October 25, 1947 ~ January 5, 2022
Good Morning. If you’re reading this, you need to know I’ve moved on and have been ready to do so for quite a while now. Praise be to God, my Lord and Savior has called me home
So, here’s everything you need to know about me – no worries… there won’t be a multiple choice test at the end.
On October 25, 1947, I was born in Pottsville, PA as Harold Raymond Holzer, son of my precious and loving parents, the late Naomi “Nonny” Holzer and Harold “Mickey” Holzer. I graduated from Pottsville High School in 1965 and from Kutztown State College in 1969, with a Bachelor’s degree in math education. I assumed the nickname “Hal”, while obtaining my Master’s degree in Theater, from Villanova in 1975. At that time, I was teaching math at Spring-Ford Middle School, where I taught from 1969 to 2003 and was also the drum & color guard instructor, play director, and briefly editor of the school paper. I also taught part-time at Montgomery County Community College, from 1977 to 2008.
I am survived by my brother Bob and his wife Kim, of Port Carbon, PA, by my niece Jennifer Stamm and her son Gage. I am also survived by my cousins Beverly Munz and Kathleen Piccioni and their families, by Kim’s son Scott and his family, by my beloved cat Gucci, and by decades of cherished and treasured friendships, who brought so much love and support to my life. But none more than my lifelong best friend, Marty Johnson, with whom I shared a stage and math classes, as far back as 1965, at Kutztown State College. Together, as friends, we tackled the challenges of being gay in a straight world.
I always felt incredibly blessed to have had two careers, teaching and a theater avocation, each bringing me great immeasurable joy and allowed me to give back to the communities where I lived. It is decades overdue to finally thank some teachers who shaped my life, especially theses three inspirational math teachers, Miss Discavage, Mr. Bill Flynn, and Mr. Benjamin Liddle. To have all this and a vibrant spiritual life, currently guided by the wise and compassionate Dave Hakes, Pastor of Daybreak Community Church, is almost an embarrassment of riches. It is at Daybreak Community Church that I also played drums and sang with the church’s praise team for 14 years.
My other passions, were disco, country-line and tap dancing, marching bands, being a member of the Reading Buccaneers drum and bugle corps, band front rifle and flag instruction, drumming, aerobics, travel, and days at the beach. My highest profile activity was community and school theater. At my beloved Forge Theater, of Phoenixville, I was involved in over 100 productions as an actor, director, musician, set designer, and board member. Professionally, as a member of the Screen Actors Guild, I had several minor roles on TV and film, but most noteworthy was directing an East Coast touring company of Into the Woods, starring Jo Anne Worley and working with Alec Baldwin on an actor’s workshop production of Inherit the Wind. My artistic efforts were often rewarded as best production and best director at Forge Theater, the Barley Sheaf Players and the Bucks County Playhouse school theater festival.
None of this would have been possible without the impossibly wonderful gifts from my God of family, friends, talents, opportunities, and the ability to be vulnerable, compassionate, giving, devoted, and authentically appreciative of all those treasures. No gift so important as family and especially none more important than my Brother, Bob. Together we have always been there for each other and for our loving parents, in their waning days. He’s been with me on every step of my journey, since my August 2018 cancer and stroke diagnosis. He and I talked every night, ending each call in prayer, especially with The Lord’s Prayer. Bob always called me his Hero…. I called him my Rock. I believe in my heart of hearts there is no better Brother – may he have a long and healthy life and many years to enjoy his loving family.
Well, it is time to sign off… On to bigger and better things with my God… and a wonderful family reunion that awaits. So, until we meet again.
A Celebration of Hal’s Life is being planned and will be held at the Forge Theater in Phoenixville, PA. Details will be announced when these plans have been finalized.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Hal may be made to the Forge Theatre, P.O. Box 474, Phoenixville, PA 19460 or to the American Cancer Society - (PA) Philadelphia, P.O. Box 30386, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or www.cancer.org
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