Cover photo for Haywood  Dail Holderness, Jr. 's Obituary
Haywood  Dail Holderness, Jr.  Profile Photo
1939 Haywood 2022

Haywood Dail Holderness, Jr.

December 28, 1939 — June 18, 2022

Haywood Holderness of Durham, NC passed away at the Rosewood Health Center in Raleigh.  His heart belonged to his wife, his family, the city of Durham, and an old beach cabin named Casablanca.

Haywood was born December 28, 1939, to Dail and Nancy Holderness.  He graduated from Woodberry Forest High School in 1958, earned his B.A. degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1962 and received his B.D. from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA in 1969.  Between 1962 and 1965, Haywood served in the USA Army Communications Intelligence as a Spanish interpreter during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was stationed near Miami.  In 1968, Haywood married Mary Thompson Dameron of Marion, NC and loved her until his death.  He served as pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Mobile, Alabama from 1969 to 1973.  Haywood was the Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Durham for 33 years starting in 1974, and an adjunct faculty member at Duke Divinity School for over 20 years starting in 1984.  After retirement from Westminster, Haywood served as interim pastor of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church in Wake Forest and White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh.

Haywood was a founder of Urban Ministries of Durham.  As a Board member of Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, Haywood created the Breaking Bread capital campaign that raised 6 million dollars, then opened Food Bank branches in Durham and Greenville.

He was the recipient of several awards and honors such as: Durham Herald Father of the Year, Governors Special Volunteer Award, Durham Chamber or Commerce Leadership Award, Edna Spaulding Community Service Award, Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award, Durham Habitat for Humanity Founders Award, Durham Congregations in Action Servant Award, NC Maritime Museum Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, Community Leadership Award in the field of Religion by the local Islamic Mosque Masjid Ar-Razzaq, Durham Rotary Club Outstanding Community Service of a Non-Rotarian, Durham NAACP Person of the Year, and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.  In 2019, Durham Congregations in Action established the Haywood Holderness Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service leadership in Durham.

Haywood was an avid fisherman, spending much of his spare time at Cape Lookout National Seashore with friends and family.  He was a life-long North Carolina Tar Heel basketball fan, and a devoted husband.  He had an infectious laugh that lit up any room, and an atrocious singing voice, which didn’t keep him from belting out every hymn at the top of his lungs.  He loved his church congregation like they were his family. 

Survivors include his wife, Mary, his sons, Penn Holderness (Kim) and Dail Holderness (Laurie) his brother, Rusty Holderness his sisters, Nancy Reams and Zelle Jester, several nieces and nephews and his grandchildren, Lola, Ella, Penn Charles and Cade.

Haywood was preceded in death by his parents and brother, James Braswell Holderness. 

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held 2:00 PM, Saturday June 25, 2022, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Durham. It can also be Live Streamed at  by clicking on “Live Stream”.

Memorial contributions can be made to any of the charities he served mentioned above.

The Holderness family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service. Online condolences:; Select Obituaries 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Haywood Dail Holderness, Jr. , please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Westminster Presbyterian Church

3639 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707

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