WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy chaplains gathered with family and friends to pay tribute to the life and legacy of the 21st Chief of Navy Chaplains at a memorial service at the Fort Myer Chapel aboard Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Va., Jan. 25.
Retired Rear Adm. Barry Black, chaplain of the U.S. Senate, and Capt. Gary P. Weeden, chaplain of the U.S. Coast Guard, were among the Navy chaplains present to pay their respects to Rear Adm. Byron A. Holderby, Jr. who served in the Navy Chaplain Corps from 1967-2000.
Rear Adm. Margaret G. Kibben, deputy chief of Navy Chaplains and chaplain of the Marine Corps, read from a Christian scripture passage from Psalm 30 stating, "Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning. You have turned my mourning into dancing ... You have clothed me with joy."
In her message, Kibben reflected on "many of us in ministry whom he mentored and led to appreciate the special calling to serve in the Chaplain Corps." She went on to say that "how he lived was grounded in his commitment to serve God and to allow God's love to flow through him ... to bring God's peace to countless Sailors, Marines, family members and many others."
Following the memorial service, Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, current chief of Navy Chaplains, oversaw the committal service held in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. He remarked, "Arlington National Cemetery is a national shrine and a living monument. It is a place where men and women who have served in the United States Military are laid to rest with honor, so it is fitting that a great American such as Rear Adm. Byron Holderby be interred in these hallowed grounds."
Holderby was born in Norfolk, Va. He graduated from the College of William & Mary and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and was pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Roanoke, Va.
In 1967, he became a Navy chaplain. His duty stations included Japan, Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, Fla., Guantanamo Bay, Okinawa, Wales, Hawaii, the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was named an honorary member of the class of 1957, and Washington, D.C.
He retired in 2000 as the chief of Navy Chaplains and died at the age of 77 in Pinehurst, N.C. on Aug. 24, 2012.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara Thiele; his daughters, Barbara Bostian and husband, Michael, of New Bern, N.C.; Anne Vance and husband, Robert, of Woodbridge, Va.; and six grandchildren, Matthew, Laura, and Erica Bostian, Rachel and Jenny Ryals, and Alex Vance.
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