Hal Derrington HollandMarch 22, 1925 ~ February 21, 2018 (age 92)
Beloved husband, father, and veteran, Hal Derrington Holland, Major USAF ret, passed away February 21, 2018. Hal was born in March 1925 to Gertrude Witte and Hal Derrington Jetton in Long Beach, CA. At age 19, Hal legally changed his last name to Holland after his stepfather Charles P. Holland, a USN dentist.
An enlisted airman in the Army Air Corp, Hal was a B-17 tail gunner in WWII, earning an Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and other campaign medals. Honorably discharged after WWII, Hal was recalled to serve during the Korean War in 1950, and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the USAF in 1951. While stationed in New York, Hal met and married his lovely Italian wife of 63 years, Theresa M. Frigo. They explored Asia during accompanied military tours that included Japan, Okinawa, and Taiwan. In Japan, Hal and Theresa had two sons, Mark C. and John D. Hal’s sons were ecstatic when he was later assigned as the base comptroller for Eglin AFB, due to the Gulf fishing and white beaches of FWB, FL. While Theresa held their family together in FWB, Hal served as a Base Comptroller in Thailand. Mid-tour 1968 Hal was hand picked to be the Director of Accounting and Finance for the HQ 7th Air Force, Vietnam, where he was responsible for disbursement of all service member payments in South Vietnam and earned a Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Achievement. Hal took great pride in his military service through three major conflicts (WWII, Korea, and Vietnam) as reflected by his “Three War” hat that garnered him many thanks for his service.
After his military retirement, Hal went on to obtain Bachelor Degrees in Management and Accounting from the UWF in 1971/75. Hal was the corporate accountant for Kelly Enterprises Trust, Destin, FL and later the accounting Controller for Tolbert Enterprises at the Ramada Inn, FWB for nearly ten years. Hal founded his own family business “American Tax and Budget” tax service in FWB and provided that service for over 23 years. Hal was an active member in Kiwanis and served as Treasurer and President in the OSIA Lodge 2422 in FWB. Hal was a listed personality in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, The American Registry, Community Leaders of America, and Personalities of the South.
Hal (and Theresa) were Roman Catholic, longtime supporters of St Mary’s parish and many other charities. Hal loved playing the drums; early on he played in the Greater San Diego Bonham Bros Band, and later taught drumming to eager students. Hal was the drummer for the local Original County Line Gang country band and played percussion for the Okaloosa Community Chorus for many years, enlisting help from his own roadies, Mark and John. Hal was a total cut up, and always tried to bring a laugh to everyone he met. Hal (and Theresa) loved raising four Boxer dogs, and adopted many rescue dogs and two cats during their many years together.
Hal’s proud parents, beloved wife Theresa, two siblings, John M. Holland and Phyllis (Holland) Taylor, and son Mark C. Holland all preceded his passing. He is survived by his son John D. Holland, niece Madeline J. Monaco both of FWB, FL; granddaughter Heather Holland and great granddaughter Riley Marie Holland of Dothan, AL; granddaughter Lauren Holland-Hernandez and husband Jesse Hernandez, and great granddaughters Brianna Hernandez and Christiana Holland, and great grandsons Brandon Standridge, Kendell Hernandez, and Mark J. Holland all of Gordon, AL; numerous relatives in New York, Texas, California, and Nebraska, and his beloved rescue cat Citrus.
A graveside ceremony will be held at Barrancas National Cemetery, Shelter A, NAS Pensacola at 11 am, March 1. Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 161 Racetrack Rd NW, FWB,FL, is providing funeral services. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Parish Life Center Fund at St. Mary’s R.C. Church, in Hal’s memory. Hal’s family wishes to extend special thanks to all who made his final years memorable during his residence at the Westwood Nursing and Rehab Center, where he was dubbed “The Bingo King”. Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com