Aquin Catholic School Mourns Coach
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
February 3, 2022
FREEPORT—After the shock of receiving word that the girls’ basketball assistant coach Adam Holder, 48, had died suddenly, the entire Aquin family paused on Jan. 28 to mourn. 
Classes were cancelled for grades 6-12, but the school remained open for those who wished to talk, share their grief or gather to pray. 
A Mass was said Jan. 28 in the auditorium with faculty and counselors on-site along with social workers from Pecatonica Community School District 321 according to the school’s Facebook announcement.
The announcement went on to say “Such a sudden loss cuts deep, but no one must deal with it alone. Grief is a long journey, let us not take its first step alone. In the words of our school’s patron, St. Thomas Aquinas, whose feast day is today, “Nothing can move itself; there must be a first mover. The first mover is called God.”
The previous night, Jan. 27, Aquin girls were playing at Stockton in an intra-division game when Holder suffered a medical emergency. He was pronounced dead at Freeport Memorial Hospital having suffered from blood clots in his lungs.
Classes were also cancelled on Feb. 1 for Holder’s funeral. Thousands of people logged in on the Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home website and left loving tributes for Holder’s family where he was described as a “loving, caring and selfless humble man.”
According to his obituary, Holder was a lifelong resident of Freeport. He graduated from Freeport High School in 1991 and University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1996. 
He married Jennifer (Thompson) Holder on Nov. 22, 1997 in Lancaster, Wisconsin. They have four children. 
Holder joined Fehr Graham as a Staff Engineer in 1996 and found a niche working with municipalities, which led to project management responsibilities and, in 2005, partnership. Through his work at Fehr Graham, Holder guided resource management for various communities. 
Holder served on the Freeport Park Foundation Board and Freeport Planning Commission as well as many other organizations. He was an engineering instructor at Highland Community College from 2008-2012. 
The obituary described Holder as a “devoted father and through his children’s love of sports, he was a dedicated and active supporter of Aquin Catholic Schools and his community. He was a coach at Aquin for both basketball and baseball. He also coached and was a board member for the Stix organization since 2009.” 
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer; his children Jackson, Emma, Megan, and Andrew; his parents Stephen and Pamela; sisters Sarah (Charles) Williams and Allison (Todd) Slama and nieces and nephews; paternal grandmother, Della Martin. 
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Bernham Martin and maternal grandparents, Edward and Jacqueline Rawson. 
A memorial service was held Feb. 1, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. He was buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery, Freeport. 
A memorial has been established in Holder’s memory and can be contributed through Venmo under @Holder-Memorial. 
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