James C. Holden, age 86, of Mattapoisett died peacefully on Saturday November 4, 2023, in his home alongside his loving wife of 63 years Patricia (Fielding) Holden whom he completely adored.
He was born in New Bedford, MA on July 26, 1937, to Gardner and Hilda (Viera) Holden. He was raised in the West End of New Bedford where he later raised his own family. Jim often told his grandchildren stories of hunting with his best friend George just steps from where they both lived. From 1956 -1958, Jim served in the Army Airborne Division as a Paratrooper. He kept his service private for most of his life, but Jim shared his experiences more often during his later years.
Jim spent his life tirelessly working on the shoreside of the fishing industry where he made many memories and close friends. He retired as General Manager of Hathaway Braley Wharf Co. and President of Nice Ice, following a career working for his family business, Holden and Padelford Ice Co. Jim was known as a hardworking, trustworthy and savvy business man, unafraid to say what he believed. Whether by the pool or over a cup of coffee, he enjoyed sharing stories of New Bedford’s waterfront. Jim was an avid golfer, outdoorsman, and a friend of Bill W.
Jim’s greatest achievement was his family. He was a dedicated husband to his wife, Pat, who cared for him until the moment that he passed. Jim and Pat enjoyed hosting friends and family, dining out, and spending the colder months in Florida. Jim’s toughness was only rivaled by his love for his children and their children. He cherished the relationships that he had with each of his daughters. Jim was most proud of his grandchildren. Among the greatest gifts he gave to his family was time – being ever present in moments of need and celebration.
James Holden is survived by his loving wife Patricia; his sister Carolyn (Holden) and her husband Gardner Greany; his children Karen (Holden) Nitsche and Debra (Holden) and husband Robert Gomes; three grandchildren, James Gomes, Justin and his wife Katie Gomes, and Jonathan Gomes; and great-grandchildren, Greyson Ellis Gomes and Josephine Day Gomes. He was predeceased by his son-in-law Craig Nitsche; his brother Richard and his wife Barbara Holden; his sister Constance; and his parents, Gardner and Hilda Holden.
At Jim’s request, his services will be private. His family is especially grateful to his care teams at Tufts Medical Center and the Providence VA Medical Center. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to the Veterans Transition House, 1297 Purchase St., New Bedford, MA 02740. Arrangements are by the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Mattapoisett. For online condolence book, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.