Gene Holiman

Profile Updated: August 1, 2012
Residing In: Austin, TX USA
Spouse/Partner: Kathleen
Occupation: retired, now writer
Children: John, born 1972
Billy, born 1975
Emma (granddaughter), born 2008
Military Service: Army  
Comments:

My Life After G.H.S.

College. I attended Auburn University for one year (my first choice) but hated every minute of it. As soon as I could, I transferred to LSU, where I gleefully remained throughout the rest of my college career. Although I started out in architecture, after 2-1/2 years I switched my major to marketing (losing 100+ credit hours in the process). I also attended graduate school, leaving to get married abut 6-8 hours shy of my MBA. While at LSU, I was also one of the founding members of the Gamma Iota chapter of PI Kappa Phi Fraternity.

Family. I married my college sweetheart Kathleen on August 21, 1971, at a church on Canal Street in New Orleans. We’ve been blessed with two sons – John, who is a construction estimator for a commercial builder here in Austin – and Billy, married to Jenny and the father of our most-beautiful granddaughter Emma. My brother Harold now lives in Quitman, Mississippi.

Domiciles. I pretty much like to stay put for extended periods of time. After my obligatory 89-day stint for Uncle Sam as a 2nd Lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia, in the cold winter of 1971-72, we moved to Memphis. In 1983, a new job opportunity brought us here to Austin, Texas, truly God’s Country. We recently moved into our second home here, a one-story (heh, we’re getting more decrepit!) house that is perfect for entertaining. Fortunately, both of our sons also live in suburbs of Austin, so we get to interact with them regularly.

Career path. Nearly all of my jobs have revolved around marketing. I started my career path as Advertising Manager of Wallace E. Johnson Enterprises, a major homebuilder (he was the co-founder of Holiday Inns) in Memphis in 1972. Three years later, the firm helped me establish my own ad agency with them as my lead client. For the next 24 years I was either a principal, partner, employee or an independent marketing consultant in this field – except for a disastrous 2-year detour as a housecleaning business franchisee. From 1999-2004 I served Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest as Director of Development. Then I went into retail sales. I officially retired when I turned 65 in July, 2012, and am now concentrating on charitable and church work and rejuvenating my stagnant encore writing career.

Hobbies. I enjoy trains (Amtrak and real passenger trains; I drive a little kid's excursion train in a mall parttime and am a volunteer aboard the Austin Steam Train on many weekends), writing, reading, cooking and charitable/church/community service.

Charitable involvement. I’m currently serving as the Comunications Chair of Rotary Club District 5870 in Texas and was honored last year with induction into the Roll of Fame. In church I am head of the Evangelism & Parish Communications Board and also work on numerous worship tasks from assisting minister to altar guild, including as a Stephen Minister. I am trained, although inactive, as a lay minister in the Southwestern Texas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. I am very active in the Via de Cristo spiritual renewal retreats locally and have been the executive director of the Texas movement.

Remaining Greenville ties. When you were born and raised in Greenville, you’ll always be a “Greenville Boy”. Since Mother died in 2006 (Daddy passed away in 1992), however, we get back infrequently. We do return to visit friends and old neighbors as we can… and read the DDT on-line and our Class of 1965 website nearly every day to keep up with happenings.

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