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Richard's Story

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Richard Frank Holton, 76, of Crossville, passed away on Jan. 6, 2017, at Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Cookeville, TN. He was born on June 24, 1940. He was a scientist intellectually and a family man at heart.
Rich's childhood began in La Harpe, IL, and included several moves throughout Missouri. He graduated from Memphis, MO, High School, always with an interest in science. This led Rich to an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Northeast Missouri State University and an MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Illinois. A long career with Morton Chemical Co. in northern Illinois helped him make significant contributions toward the mechanism that deploys air bags in cars. With photography as a hobby, he loved to travel, especially in the West, but also internationally and to visit family throughout the country. Travel was as basic as the camper he outfitted for traveling with his young children, or as comfortable as the time-shares he and Mary Lou enjoyed later in life.
Building a blended family in his mid-life led to creative solutions for space and relationships. As all the children launched, Rich continued with his history of community philanthropic activity. He was involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, United Way, the YMCA, the Exchange Club and Kids on the Rise, and was heavily involved in the Lake Tansi Property Owners Association.
Rich enjoyed target shooting and gun-related activities like reloading his own ammunition. He liked wearing boots, working outside, reading Louis Lamour novels, watching Gunsmoke and making sly jokes.
He is survived by wife, Mary Lou Holton; brother, Rodger Holton (Mooreen); sister-in-law, Shirley (Roland) Juhala; children, Edward (Jennifer) Holton, Elizabeth (Kevin) D'Cunha, Jon Hakansson, Cindy (Brent) Tarter and Karin (Eric) Stein; grandchildren, Grace Holton, Rhys Holton, James Tarter, Josh Tarter, Dylan Hakansson and Kendra D'Cunha; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Rich was preceded in death by his parents, Emmitt B. and Helen Mae Crane Holton.
The family will host a celebration of life at the Hiawatha Community Center meeting room in Lake Tansi Village on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Crossville, the Lake Tansi Exchange Club or your local YMCA.
Bilbrey Funeral Home, Inc. (www.bilbreyfh.com) was in charge of the arrangements.
Published on January 9, 2017
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