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Local News obituary

Former Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder Dead at 77

Former Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder, fourth from left, was honored by Comal County commissioners on Nov. 3, 2016 for his 20 years of service. Image courtesy of Comal County.

Former Comal County Sheriff James Robert “Bob” Holder died today in New Braunfels after a long illness.

He was 77-years-old.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25  at Grace Church, 3240 FM 725, New Braunfels. Rev. Adam Cork will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church.

On Twitter Thursday, Holder’s grandson, Davenport High School Head Boys Basketball Coach Bradley Washington, posted “this morning my Opa breathed his last breath. I had the privilege of being his grandson for 32 years and able to live in the same town for this past year. Prayers for his bride and our fam.”

Holder was elected sheriff in 1997 and served five terms before retiring in 2017.

On Nov. 3, 2016, Comal County Commissioners honored him with the “Commissioner Jan Kennady Key to the Courthouse” award for his 20 years of service, which made him the second longest-running sheriff in the county.

Holder worked for the Texas Department of Public Safety from 1967 to 1993 as a highway patrol sergeant, supervising troopers including staff at DPS’ New Braunfels office.

Statement from Comal County Sheriff Mark Reynolds:

“Heaven needed a new warrior to guard the gates, and they got the best one.

“It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the passing of retired Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder. U.S. Marine Corps veteran, retired Texas DPS Sergeant, and 20-year sheriff of Comal County, Bob Holder was elected in 1996 and began his oath of office on Jan. 1, 1997 and retired on December 31, 2016.

“We are very grateful for his many years of distinguished service to the citizens of Comal County and law enforcement across the state.

“He was a great leader and mentor to many and will be missed. Please keep his family in your prayers.”

On Facebook, Comal County Constable’s Office Pct. 1 released this statement:

“We are saddened to hear of Sheriff Bob Holder’s passing. Sheriff Holder inspired many within our office, was a great leader and was loved throughout the community. Our thoughts and  prayers are with Kelly in this difficult time.”

Holder is survived by his wife of 39 years, Kelly, as well as his daughter, Jennifer Harris (husband Bennie); sons Justin Capers (wife Sharla), Joel Holder, and Jason Holder; sisters Pam Holder of Odessa, Becky Jones (husband David), Anita Quick (husband Gary), Anne Bright (husband Barry); and brother Larry Stephens, all of Illinois; and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

He also is survived by many loving and caring friends, most notably his best friend Russ Johnson, as well as his faithful four-legged companions and lap buddies who will miss him dearly, particularly Sugar and Cooper.

The family thanks staff at Hope Hospice as well as Sodalis Memory Care.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, the Comal County 100 Club, or Hope Hospice.

Holder was born in Vandalia, Illinois on Jan. 16, 1944 to Peggy and James Stephens. While very young, he left Illinois with his mother and moved to Texas. She remarried Ed Holder, who adopted him.

The former sheriff was raised in Wichita Falls.

Holder was a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute, the FBI National Academy, the Leadership Command College, and the Texas Governor’s Management Program.

He served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, 31 years with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

During his tenure there he decided to relocate to New Braunfels in 1977, serving as the first highway patrol sergeant in the area.

Upon retirement, he served proudly as an honorary Texas Ranger.

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  1. Judge Charles Stephens, II September 19, 2021

    Thank you Bob, for your help, your guidance and your strength all these years. It was your model I have followed throughout my tenure as an elected official in the great State of Texas and Comal County. God bless you!
    Charles Stephens

  2. Pam D September 17, 2021

    In 2009, I sent letters of commendation to Sheriff Holder regarding two of his deputies who had gone over and above the call of duty. To my surprise, Sheriff Holder called and thanked me for the letters and stated he was going to recognize the deputies publicly. It seems the standard MO for this wonderful man was to recognize the goodness in others. He will be missed.
    Requiescat en pace.


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