BAR HARBOR - Jon Frederick Holder, 71, a practicing attorney in Portland, Bangor, and Bar Harbor, died Saturday evening, May 12, 2012, at his home. Jon was born April 21, 1941, in Boston, to Norman and Virginia (Daniels) Holder. Jon grew up in Wells, where he first began his love affair with the ocean. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of New Hampshire, where he was active in the civil rights movement, traveling to Alabama to take part in the Selma-Montgomery march in 1965. It was at the University of New Hampshire that he made lifelong friends who joined him in his commitment to social issues and the rights of those without a voice. They spent summers traveling to Alaska to fight forest fires. Jon did graduate work in philosophy at the University of Iowa, where he also took creative writing courses at the Writer's workshop. After working as a teacher and social worker for the state of Maine, he attended Antioch Law School, Washington, D.C., and the University of Maine School of Law, where he received his juris doctorate degree and met his wife, Kathleen Grover. He and his wife started their own practice in Portland where they specialized in disability law for more than 30 years. Although they later moved their practice to Bar Harbor, he continued to practice in Portland, Bangor and nationwide. Jon committed his life's work to fighting for the underdog. He was fearless in his pursuit of justice for his clients and enjoyed the respect of all who worked with him. Jon was an avid cyclist and loved bicycling on the carriage trails of Acadia National Park. He loved the water and boating in Casco Bay and Frenchman's Bay. Jon loved travel and had many wonderful family trips both in this country and in Europe. He loved the dogs and other animals that shared his life throughout the years and spent many happy hours with his lab, Bella, at Little Long Pond. Jon was a fierce advocate, an adventurer with a rebellious spirit and a brilliant scholar, but above all else, he was a loving husband, father and son. He was devoted to his brothers and sister, and a loyal friend. He will be deeply missed by those who were fortunate enough to know him. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Kathleen "Candy" Grover; and his daughters, Mariah Holder and her husband, Jason Heinze, of New Orleans and Emma Holder of Austin, Texas. He is also survived by his mother, Virginia Holder; his brothers, Rick Holder and Jason Holder; his sister, Barbara Fyles; as well as many nieces and nephews, all of New Hampshire. Friends are invited to call 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert, where funeral services will be held 1 p.m. with Father John O'Hara officiating. Immediately after the service, the burial will be at the Holder family cemetery in Franklin, on the farm that Jon's great-great-grandfather built. There will be a reception afterward at the farm. A memorial service in celebration of Jon's life will be held in Portland at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Heifer International at www.heifer.org. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.
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Published in BDN Maine on May 16, 2012