Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

November 30, 2013

Happily ever after

Local couple celebrates 60 years of wedded bliss

Athens — It’s rare these days to see a marriage that lasts. It’s estimated that 1-in-every-3 marriages in the United States will end in divorce, usually within the first five years. So when you hear of couples that have been married for 40, 50, and even 60 years it’s a rarity.

That’s the case with Judge Jack Holland and his wife, Jean. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on the 26th of November.

Both from Athens, Jack and Jean met, like so many other young loves, in their school days.

“I didn’t really hang out with him much when we were younger, but we went out on our first date in our senior year,” recalls Jean. “And since none of us kids had much money, dates consisted of driving around the square about 18 times and then going out to West Court’s Cafe for a Coke.”

The couple shared a funny story regarding a friend who got their wedding date confused and thought their rehearsal was the actual ceremony. “My father followed Jack up the aisle with his shotgun and we were having a good ‘ole time laughing and being silly.“ Jean said. “Of course we cleared things up afterwards, but our friend thought it was the wildest wedding he’d ever been to!”

The Holland’s were married at the First Methodist Church and spent their honeymoon in San Antonio. With Jean at his side, Jack went on to law school and eventually made it back to Athens, where he was appointed as the judge of the newly created 173rd District by Governor Preston Smith in 1969.

“The next year I actually had to run for office, and we had never done anything like that.” Jack said.  “Jean would load up her friends and go knocking on doors. I would get to Crockett, which is a part of the 173rd district, and they would tell me, ‘We’ve already talked with your wife, judge. She’s already been campaigning down here.’”

Jean said, “I was his campaign manager basically!” as she laughs.

Holland held his office for 36 years, retiring in 2005 with a record as not only the longest-standing judge in Henderson County history, but one of the longest in Texas history as well.

Judge Holland still practices law out of his office on the Athens Square, and is the city judge for the town of Gun Barrel City.

Four years ago, Jean was diagnosed with cancer and Jack has been at her side through it all. Along with their son, Joe, the Holland family has faced her cancer diagnosis head on. When commenting on his mother’s tenacity with battling cancer, Joe said, “Oh, she used to have red hair. She’s brave and feisty! She’s not going down without a fight.”

When asked for advice on making marriages last, Jack said, “Keep a thick skin,” he laughs as Jean swats at him. “No, really... Don’t let little things bother you. Focus on the good things and let anything else go. Don’t make big things out of little things. Be understanding.”

Jack and Jean have never been closer, still approaching each new day, and each new challenge, with laughter and love.

Read Chalisa’s other articles at

Text Only
Local News
  • (Left to right back row) Elizabeth Coats, Bailey Ficco, Emma Shepherd, (front row) Mary Ficco, Emma Routh.jpg Girls from LaRue shave their heads to make a difference

    The statistics are alarming. More children are lost to cancer in the United States than any other disease. Before they turn 20, about one in 285 children in the U.S. will have cancer. Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every three seconds.
    Four girls from LaRue have taken a stand against these numbers, and have shaved for the brave.
    Bailey Ficco, Mary Ficco, Elizabeth Coats and Emma Shepherd headed to Boston on Saturday, July 27 for an event to help raise money for cancer research. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Tracks lead to alleged thieves of TVEC property

    According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, it was at 12:12 a.m., July 30, that the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an alarm at the newly-constructed Trinity Valley Electric Substation located off Farm-to-Market 2329 near Eustace.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Alzheimer’s forum to teach about disease

    The fact is over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association says “every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's. The disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.”
    Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly, and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Give-and-take session to discuss problem of underage drinking

    The East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s Henderson County Coalition Partnership invites local citizens to take part, Monday, in a give-and-take session on the problem of underage drinking.
    The meeting will be held at the Cain Center in the Cain Room, begins at 5:30 p.m. and is expected to last about an hour. Local officials have been scheduled to take part in discussing the problems regarding alcohol. It’s a concern that affects all parts of the county.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif July proves cooler in 2014

    July is gone, and the weather is leaving a much more favorable impression than its usual swelter.
    The National Weather Service reports the cool front that came through the area on the last day of July, brought more showers to the area, and held the highs in the low 80s. The weekend forecast calls for temperatures to remain several degrees below normal through Sunday.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AMWA to meet Wednesday

    An Athens Municipal Water Authority project that was moved off the front burner when its dispute with the City of Athens heated up is scheduled for discussion when AMWA meets Wednesday.
    The AMWA board of directors is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. in the Athens City Council chambers, located in the City Hall Annex on Pinkerton Street. On the agenda is to discuss and act upon proceeding with long-range plans to create AMWA offices and meeting facilities.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif A look at the practicalities of AISD’s 2015 campus realignment

    Athens ISD board members’ approval of the proposed campus realignment comes one full year in advance of the decision’s effective date. The timing gives the public as well as district staff and administration opportunity to adjust and prepare for the change.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-1 Athens Rotary.JPG Hirsch speaks at Athens Rotary Thursday

    Henderson County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch spoke at the Athens Rotary Club weekly meeting on Thursday. Hirsch said unlike 2013, this year is a great year to grow anything. He also commented it was a good year to be in the cow business. Welcoming Hirsch to the Rotary Club are Rotary President Kelly Driskell and Rotarian John Trent.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0005.JPG Hydrating first responders

    First responders were invited Wednesday to the Athens Brookshire’s grocery to celebrate a promotion formulated by the store.  When customers purchase five 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, they will receive 200 points. Customers are encouraged to donate the Gatorade to first responders. The promotion will last one month. Shown, from left, are Brookshire’s Store Manager Charles Beasley, Athens Police Department Patrolman Wesley Hoover, APD Cpl. Billy Westover, APD Assistant Chief Rodney Williams, APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins, APD Patrolman Taylor Chancellor, APD Sgt. Eddie Smith, APD Chief Buddy Hill, Athens Fire Department Firefighter Brian Davis, AFD Firefighter Aaron Munn and AFD Firefighter Payton Lambe.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif HC fine-tuning application to get CETZ funds

    It’s been three months since Henderson County got word that money has been allocated from the Texas Department of Transportation in the form of a County Energy Transportation Zone grant, but Commissioners Court is still fine-tuning its application to get the funds.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Twitter Updates