Frank Brown Holding, 89, passed away on Saturday, May 26th.
Frank was born on Dec. 7, 1928, in Smithfield, NC, the son of Robert Powell Holding and Margaret Brown Holding. He graduated from the Darlington School in Rome, GA, and Wake Forest College.
Frank served in the U.S. Coast Guard before joining First Citizens Bank in 1956. During his 58-year First Citizens career, he served in executive management and on the company board from 1962 until his 2014 retirement. Throughout his career, he made deep and continuing contributions not only to First Citizens, but also to the banking industry in the Southeast and even nationwide. The North Carolina Bankers Association inducted him into the North Carolina Banking Hall of Fame in 2013.
At the age of 36, he led the acquisition of the Anderson Bank of Dillon, SC, which would later become First Citizens Bank and Trust Company, Inc. of South Carolina, growing that organization from a single bank to 185 branches across South Carolina and Georgia. His work in that bank and the positive impact he made across the state of South Carolina were recognized when he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto in 2003, the highest civilian honor in the State of South Carolina.
While he took great pride in his work in South Carolina, his roots ran deep in North Carolina. He was heavily involved in the Southern Bank of Mount Olive, NC, and was particularly proud of its growth and its impact in the communities it serves.
Over three decades of service as a Johnston County commissioner, he was instrumental in recruiting industry to the area and driving economic growth across the region.
As a philanthropist, there were no projects too small or too large to capture his imagination. He served as a member of the boards of the North Carolina Global TransPark Foundation, the North Carolina Community Foundation, the Golden LEAF Foundation and the North Carolina State Ports Authority. He was passionate about educational institutions that prepared North Carolinians to lead productive lives and served on the Board of Trustees at Campbell University. He received honorary degrees from Campbell University and Chowan University and an Outstanding Alumnus honor (2002) and honorary law degree (2009) from Wake Forest University.
While a banker by trade, he was a farmer at heart and spent joyful hours clearing trails, burning brush and riding his favorite horse, William, on his farm in Johnston County. His formative years were shaped by his days at the Smithfield Mule Company Barn where he made many friends and learned “horse-trading” and character judgment. He could be found most weekends driving his white pickup truck checking on crops or working on various projects to improve the land.
Mr. Holding is survived by his wife, Ella Ann Lee Holding; son, Frank (Ruth E) Holding, Jr.; daughters, Hope Holding (John) Bryant, Olivia Holding, Claire Holding (Peter) Bristow, and Carson Holding (Bryan) Brice; as well as 12 grandchildren, Brown Holding, Snow Holding, Perry Holding (James) Bailey, Collier Connell, John Patrick (JP) Connell, Elliot Connell, Charlotte Bristow, Peter Bristow, Jr., Ella Bristow, Stephen Brice, Minta Brice and Cordelia Brice. He was predeceased by his brothers, Robert P. Holding, Jr. and Lewis R. (Snow) Holding.
A visitation will be held at First Citizens Bank, 409 E. Market St., Smithfield, NC from 5:30 – 7:30 PMon Thursday, May 31.
There will be a memorial service at 2:00 PM on Friday, June 1, at Centenary United Methodist Church, 140 E. Market St., Smithfield, NC, with Dr. Jerry Wallace presiding. The family will receive friends following the service in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Johnston County Fund at the North Carolina Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Ave., Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612, Campbell University, 143 Main Street, Buies Creek, NC 27506 or a charity of choice.