 30, 1928 - June 22, 2021
J.J. “Toby” Holland, Jr. (“Bubba”) of Palmetto, Florida and formerly of Pigeon Roost, North Carolina, passed away June 22, 2021 suddenly. He was born on November 30, 1928 to the late John Joseph Holland, Sr. and Verda Huntley Holland in Long Beach, California. Toby moved to Palmetto, Florida to live with his aunt and uncle, Robert and Florence Kemp during the Great Depression at the young age of five, where they raised him. He attended Palmetto High School until it was closed in 1947 and graduated from Manatee High School in 1948, where he was an all-state center on the football team.
Toby hung up his football cleats during his freshman year at the University of Tampa to elope with his high school sweetheart, Jean Willingham. He was a man of many talents, who knew no stranger. Everything he did, he did well, including: Kemp’s Grocery of Palmetto delivery boy, insurance salesman, Vice President and original founder of Founders Life Assurance Company, working for the Manatee County Tax Assessor’s office, Manatee County’s first building inspector, owner/operator of Holland Insurance, general contractor as owner/operator of Holland Construction, mayor of the City of Palmetto (1975-1981), District 67 State Representative for the Florida House (1984-1992), and construction consultant. Toby loved Manatee County and was one of the city of Palmetto’s biggest advocates. He was instrumental in the civic center being north of the river and the founding of Emerson Point State Park, where the welcome center is named after him. He was a proud, decades long member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, a member of the Hernando Desoto Historical Society, and served on many boards of directors, including Palmetto Federal Bank & Trust and Golddome. He was also a member of Red Hill Methodist Church in Red Hill, NC. He was an honest man, considered to be a “one of a kind” and definitely the life of any party. He enjoyed many years flying all over North America and the Caribbean as a commercial pilot, snow skiing, watching Florida Gators football and in his later years, also baseball.
He was a kind, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Mari Holland; Son: John (Susan); Daughters: Susan (Tom) Hume and Julie Vincent; Stepchildren: Dar Buri, Jesse Buri and Andrea Brooks; Ten grandchildren: Bradley (Elizabeth) Hume, Nikki (David) Hunt, Jay Holland, Kaitlyn Sussex, Sydney Vincent, Taylor Vincent, Danielle Vincent, Gabe Buri, Mason Smith and Sari Buri; and seven great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life Service will be Friday, June 25, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. (visitation prior at 10 a.m.) at the First Baptist Church of Palmetto, Florida 1020 4th Street West Palmetto, FL 34221. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation, 12902 Magnolia Drive, MBC-FOUND Tampa, FL 33612.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Joseph Holland, Jr, please visit our floral store.
Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation
12902 Magnolia Dr., Tampa FL 33612