Holman Enterprises’ chairman emeritus, 2nd generation of family owners, dies at 93

Holman Enterprises, the automotive services group that represents one of New Jersey’s largest employers, announced that Chairman Emeritus Joseph S. Holman has died at age 93.

Holman was the second generation to lead the family-owned business, which was founded by his father, Steward C. Holman. His daughter, Mindy Holman, now serves as chairman of the board.

“Joe” Holman, who died Dec. 12, joined what would become Mount Laurel-based Holman Enterprises in July 1950, and oversaw its growth from a single Ford dealership in Maple Shade into a business with seven units and nearly 7,000 employees.

“My father lived a vibrant, extraordinary life, embracing and enjoying each day to its fullest for more than 93 years,” Mindy Holman said in a prepared statement. “He will be deeply missed by many, but his spirit will endure through the indelible stories and memories he leaves behind in all of us. My family and I have been incredibly blessed to work alongside my father for so many years as he taught us about the privilege and responsibility of stewarding a family business.”

Holman, a 1950 graduate of Princeton University, was married to the former Jean Preston Polk for 59 years. They had three children, including sons Jeff and Steve, in addition to Mindy Holman.

“Words cannot begin to express our collective sadness for the passing of Mr. Holman,” Holman Enterprises CEO Carl Ortell said in a statement. “He truly embodied the core values that have guided our company for 95 years, and his memory will continue to inspire the entire organization.”

Holman Automotive includes 36 dealership franchises representing 17 brands; as well as auto finance company Steward Financial Services; commercial and consumer insurance firm Holman Insurance Services; powertrain parts distributor Holman Parts Distribution; truck upfitting business Auto Truck Group; fleet leasing and management business ARI; and venture capital team Holman Strategic Ventures.