BAKERSFIELD — Holden Tennyson Doane, age 89, passed peacefully into his new life on March 28, 2015 at The Manor long-term care facility in Morrisville, Vt., with his daughter Linda at his side.
Holden was born May 21, 1925 in Bakersfield, the eldest son of the late Tennyson and Floy (Camp) Doane. He attended Brigham Academy and studied Agriculture at the University of Vermont, first using his training for two years at Guacio Presbyterian Agricultural Mission in Puerto Rico in lieu of military service. There he met his “mi hija”, Laura Burgess of Bay City, Mich., who was also serving. They were married Sept. 21, 1952. Laura was the love of his life and his soul mate. They had the kind of marriage others envy, completely one, each for the other. He has missed her desperately since her passing in 2008.
In 1953, Holden and Laura bought the Solomon Davis Farm in Bakersfield where they worked side by side to fulfill Holden’s goal of rehabilitating at least one farm. He worked hard to bring both the Davis farm and the Hector Jordan meadows back to productivity. In 1986 they began farming in partnership with their son Tennyson and his wife Joy. Holden was a man of diverse interest and talents. His vision and life work was to be a good steward of the land and have it be productive. He was a born farmer, happier working the farm than anywhere else. He was a progressive farmer, always ready to try new innovations. He worked long hours and was rarely content to sit idle. He designed and built buildings, poured cement, logged, ran the dairy, did his own cropping, repaired most of his own equipment and spent years expanding and modernizing his maple sugar operation. He was an avid reader of farm journals, philosophy, history and the Bible.
His nieces and nephews remember being “farmed out” with Uncle Holden and Aunt Laura for days or weeks at a time as cherished and formative experiences. There was always an open door at the “Hotel Doane” for any and all, whether for a day or a year. They were mission minded, often housing folks from other countries, prompting the kids to call home the “International Crossroads.”
Holden was a faithful servant of Christ in word and deed. He was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church in which he served in a variety of capacities ranging from choir member to deacon.
Townspeople will remember Holden for his service as Trustee of Public Funds (46 years) and Fence Viewer (26 years) as well as a brief time as a Lister and Town Moderator. He was best known for his quiet voice of reason and unlimited generosity. He was quick to notice a need and to find a way to meet it, very often anonymously.
He is survived by four children, Linda of Bakersfield, Martha Cooper and husband, Reid, of Providence, R.I., Tennyson II and wife, Joy, of Bakersfield, and Perry and wife, Rebekah, of Decatur, Ind.; seven grandchildren, Tennyson Doane III and wife, Jennie, of Syracuse, N.Y., Matthew Cooper and wife, Jessie, of Luoyang, China, Catherine Cooper of Vancouver, BC, Cameron Doane of Woodbridge, Va., and fiance’ Emily Blinn, Caelyn Doane of Bakersfield, and Holden and Rebekah Doane of Decatur, Ind.; three great granddaughters, Eleanor Cooper of Luoyang, China and Adaleigh and Brooke Doane of Syracuse, N.Y.; two brothers, Harrison of Bakersfield and Carlton and wife, Phyllis, of Canton, N.Y.; two sisters-in-law, Waynona Brown of Urbana, IL and Patte Richards of Traverse City, Mich., as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his Laura, he was predeceased by a sister, Katherine Brown, three daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Carol, and a grandson, Anderson Doane.
A Memorial service will be held Saturday, April 11 at 11 a.m. at the Bakersfield United Church with the Reverends Lyle Miller and James Ainsworth officiating. Calling hours will be held Friday, April 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Spears Funeral Home in Enosburg, VT. Interment will take place in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Bakersfield on June 28.
Holden and Laura were avid supporters of Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org) and Heifer International (www.heifer.org). Donations in Holden’s name may be made to these, either directly or through the family. Condolences may be sent to Holden’s family through www.spearsfuneralhome.com.