March 12, 1947 – August 22, 2022
On August 22, 2022 heaven welcomed home Gary Richard Holton after a short illness following open heart surgery. Gary was born on March 12, 1947 in Bakersfield where he lived until age 6 and then, as part of being in an Air Force family, moved to Wiesbaden, Germany for three years, then to Wichita, Kansas and Lincoln, Nebraska where he graduated high school. After high school, Gary attended Principia College in Elsah, IL earning a degree in Sociology.
In 1970, after graduating college Gary followed in his father's footsteps and became an officer in the Air Force where he joined pilot training school in Lubbock, Texas and after several rough landings he settled on missile defense systems and was stationed at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana, where he welcomed his first son, Eric in 1971. The family was transferred to Vandenberg AFB in Lompoc, CA, where his second son, Scott was born in 1974. Gary left the Air Force in 1979.
In 1985 he met and married the love of his life, Joan, and expanded the family by welcoming Joan's children, Philip and Amanda. In 1986 they bought and ran Tasco Auto Parts in Taft until 1998. He went on to work for Kern County for another 18 years and retired in 2016. Gary and Joan enjoyed being involved in the Taft community, active members of the Taft Kiwanis Club and loved spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Gary is survived by his wife, Joan Holton, of 37 years, sister Suzanne (Jeff) Hunt of Monticello, Utah, his four children Eric (Connie) Holton of Belgrade, Montana, Scott (Jennie) Holton of Bozeman, Montana, Philip (Jessica) Wooley of Taft and Amanda (Eric) Mehciz of Bakersfield. Additionally, he was a proud grandfather to 11 grandchildren living in Montana, Florida, and California. Gary was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Doris Holton.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Taft Kiwanis Club or your favorite charity in his honor.