Late city employee remembered on the courts |

Late city employee remembered on the courts

Jack Holland’s job with the Grass Valley Public Works department didn’t require him to go out on the weekends and clean off the city’s tennis courts for wheelchair players.

But he got up early anyway, keys in hand, and sprayed down the courts.

“He would do things like that for people all the time,” said wife Peggy Holland.

“Tennis was a huge part of his life,” added his son, Kris Holland.

The 61-year-old died in January of gall bladder cancer. In a fitting tribute, Grass Valley City Council members on Tuesday dedicated a tennis court in his honor at the city’s Dee Mautino Park, on Alta Street.

The sport brought Jack Holland great joy.

After Holland divorced from his first wife in the late 1980s, he and his sons spent a great deal of time together playing every Wednesday and Sunday.

“Tennis brought us closer,” said Kris Holland. “Sometimes, we’d spend all day on the courts.”

He worked for the city from 1987 to 2008, when the cancer forced his retirement.

A staff report prepared by Public Works Director Tim Kiser commented on Holland’s exemplary performance as a city employee, where he quickly rose to the level of distribution operator in the city’s water division.

“He was a warm and willing soul who reached out to others with sensitivity and caring,” the report read.

Even as Holland battled cancer, he continued his passion for the game.

“When he was diagnosed, he got out there and played more,” Kris Holland recalled. “He really took to it with abandon. It was something in his life he valued greatly.”

Holland spent his last few days confined to home, watching the Australian Open with Kris. He kept his sense of humor, too, Peggy Holland said: Jack joked he would hang on for the end of the tournament.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail or call (530) 477-4239.

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