Robert Earl Holman, 84, passed away peacefully on September 13, 2023 in Springville, Utah. Robert was born January 10, 1939, in Delta, Utah to Earl Foster and Lilac M. Keppler Holman. He was the third of six children and loved the farm life growing up on South Tract. Robert is preceded in death by his parents and oldest brother, Eugene. Survived by wife: Arma; and siblings: Iris (Robert) Harris, Kim, Ladd (Margo), and Althea Crapo; seven children: Pam (Lee) Broadhead, Scott (Karla), Julie (Gary) Griffin, Faith (Russ) Stevens, Sharee (Brian) Fassett, Brian (Julie), and Brad (Julie). Robert and Arma were married for over 62 years. They have 29 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren.
Robert’s entire life centered around his three great loyalties: Faith, Family, and Farming. He loved working alongside his dad on the farm as he grew up. He didn’t even mind dodging the snakes that the pitchers threw in the wagon while he was tromping the alfalfa hay. However, Robert didn’t always love it when his younger sister, Althea, came in to scare the cows while he was milking.
Robert loved school. He played several sports. At Delta High School, he lettered in Football, but said that the coach didn’t cut him because he thought he was a Junior when he was a Senior and would be good material for the next year. Robert made the best decision of his life when he started dating Arma Thompson while both attended high school. They got engaged prior to Robert serving as a missionary in the New England States for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Shortly after Robert’s return from missionary service, they married on April 14, 1961, in the Manti Temple. Robert began attending BYU in Provo. Robert returned home to Millard County to work as a farm hand for his uncle. Robert began working for Continental Telephone Company (now Frontier) as a Central Office Technician. Robert received technical training and became licensed in radio broadcast technology for telecommunication. Although the local phone company changed hands several times, Robert held his same position for over 40 years and kept up with the fast-paced change.
With the new job, Robert and Arma moved into town, purchasing an older home with two bedrooms on a large acre lot in southwest Delta. Didn’t take very long for the family to outgrow the home. Robert began the work of an addition and remodel doing almost all the work himself. However, because of other commitments the remodel was always a work in progress.
Robert continued to add responsibilities in his work. With his FCC license from the phone company, he also worked part time for KNAK AM radio station, maintaining their broadcast equipment. However, he couldn’t get the love of farming out of his system so in addition to working two jobs, he began leasing a farm southeast of town.
As his dad Earl aged, he also took over more responsibilities for farming his dad’s property. After his dad passed, he started to consolidate his farming efforts to that farm. Robert took great joy in improving and expanding on his father’s legacy. He bought adjoining farm property, cleared brush for new acreage, invested in new cement ditches, ground leveling, and patiently waited to purge the Alkali from the soil through years of attention. When asked why he continued to put so much attention and resources into improving the farm in his late 70s and early 80s, he said he just wanted to continue to make it better for the next generation. The silver lining in an unfortunate house fire to his parent’s home on the farm, gave Robert the motivation to build their dream home on the farm and they moved from town 7 years ago. His oldest son, Scott, has and will continue to carry on that legacy for another generation.
Robert was an Eagle Scout and had a deep love of scouting. He loved serving as a Scoutmaster. Robert had a strong testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and loved ministering and serving others. He served in many different callings in his local LDS ward and stake. Served as Bishop of the Delta 1st Ward and then after a stake split, Bishop of the Delta 2nd Ward. As the closest bishop to the city office, the staff would regularly send transients, down on their luck, that they didn’t want to deal with. Robert never turned them away. Rather than use church funds, Robert would go grocery shopping with them and help them on their way.
Robert contracted Type I Diabetes in his early 40s. Arma became his dietician and nurse and his long life can be attributed to her vigilance and watchful care. Robert never let diabetes rule his life despite the challenges, and stubbornly pushed his body to its limits with his grueling schedule of working full-time while farming and irrigating 300-acres on the side. Robert had countless ER visits, a trip in a LifeFlight helicopter, quintuple heart-bypass surgery, and numerous eye surgeries to fight the effects of over four decades of diabetes. The Lord continued to preserve his life. Robert always bounced back, optimistic about the future right up to the end.
Robert loved his family and was so proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He leaves a legacy of family who work hard and understand the law of the harvest. With recent hospitalizations, he couldn’t be with his beloved Arma. He treasured their visits and loved to receive her hugs and kisses. His thoughts were of her right up until the end.
Funeral Services were held Saturday, September 23, 11:00am at Delta 6th Ward Chapel, 125 White Sage Avenue, Delta. Viewings were held on Friday, 7:00-8:30pm, Nickle Mortuary; and Saturday, 9:30-10:40 am, prior to service. Those unable to attend are invited to view the recorded video of the service. Interment to follow at the Delta City Cemetery.