Remembering the Rev. Carl Edward Holland, 71, former chaplain who jumped in the trenches is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Rev. Carl Edward Holland
Rev. Carl Edward Holland

The Rev. Carl Edward Holland served as chaplain with the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office for about 15 years. No one knows exactly how long, because for Mr. Holland offering guidance wasn’t just a job, it was a way of life. His time as chaplain tapered off rather than ended as other responsibilities took up more and more of his time, but he was still in contact, and still helping, the friends he made at the sheriff’s office until his death.

Rev. Holland died Monday, March 30, 2015, at the age of 71.

Lt. Dennis Ivey of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office described Rev. Holland’s service as chaplain as “a support system” for both deputies and the public. Rev. Holland rode along with deputies during their shifts in case of difficult situations. Many at the sheriff’s office described him as a great communicator, but he was most treasured for his listening skills.

“This job isn’t easy,” Lt. Ivey said. “He was a good listener.”

Lt. Ivey described Rev. Holland as a wise man who “could always put things in perspective.” He and the other officers were always glad to have Rev. Holland on the scene in cases with distraught families.

“He would roll up his sleeves and jump right down in the trenches with you,” added Rev. Holland’s son, Danny Holland.

Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs worked in the trenches with Rev. Holland, but he first met him while attending York Assembly of God Church where Rev. Holland was a pastor. He remembered Rev. Holland as “a smart, educated guy” who had “a variety of skills.”

This included authoring five spiritual books, “Revelation Simplified,” “18 Hours,” “Shout It from the Housetops,” “YOU Heal the Sick” and “THE TRUTH.”

Although he was passionate about his faith, Rev. Holland was never pushy about religion according to Sheriff Diggs. He was always available to listen and give spiritual guidance but never judged or was offended by anyone who didn’t share his beliefs.

It was his open ear that made him such a great father in his son’s eyes, but that was just one characteristic out of many that stood out. Mr. Holland saw his father as “second to none”; he was his son’s best friend and best man at his wedding.

Rev. Holland’s priority was building strong relationships, said Mr. Holland, and the relationships he shared with his children were very important to him. He fully supported his children, always willing to invest in any of their dreams. Mr. Holland learned how to be a dad and a husband from watching Rev. Holland. He learned how to treat other people.

Rev. Holland and his wife, Diane Holland
Rev. Holland and his wife, Diane Holland

At the foundation of everything was Rev. Holland’s faith, said his son. He was a phenomenal teacher and educator and he carried these traits along with him while riding with deputies four or more nights a week during the years he served as chaplain. He helped those around him “see things differently” and occasionally people would call to “bounce things off of him.”

Before moving to York County, Rev. Holland was an investigative reporter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. Holland said his father was empathetic toward the challenges officers face, the nature of a law enforcement position. He knew the toll the job takes on individuals and their families, knew the strain of being involved in such turbulent moments.

“When it’s the worst of the worst, that’s when they were involved,” Mr. Holland said. “The pressure and the chaos is difficult to deal with.”

Mr. Holland knew this from first-hand experience. He was a deputy sheriff at the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office from 1995 to 2005 and one of the most important lessons he learned from his father was “to be comfortable in the chaos of life.”

Rev. Holland is survived by his wife of 51 years, Diane Holland; son, Danny Holland and wife, Jamie; daughter, Chrysan Ashworth and husband, Richard; four grandchildren, Joshua, Caleb, Ethan and Alana; and brother, Howie Holland and wife, Marilyn.

The family will greet friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2015, at Hogg Funeral Home, Gloucester Point. Funeral services, officiated by the Rev. Jerry Jutras, will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 2, 2015, at York Assembly of God Church, Yorktown. Interment will follow at Rosewell Memorial Garden Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Rev. Holland’s memory may be made to Faith Fellowship Church, 112 School House Lane, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

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Amanda Thames is the obituary writer for WYDaily. Reach her at ​757-565-1079 ext. 222 or