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Peter A. Holland

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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Peter by adding your memories and photos.


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Memories & Candles

“My sincere condolences to Rick and family. May your memories give you comfort during this difficult time. Heaven certainly received another Angel. ”
1 of 5 | Posted by: Maria Montanez

“Peter. We shared many magic moments together as freshman and Varsity Coaches. Also those moments off the water at IRA time or pre race evenings. Your...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Bill Sanford - Liverpool, NY

“I'm terribly sorry for your loss. Reading the many accomplishments Peter had during his journey made me understand just how amazing a person he is....Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Thomas Carrazzo - North Scituate, RI

“I'm so sorry about your dad. ”
4 of 5 | Posted by: Joanne Thurber - Dudley, MA

“Rick, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. ”
5 of 5 | Posted by: Malcolm Lovett - FL

As a longtime collegiate rowing coach, Pete Holland's advice was simple: 'Pull hard and you will go fast.' His passion for the sport afforded him a long, successful and rewarding coaching career that he never regarded as "work."

Peter died at his home at the Southgate Retirement Community in Shrewsbury on Monday, September 9, 2019. He was 82.

Born on February 27, 1937 in Boston, he was a graduate of Middlesex School in Concord where he first began rowing. He was raised in Weston and after earning a Bachelor's degree in History from Dartmouth and completing the ROTC program, Pete served in the United States Army during the Cuban missile crisis. He married Marjorie Lynn in February of 1961, and by 1965 had finished a master's degree program in history from Wesleyan University.

From 1969 until 1988, Pete lived in Lincoln, MA, then moved to Harwich, MA, before settling in Shrewsbury, MA over the past decade.

A 1960 graduate of Dartmouth College, Pete began his coaching career at Salisbury School in Salisbury, CT. He then returned to his alma mater at Dartmouth to coach the Freshmen heavyweight crew from 1966 until 1969. From 1969 to 1996, Pete was a central figure in the MIT crew program, spending time coaching varsity heavyweight and lightweight crews. He also coached at the U.S. National Team level, serving as an assistant coach in the late 1970's. Pete's 1975 MIT second varsity heavyweight 8 won its event at the prestigious Intercollegiate Rowing Association regatta, and his varsity heavyweight 8 earned a silver medal in its event – both performances still stand as the best ever finishes for MIT heavyweight 8's at the annual "IRA" regatta.

Pete was honored at the Museum of Science on October 19, 1996 at a well-deserved MIT retirement party. He then completed his career serving as a volunteer coach for several years at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

A history major in college, he earned his master's degree in history from Wesleyan college, with the thought that if he couldn't make a living as a rowing coach, he'd become a history teacher. He was particularly drawn to the figures and battles of the Civil War era. He was also an avid follower of politics and often engaged in lively discussions on a variety of topics. A lifelong fan of New England sports teams, Pete had special affection for the Red Sox and Patriots and listened religiously to the games of both on the radio. He also loved rock and roll artists from the British Invasion, especially "The Beatles".

In addition to his wife, Marjorie he is predeceased by his sons, David P. and Matthew S. Holland.

He leaves his sons, Richard M. Holland of Medway and Timothy L. Holland of Northborough; his daughter-in-law Alison W. Holland of Medway; his grandchildren, James L., M. Tucker, Madison R. and Aimee M. Holland; nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember Peter's life by gathering on Thursday, September 19th in The First Parish Church of Weston, 349 Boston Post Road, Weston where his Memorial Service will be held at 3 p.m. Rev. Jeff Barz-Snell will officiate. Burial in Lincoln Cemetery is private. There are no calling hours.

Memorial donations may be made to the Friends of the MIT Crew - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 600 Memorial Drive, W98-200, Cambridge, MA 02139-4822 or

Upcoming Funeral Services

Thursday, September 19
3:00 PM    3853862 3950506 20190919T150000

First Parish Church in Weston

349 Boston Post Road Weston, MA 02493
(781) 893-7798

Thursday, September 19
4:00 PM    3853863 3950507 20190919T160000

First Parish Church in Weston

349 Boston Post Road Weston, MA 02493
(781) 893-7798