Wayne LeRoy Holby November 28, 1923 – December 9, 2020
Wayne Holby, 97, passed away on December 9, 2020 at Villa Health, DeLand, Florida. He was born in Jeanette, Pennsylvania to Henry B. and Ethel Mae Cook Holby, the sixth of ten children.
After completing school, Wayne served in the United States Army from April 1943, until November 1945, rising to the rank of Technician 5th Grade, in Company A, 157th Engineers Battalion. His Honorable Discharge states he participated in battles and campaigns at Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe; and received a Good Conduct Medal, Victory Ribbon World War II, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars. Army records show the 157th Engineers experienced one of the longest continuous combat records, totaling 324 days. Wayne loved this country and was proud to have served, and was living to reach the age of 100!
Returning to Jeanette after the war Wayne married the love of his life, Donna Jean Klingensmith, on June 29, 1946. The family grew after the birth of their daughter Donna Lee Holby, on October 7, 1947, and within a few years they relocated to DeLand, where Wayne worked for the local Buick dealership achieving a reputation of excellence, in the paint and body shop. Later he joined Sherwood Medical Industries, advancing to manager of the tool and dye division. After taking early retirement, Wayne worked part time at True Value Hardware, where he was sought out by customers for his vast knowledge and expertise.
Wayne Holby was loved and appreciated by all who knew him, and he enjoyed helping others. The Holby’s liked to entertain, and hosted many pool parties and cookouts at their Gracie Court home, that often ended with sing-alongs at the piano. Wayne was also known for his elaborate Christmas decorations, winning the lighting contest for many years, attracting people from miles around. His hobbies included bowling on Sherwood’s league along with boating and fishing on the St. John’s and Suwannee Rivers. Some of the happiest times were the getaways spent at their cabin on the Suwannee. Wayne also enjoyed woodworking and crafted many beautiful items, specializing in antique cars, clocks and Jesus crosses.
Wayne is survived by his sister Eileen Holby Sturnick, DeLand, FL, grandson Christopher Huffman, New Smyrna Beach, FL, along with numerous nieces, nephews and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 52 years, Jean Holby, his only child Donna Lee Holby Huffman, and grandson Timothy Huffman.
Wayne Holby was loved by all who knew him and a memorial service will be held at a later date to celebrate his life, and remember the difference he made in the lives of those he interacted with.