Alan S. Holliday, 89, who helped to pioneer the use of computer technology in the printing industry and who built a small local typesetting shop into an industry-leading company in Ephrata, passed away at The Glen at Willow Valley on January 8, 2010. He was born December 23, 1920 at Thornaby-on-Tees, Yorkshire, England to the late Reverend William S. and Edna Brack Holliday. He and his wife, the former Adeline Curnow, celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary last July 26.
Mr. Holliday came to the United States in 1924 and was raised in northeastern Pennsylvania. He graduated from Taylor, PA High School in 1939 and attended Millersville State Teachers College where he majored in Industrial Arts. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1942 and was drafted into the United States Army the same year. During World War II he saw action in France and Germany with the Third Army. He was honorably discharged in 1945 with the rank of Technical Sergeant.
He began his career in the printing industry with the Montrose Publishing Company as a hand compositor and printing press operator. He left Montrose several years later and joined the Hughes Corporation, a multi-plant Pennsylvania-based publication printing company. He rose through the ranks quickly and in 1958 was assigned the task of managing a small typesetting firm, Science Press, Inc., located on West End Avenue in Lancaster that had been acquired by the Hughes interests. Under his leadership the company grew steadily and in 1960 moved to Ephrata. The firm specialized in the typesetting of complex mathematical formulae as well as complex tabular matter for textbooks and scholarly journals. It was also one of the first companies to utilize computers to produce directories and daily stock reports for Standard & Poor’s Corporation. At his retirement in 1984, the firm had grown from a small shop to a company employing 400 workers.
His contributions to the printing industry include service as president of the Lehigh Valley Club of Printing House Craftsmen, president of the Graphic Arts Association of the Delaware Valley, President of the Research & Engineering Council of the Graphic Arts Industry, President of the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen, Chairman of the National Association of Printers and Lithographers and board member of the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation.
Mr. Holliday received many industry awards and honors throughout his career. He was a recipient of the Elmer G. Voigt Award for exemplary service in the field of Graphic Arts Education. In 1983 he received the Soderstrom Award, presented by the National Association of Printers and Lithographers, for his significant contributions to the printing industry. He was also a member of the Ben Franklin Honor Society of Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation.
Mr. Holliday was active in the Lancaster community having served as president of the Lancaster Family YMCA, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cornwall Manor Retirement Community, Chairman of the Boehm’s Chapel Society and president of the Millersville University Foundation. He also served as president of the Pennsylvania State YMCA and was a member of the National Council of YMCA’s.
A member of First United Methodist Church of Lancaster for 50 years, he served as Lay Leader, District Lay Leader and Chairman of the Administrative Board.
Mr. Holliday enjoyed playing golf and was a member of Meadia Heights Golf Club and Conestoga Country Club. He was a life member of the Hamilton Club of Lancaster. He was an avid stamp and coin collector and enjoyed world travel. He especially enjoyed returning to England to visit his extended family. Those who knew him well will miss his impish smile, dry sense of humor and capacity for story telling and reciting poetry.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son William S. and his wife Nan of Lancaster; a daughter, Barbara Holliday Cioffi and her husband Mick of Williamsport, PA; four grandsons, Christopher, Paul, and Glenn (Victoria) Holliday, of Lancaster, and Michael Cioffi (Sarah) of Woodbridge VA; a granddaughter, Meredith C. Wenz (Keith) and a great-granddaughter, Avery J. Wenz, all of Marietta; a brother John C. Holliday of Waldoboro, Maine; and a sister Joan E. Bailey of Pittston. He was preceded in death by a sister and four brothers.
A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, corner of Duke and Walnut Sts., Lancaster, PA on Friday, January 15th at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Dr. Kent E. Kroehler officiating. Inurnment in Conestoga Memorial Park. Friends may call at the First United Methodist Church on Friday, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers please send contributions in his memory to Hospice of Lancaster County, 685 Good Dr., P.O Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125, or Memorial Fund of First United Methodist Church, 29 E. Walnut St., Lancaster, PA, 17602.
The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff of the Glen at Willow Valley and to the caregivers from Hospice of Lancaster County. Your caring support through this difficult time was a blessing to him and to the family.