Cover photo for David L. Holke's Obituary
David L. Holke Profile Photo
1944 David Holke 2024

David L. Holke

July 26, 1944 — April 6, 2024

Woodstock, CT

WOODSTOCK, CT – David Lloyd Holke, 79, of Woodstock, Connecticut, passed away suddenly on Saturday, April 6, 2024, with his wife Judy by his side. He died as he lived, proving incredible strength, love, and determination.

Born on July 26, 1944, in Webster, Massachusetts, David was adored by his parents, Adolf & Alice Holke. While not a religious man, David proudly served as an altar boy throughout his youth. Upon graduating from Bartlett High School, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he would serve four years working primarily as a hydraulic specialist. Thereafter, he would take a job as a truck driver that inherently laid the groundwork for a lifelong career in buying, selling, and playing with construction equipment. Through hard work, and determination, David would go on to found, own, and operate Thompson Tractor; a company that is revered in the world of big rigs and construction equipment specializing in Caterpillar, Hertz, and John Deere to name but a few.

David had an explosive, go big or go home personality. He loved to push the limit; as a bodybuilder, pyrotechnic engineer, outdoorsman. A lover of adrenaline and fast cars, you always knew when Holkie was near, you could hear the revving of his hotrod a mile away. Street racing, drag racing, ice racing; snowmobiles, motorcycles, boats, hot rods; on the land, the snow, the ice, or the water, he was a thrill seeker who had a love of speed and appreciation for fine craftsmanship. 

David was selfless; he had the most generous, giving heart. He was loyal and dedicated to always doing the right thing and putting the needs of others before his own. If you called, he would always answer. “Okay.” “Whatever you need.” No matter the ask, he was there to make it happen.

As life came full-circle, becoming a father was a job David treasured second to none. The birth of his two beautiful daughters brought him a joy and inner peace that only a parent could understand. He showered them with love and affection never sheltering them from his electric life. With the birth of each grandson, you could see David’s heart expand a little more. He had a yearning to share his love of tractors, excavators, and boyhood pranks with them. Nothing made him smile bigger, or those big blue eyes sparkle more, than spending time with his legacy.

In his twilight, David took time to slow down and take pleasure in the simpler moments; like reading a good book on the porch. Saturday morning meet-ups with the Breakfast Club at Bill’s Diner in Putnam. Sunday rituals with his wife that began at the Vanilla Bean followed by a long scenic drive across New England, up and down the East coast, lunching at cozy eateries. David loved to drive. He looked forward to spending time with his grandsons every September at the Woodstock Fair. He treasured each holiday reveling in the pure joy and love surrounded by his family. He was a simple man at heart who enjoyed nothing more than a home cooked meal; especially BBQ chicken and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

Retirement was never an option for David. He was a working mans man. A man of true character who vowed to work till the end. And he did. Right up until his final moments, David was manicuring his picturesque 35-acre farm, the final feather in his cap. A property that he resurrected from a 60-year slumber. He re-shaped every inch of this stunning hillside clearing out decades of overgrown brush to reveal lush green fields, precariously determining the placement of each historic stone on its walls, bringing a murky pond back to life, and adding rustic dirt roads to ensure another 60 years of pristine country awe.

Loving him always, he leaves his wife, and partner of 27 years, Judy Holke; his daughter Mia Holke Longo, son-in-law Jon Longo, grandsons Dax and Chase Longo; daughter Misty L. Holke and grandson David Bearett Holke; stepson Alec Lopez, wife Sherri, grandson Rafe, and stepson Andres Lopez; brothers Daniel and Jay Duteau, and sister, Rachel Koebke-Gallant. 

David Holke was larger-than-life; a one-of-a-kind, original, irreplaceable man, son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and mentor to so many. Our hero who always had the coolest toys, the coolest stories, and the greatest adoration from all who knew him. He will be missed in every moment and forever carried in our hearts.

Please join us in celebrating the life of this great man at Paradis-Givner Funeral Home, 357 Main Street, Oxford, MA, on Friday, April 26, 2024. Calling hours are 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, followed by a service at 6:00 pm. In loving memory of David, and the organizations he supported, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David L. Holke, please visit our flower store.
In memory of David L. Holke, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Friday, April 26, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Paradis-Givner Funeral Home

357 Main St, Oxford, MA 01540

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Friday, April 26, 2024

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Paradis-Givner Funeral Home

357 Main St, Oxford, MA 01540

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 1936

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree