Dixon Wade Holman

dixon holman
ARLINGTON -- Former Texas 2nd Court of Appeals Justice Dixon W. Holman passed away peacefully Saturday, September 26, 2015 after an extended hospital stay related to his battle with cancer. He was 81 years old. SERVICE: 2:00 p.m. Friday, October 2, 2015 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1200 W. Green Oaks Blvd, Arlington. MEMORIALS: Memorial gifts may be made to the Arlington Salvation Army, Trinity Sports Ministry-c/o Trinity United Methodist Church, or the Humane Society of North Texas. Justice Holman was born October 17, 1933 in Harlingen, TX to Dixon J. Holman and Ruth Stovall Holman. His family moved to Ft. Worth in 1938. He would remain a Tarrant County resident for the remainder of his life. He was a sixth generation Texan and proud to be a descendant of his great-great grandfather James S. Holman, the first mayor of Houston. Graduating from Paschal High School in 1951 he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. Following a brief time as a walk-on player at UT, he temporarily gave up the football world. He received his B.B.A. in 1955 and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1958. While at Texas, he was a member of the Texas Cowboys, Silver Spurs, and a proud member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. While still in law school, Justice Holman, at the age of 23, was elected from Tarrant County as member of the Texas House of Representatives. In 1958, Dixon married the love of his life Sharon Green and began law practice in downtown Fort Worth with the firm of Simon and Ratliff. In 1960, he became General Counsel for Great Southern Insurance and Allied Finance Company in Dallas. That job encouraged him to move to Arlington where he and his family would remain. His son Dixon was born in 1960 and daughter Mary Claire in 1962. While working in Dallas, he watched the November 22, 1963 motorcade carrying President John F. Kennedy and Governor John Connally. After Governor Connally was wounded during the assassination of the president, Dixon wrote the governor whom he had gotten to know when Mr. Connally had served as the lawyer for Sid Richardson in Fort Worth. He was always honored that Governor Connally wrote him back a note from his hospital bed, having to use his left hand due to his wounded right wrist. Having represented Arlington while in the Legislature, he became quickly involved in the community. Serving as Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Commission, as well as being elected to three terms on the City Council. He served as the Chairman of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and also served as Vice-President of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Dixon W. Holman Park was named for him in 2004. While at Great Southern and Allied Finance, he authored the almost 400 page book "Consumer Credit Law in Texas" which was published by the State Bar of Texas, as well as many articles and papers. After returning to private practice in 1971, Justice Holman helped establish the Arlington law firm of Cribbs, McFarland & Holman with partners James Cribbs and the late Senator Bob McFarland. He remained with the firm until 1981 when Governor Bill Clements appointed him to the 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth. In 1990, then Judge Holman was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to serve as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas. Unfortunately, prior to the conclusion of the process, Judge Holman experienced a mild heart attack and withdrew his name from consideration. In 1991, Tarrant County District Attorney Tim Curry named Judge Holman Chief of the District Attorney's Civil Division. He also served as of Counsel to the law firm of Kelly, Hart and Hallman. He was subsequently appointed to judicial offices by Governors Ann Richards and George W. Bush. He would serve as a trial court judge and appellate court justice for 25 years. In 2003, Justice Holman was awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the Tarrant County Bar Association as the outstanding jurist. He was a Fellow of The College of State Bar of Texas and a Life Fellow of both the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation. Justice Holman also served as an elected member of the Tarrant County College Board of Trustees. In the late 1980s, during the financial crisis, Justice Holman was appointed by the U.S. government to serve on the boards of three federally taken over savings and loan institutions to help guide them through managerial changes and orderly liquidation. The government appointed him chairman of the board of Mainland Savings in Houston, then the largest failed savings & loan in America. In 1969, at the age of 36, Dixon began a parallel career as a football official. Through that endeavor, he achieved as much enjoyment, satisfaction and acclaim as he did from his legal career. He began officiating elementary school, junior high school and high school games. Through relentless work and discipline, he rose within just a few years to college officiating. First in the Southland Conference and eventually in a short time becoming the senior referee in the legendary Southwest Conference. He refereed six bowl games including the Orange Bowl, two Sugar Bowls, the Aloha Bowl, Bluebonnet Bowl and Independence Bowl. He served as president of the Southwest Football Officials Association and from 1972 through 1981 annually wrote, illustrated and published "Dixon Holman's Football Referee's Handbook" which was approved they the commissioners of The Southwest, The Big 8 and The Big 10 conferences. Following his time as a collegiate official, he became one of the original instant replay officials for the National Football League where he spent two seasons working regular season and playoff games before hanging up his whistle. Justice Holman was a former member of the Arlington Downtown Rotary Club and Paul Harris Fellow. He also formerly served as a member of the Arlington and Tarrant County Advisory Councils of the Salvation Army. In addition, he was also a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and The Sons of the American Revolution. Above all else, Dixon was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He loved his God, his wife Sharon, his children Dixon and Mary Claire, their spouses and his grandchildren more than anything in his life. And they loved him. He was a "Judge", but was not judgmental. He was a "Justice", who believed that justice in it's true sense is even-handed, fair and non-discriminatory. As one of his Court of Appeals colleagues stated upon his retirement, he was a "straight arrow." He called 'em like he saw 'em and played by the rules. We will love him always and miss him greatly. Words alone do not do him justice. His was truly a life well-lived. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Sharon Holman; his children and their spouses, Dixon R. Holman and wife Lisa of Arlington, and Mary Claire Sullivan and husband Kelly of Fort Worth; his grandchildren, Dixon J. Holman II and wife Kristen, Melissa Holman and fiance' Daniel Bruce, Sydney Sullivan, Preston Holman, Reagan Sullivan and Stone Sullivan; and niece Kathy Saied and nephews Will Sager and Malcolm Sager. Wade Family Funeral Home Arlington, 817-274-9233

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