Gary Ralph Holste

February 1, 1936 ~ September 20, 2021 (age 85)


Gary Ralph Holste, (85) of Waynesboro, Virginia, passed into eternal life on September 20th, 2021. Gary was born February 1, 1936, in Ogden, Utah to the late the late Olga Elizabeth Holste Smith and Ralph Charles Smith. After the passing of his mother on the day of his birth, Gary was raised by his aunt and uncle, the late Mildred (mom) and Earnest (dad) Holste.

Gary graduated from Fort Collins High School in Colorado where he enjoyed mathematics, music, and drama. Gary enlisted in the Army upon receiving a perfect score on the military entrance exam.  At the completion of basic training at Fort Ord, California, Gary attended electronics school at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. After training, Gary was assigned to work on the maintenance and radar equipment at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. It was there that Gary met and married his first wife, Barbara Ann Headrick. Gary and Barbara enjoyed being active together in their church while raising their young family.

At Redstone Arsenal, Gary worked on the team who designed the inertial guidance systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles. With the advent of the space program Gary relocated to Cape Canaveral to work on NASA’s Mercury and Gemini guidance systems programs.

Gary was transferred back to Huntsville, Alabama where he was part of a seven-member crew who designed, contracted out, installed, and maintained a launch control center. Gary’s career eventually brought him first to Phoenix, Arizona and ultimately to Waynesboro, Virginia where he worked in management as a computer programming engineer.

Gary and Judy Trimble Higginbotham were married on October 1, 1983. Together, the couple enjoyed their community. They were active members, for many years, at First Baptist Church of Waynesboro. Gary served faithfully through the years as an R.A. leader, deacon, choir member, choir director and Sunday school teacher. Gary also enjoyed golfing and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Gary and Judy spent several years travelling in Europe and throughout the U.S.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Norman Holste; his first wife, Barbara Holste and his son, Rusty Holste.

Gary is survived by his wife, Judy Holste, and sons, Scott Holste (Janie), Doug Holste (Shelby), Jon Higginbotham and Jaime Higginbotham (Rhea). Gary was blessed with several grandchildren, William Holste (Mary), Jon Holste (Katie), Josh Higginbotham, Taylor Cantrell (Michael), Jeff Holste (Ivonne), Jill Holste and Reese Holste. His great grandchildren, Peter, Jeromy, Sebastian and Geneva will all miss their Pa. Gary was loved dearly and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

The family wishes to extend a thank you to the Augusta Health Hospice of the Shenandoah for their care and loving support. With a special thank you to Kim Lowry, Cindy Powell, Mary Scott Miller, and Tom Berkeley.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials contributions be made to First Baptist Church, 301 South Wayne Avenue, Waynesboro, VA 22980, the Hospice of the Shenandoah, c/o Augusta Health Foundation, PO Box 1000, Fishersville, VA 22939,; The Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave. Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601,  or you may consider planting  a tree in Gary’s memory through the Memorial Tree Program found with his obituary on the Charlton and Groome website.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021 at First Baptist Church of Waynesboro, located at 301 South Wayne Ave., Waynesboro, Va. 22980, conducted by Rev. Barrett Owen, Senior Pastor. The family will receive friends following the service.

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The family is being served by Charlton and Groome Funeral Home, Fishersville.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary Ralph Holste, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
October 2, 2021

1:00 PM
First Baptist Church of Waynesboro


Hospice of the Shenandoah C/O Augusta Health Foundation
P. O. Box 1000, Fishersville VA 22939

Alzheimers Association

Plant a tree in Gary's memory

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