In Memoriam: Ira Holland (1939-2004)

On March 16, 2004, Ira Holland died in his own home with his own personal assistants around him. Ira is survived by his family of friends that includes Maria A. Manrique, a person who played a significant role in his life for more than 20 years; Ed Litcher, who became more of a brother than a friend; Margo and John, friends who shared the 1960s and the years beyond; Michael, who gave good counsel, even when he didn’t listen; his personal assistants – Ibeth, Susana, Tamara – and many others; each member of his family that he was close to; and all of the physicians, associates, and fellow disabled people with whom he worked. As a colleague and friend wrote upon hearing the news, “We are all a little more alone now.”

Ed Litcher said, “The lessons we can draw from Ira’s life will depend upon the parts we see. He was a disabled man living and loving in the community. He was an advocate who cared about the independence and empowerment of people with disabilities. He was a friend, a neighbor, and a mentor to many, but I think that the basic lesson we can all draw from his life is that life is to be lived. Find your path and attack. As Ira himself said, ‘All things are possible.’ ”

Ira bequethed $15,000 to IVUN “solely to disseminate information about portable ventilators.”

Connect here to read more about Ira’s life, as told by Ira himself. (pdf)