76, died May 26, 2022, from complications of COVID, ending an exhausting and bravely fought battle against a multitude of recent ailments.
John was born in Covington, Kentucky, on November 17, 1945, to Greg and Bernice (Heringer) Holbrock. John graduated from St. Xavier High School and went on to Xavier University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in history and his master's degree in education.
John served in the Army Reserves and the National Guard and held jobs as a postal worker, school custodian, and long-term substitute teacher before beginning a successful career in banking. He worked at Dollar Federal for 24 years, starting as a management trainee and ending as president of the bank. When John retired from banking at age 50, he began his
career as a local real estate agent, eventually co-founding
Realty First before moving on to Combs Group Realty, managing deals even from his hospital bed in the ICU.
A lifelong Hamilton resident, John was active on a variety of civic committees. He was proud to be a founding member of Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton, helping revitalize and build communities throughout Butler County.
Those who knew John have described him as kind, generous, full of integrity, and a master in the art of disappearing. He loved traveling, reading, attending Xavier basketball games, eating peanuts by the handful, picnicking at the pool, never learning to check his voicemails, and striking up conversations with anyone and everyone. He connected with people on a personal level, never met a stranger, never forgot a name.
John was most proud of his family, especially his wife of nearly 48 years, Mary (Tann); children; and grandchildren, who will miss Papa John very much.
John was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, who died in infancy. He is survived by his wife Mary, who tirelessly devoted herself to his medical care these past five months; son Gregory (Debbie) Holbrock; daughter Emily Holbrock (Jim Kreke); grandchildren Althea, Miles, and Tessa Holbrock and Isaac and Wesley Kreke; sisters Joyce Davin and Gail Reynolds; sisters-in-law Terry Hudson, Barbara Roof, and Marsha (Steve) Sackenheim; many nieces and nephews; and a countless number of friends whom he loved as family.
The family would like to thank the medical professionals who provided care and ultimately comfort to John. Additionally, the outpouring of love and support the family has received has helped ease the burden of this journey.
In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting Neighborhood Housing Services of Hamilton, 100 S Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Hamilton, OH 45011 (phone: 513-737-9301) or Badin High School, 571 New London Rd, Hamilton, OH 45013 (phone: 513-863-3993).
There will be a celebration of John's life on Sunday, May 29, at Pohlman Lanes from 1:00 - 3:00. The funeral services will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family. Brown Dawson Flick Funeral Home is assisting the family.