Mrs. Holden celebrates 105 years

April 29, 2014 - 9:04am -- braswell

  POPLARVILLE - One of the matriarchs of Pearl River Community College celebrated her 105th birthday this week.
  Earlora Holden’s family gathered at her Poplarville home Sunday, April 27, to mark the milestone two days before her actual birthday, April 29.
  “The Lord has richly blessed us,” her daughter, Dr. Carole Lund of Mandeville, La., said before the guests ate lunch.
  Mrs. Holden came to PRCC in 1948 when her late husband, Dobie, was hired to coach football. The couple and their children lived in an apartment in Huff Hall for seven years before building the house on U.S. 11 where she lives with the help of personal assistants.
  She became a student at the age of 40, served as secretary-treasurer of the Pearl River Class of 1951 and went on to earn both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from then-Mississippi Southern College. Mrs. Holden taught business education at Pearl River for 27 years and served as department chair. She also was in charge of the presentation of the homecoming court and sponsored the cheerleaders.
  Dobie Holden coached the Pearl River Wildcats to the 1961 national championship and retired from coaching in 1966. He served as dean of men until 1970.
During their retirement years, Mrs. Holden took up a variety of hobbies, including painting, crocheting and embroidery, and the couple gardened and traveled extensively before his death in 1986.
  In 2010, PRCC named a women’s dormitory the Earlora Chapman Holden Student Residence Hall in her honor.
  “She got a big 8-by-10 card from the students in Holden dorm,” Lund said. “She loved that. She treasured having her close family there with her. It was a great reminder of her 100th birthday celebration. Every person that was there brought a smile to Mom.”
  During the get-together, Dr. Thomas Holden of Grenada remembered his mother asking “What’s next?” after her 100th birthday party.
  “I said, ‘How about 105?,” he said. “So now, it’s how about 110?”
  Mrs. Holden and her children are charter members of the PRCC Development Foundation which awards the Coach Dobie Holden Memorial Scholarship annually. Mrs. Holden received the foundation’s Distinguished Service Award in 1989.


Earlora Holden holds the birthday card signed by the Pearl River Community College students who live in the Earlora Chapman Holden Student Residence Hall.
PRCC Public Relations photo

Dr. Carole Lund of Mandeville, La., welcomes family to the 105th birthday celebration for her mother, Mrs. Earlora Holden of Poplarville, seated. Listening are Mrs. Holden’s son, Dr. Thomas Holden of Grenada, and her niece, Rosemarie Baugher of Houston, Texas.
PRCC Public Relations photo