|Birth: ||Oct. 20, 1948|
|Death: ||Feb. 27, 2009|
Besides being upset to find that a good soul who used to be a good friend had died, I was really irkked his obituary kept calling him "Mr. Holderman". He was Dr. Holderman, and proud of it, thank you very much.
I met Doc Holderman back when I worked as a medical recruiter, usually finding medical specialists for unusual jobs, though the one I had open that he applied for was rather mundane, just a hospital-based family practice. I liked the way he handled himself on the phone, very warm and witty. Then he came in for the screening interview, and I adored him. Oh yeah, he was a definite "send out" - meaning he presented himself well, and the client would be likely to like him. He was gorgeous - twinkly eyes with thick dark lashes, a mustache above a gleaming smile, busy eyebrows, and a stunning laugh that bordered on diabolical. Oh, and a great suit, sharp shoes, and a tie that said a lot about how much he was willing to spend to look good. And a tasteful gold gentleman's bracelet, and ring. I would have been proud to send him out on interviews, heck, I'd have been proud to go out with him myself, though girls were not his cup of tea, so to speak.
He didn't get the job I sent him out on... they were really looking for a bland, solid kind of doctor, one who didn't want the complications of his own practice, and who wanted to work just 40 hours a week. "Bland" and "solid" aren't words you'd use near Doc Holderman's name. He was cute, smart, flighty, flamboyant and fun. So he didn't get the job, who cares? We became good friends instead.
I can remember him taking me out to this nifty restaurant "Crier in the Country" where we sat in the screened in patio and he insisted I try the ratatouille. "Rah-tah-too-ey?" I asked, "What's that?" and he said "Just trust me" and I did, and it was wonderful.
I can remember long days leading into nights at his place where we'd just talk and talk and drink and drink and have a lot of fun. He was wicked and bitchy and insightful. His breezy ways belied the deep thinker underneath. We spent considerable time interacting with his dogs who were all as quirky as he was. I especially remember tiny Anna, whose name was pronounced with a soft "a" as in "AH-na". A beautiful, velvety dog, a miniature Italian Greyhound, she was like a little deer, shy and quivering. She'd run twitteringly fast and stop hesitantly, often standing with one paw raised as though unsure where she would set it down next. He would watch her with a fond smile, and call her "Ah-na, de Italin Gayhound".
Unlike most docs, he had decided on medicine later in his life. Though an intelligent man, between his age and lack of flashy education, he would have had a hard time being accepted into a traditional American medical school, so he ended up going to one in Tampico, Mexico, Universidad C.E.T.E.C.. A lot of fine doctors are foreign-educated, and as a recruiter I hated that many people and institutions that I found professionals for had "professional prejudice" against them. But I digress.
Oh, the stories he had of his Mexico training years, many, all funny, some shocking. I don't think he ever overtly announced his sexual preference, but all you had to do was pay attention; he couldn't have been any clearer. He had no idea how other cultures might respond to him, didn't think about it, just was his beautiful, flaming self. The medical school had strongly advised students not to go out to native clubs, explaining some Mexicans disliked Americans, others assumed they were all wealthy and tried to rob them. He told me about having had a bit too much to drink one night in his dorm with friends, and then they'd gone out. He went into a local bar while they felt uncomfortable and waited outside near the door. He sashayed in, ordered his drink, got into the music and started talking body language while some of the men glared at him and a few rolled up their sleeves. Oblivious, he waved to his waiting pals, trilling grandly, "Oh, come on in, they're friendly!" Fortunately, his friends hustled him out of there, and from this delusional night he gained his wonderful old school nickname, "The Empress of Tampico".
One of the best compliments I ever got came from Doc Holderman's lips. I'd gotten a new car, and was excited and proud of it, and he told me to come down and visit him. I did, and I remember I was wearing a pink and white almond-necked dress, with a silver chain belt around the waist, white Candies slides shoes and white-rimmed sunglasses. He met me on the lawn with a drink in his hand, smiling, and he sucked in his breath, sighing "You look so good getting out of a white car."
Michael Hunter Holderman, M.D., 60, of Bellefonte, died Feb. 27 in Havertown.
Mr. Holderman was born in Bellefonte to the late Theodore W. and Vivian Hunter Holderman.
He was a 1966 graduate of Bellefonte High School and a 1970 graduate of Lock Haven University. He was a master teacher at the Steuben County Association for mentally-handicapped children in Corning, N.Y. from 1971-1978.
Mr. Holderman returned to college and entered medical school, graduating in 1982. Following his residency at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, he went into private practice in Havertown, which he left in 2000 due to illness.
Mr. Holderman loved people, his rose garden and animals, especially his dogs. When living in New York, he owned and showed Borzois. At the time of his death, he owned and showed Whippets. Mr. Holderman also shared his life with three parrots and the koi fish in his pond.
Mr. Holderman enjoyed his life and had a great number of friends. He will be missed for his kindness, quick wit, good looks and memorable laugh.
Survivors: Brothers, Steven Holderman of Bellefonte, James Bellefonte of Boalsburg; a nephew, several aunts and cousins.
Service: 2:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Hope United Methodist Church, 1108 Steel Road, Havertown.
Donations: In Mr. Holderman's name to a charity involving gardens or animals of the donor's choice.
Arrangements: Logan Funeral Home, Havertown.
Theodore William Holderman (1924 - 2005)
Vivian Blanche Hunter Holderman (1925 - 1997)
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Mar 19, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67134243
Added: Apr. 29, 2015
Michael, I decided to look for you after all these years and was so sorry to find you had passed on. I have always had fond memories of you and our high school days. I learned a lot from you and I was a pretty na´ve kid back then. All I can say at this...(Read more)|
Added: Feb. 4, 2015
Remembering Dr. Michael Hunter Holderman...|
Added: Feb. 26, 2014
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