Obituary of Ken Holden
HOLDEN, Kenneth "Ken" William, 59 of Tampa, Florida passed away Monday, September 5, 2022. He was born on March 9th in Houston, Texas and was a super fan of all sports, as well as a committed volunteer throughout the Tampa community. In 1978, he moved to Coral Springs, Florida and graduated from Coral Springs High School in 1983. Ken moved to Tampa in 1990 and was an active member of St. James United Methodist Church.
In his youth, Ken was a Special Olympics athlete, competing in bowling, softball, and boxing. He enjoyed fishing, speaking at events, and loved using his voice to advocate for other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Ken worked as a volunteer at Hunter’s Green Elementary school in special education classes for over 20 years. In 2003, he was nominated as volunteer of the year in Hillsborough County School District for his outstanding service to the school. In 2013, Ken was recognized with the Fred T. Rodgers Memorial Award for his lasting impact on volunteerism in the schools. He was an active participant in Best Buddies International and served as the very first participant matched in the e-Buddies program with his buddy, Ted Leonsis, the CEO of Monumental Sports for 24 years. Since 1991 and proceeding, Ken was matched with many Best Buddies volunteers from the University of South Florida campus, including: Jennifer Espinola, Troy Dunmire, Ben Walker, and Wayne Espinola, amongst many others. Ken was an avid fan of all sports and enjoyed cheering on his favorite teams like the Washington Capitals, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the USF Bulls, Washington Wizards, and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
From meetings with U.S. Presidents, ambassadors, corporate leaders, athletes, celebrities, pageant title holders to music recording artists like Bono and Cyndi Lauper, to even introducing Muhammad Ali, Ken lived an incredible life that would bring light and love to people in all facets of life.
Most of all, he cherished his role as a loving uncle, brother, and dedicated family member. He enjoyed charming the world with his beautiful smile, joy for life, and faithfulness to God. Ken was a devoted prayer warrior for everyone and loved volunteering as part of the Special Connections Ministry at St. James United Methodist Church, as well as singing in the JOYS Choir and the Portico Choir.
He is preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Webster Holden and his dad, John Vernon Quilleon. Ken is survived by his mom, Bobbie, his four siblings, Kendra, David and his wife, Debbie, Teri Batchelor and her husband, Chris, Curt and his wife, Robin, his two nieces, Molly and Olivia, and three nephews, Blake, Brody, and Bryce.
A funeral service will be held at St. James United Methodist Church on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. The family will receive friends one hour prior to service at noon. There will be a barbecue following the visitation and service. He will be buried at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL on Monday, September 19.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Best Buddies International - Quilleon, or the Special Connections Ministry at St. James United Methodist Church in Tampa.
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