Lifetime Six Mile resident makes lasting impression

By Nikki Rutledge
For The Courier

SIX MILE — A remembrance ceremony for lifelong Six Mile resident Bill Holder was held on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Holder lived 98 years and two days. He and his wife, Ruby, had six children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grand-children.

Holder spent all of his 98 years in Six Mile, repairing local residents’ appliances, well-pumps, water heaters, plumbing problems and electrical issues.

It was a well-known fact throughout the town that Holder considered Six Mile the center of the world and the only place he ever wanted to live.

According to his family, he was the kind of man who never met a stranger and was always willing to help someone in need.

Often, he would get no monetary payment for his handyman services, instead, being paid in buckets of apples, jars of preserves, loads of corn or some other type of homemade or homegrown goodie for his family.

His children can recall complete strangers bringing massive amounts of food to their home to show their appreciation for Holder’s help during their time of need.

In the early 1960s, during a time when Lake Issaqueena was being drained, Holder retrieved two WWII practice bombs and refurbished them into light posts that he and his wife proudly displayed in front of their home on Old Seneca Road in Six Mile.

There were several newspaper and magazine articles about his discovery, and he got many questions from passing motorists about the bombs-turned-light-fixtures.

During the remembrance ceremony, hosted by the Holder Family at the Roper Building in downtown Six Mile, family members presented the bombs, now turned into a unique sculpture, for donation to the Oconee Veterans Museum.

Dozens of Six Mile residents showed up for the ceremony, including the town’s mayor, Roy Stoddard, and town councilman James Atkinson. Several members of the Holder family spoke about their fondest memories of Holder, often pulling tears from some in attendance.

Holder and his wife have left a mark on the town of Six Mile that will stick, truly embodying what it means to be a “good neighbor.”