A small business owner from Monticello died last Sunday, June 13, when he entered the waters of Cedar Lake to assist some swimmers near his pontoon, went under, and never reemerged.
Friends and family report that Chad Holland, just 52 years old, jumped off his pontoon because it was drifting too far away from some young swimmers. Holland, who lives on the lake and owns Holland Bobcat Services, wasn’t a strong swimmer, friends said. Still, noticing the situation, he wanted to help get the worried children closer to the boat. Reports vary on what Holland was attempting to do in the lake – either move the boat, or the children. Yet, he went under around 5:15 p.m., and never came back up.
Wright County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the lake to assist in the search, while others jumped into the lake to assist the kids and the pontoon. Other boaters on Cedar Lake, which is located southwest of Monticello, assisted in recovering Holland, who was found unresponsive in the water. Life-saving measures taken by first responders were unsuccessful.
According to an obituary, posted via Peterson Chapel:
Chad P. Holland, beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend passed away Sunday, June 13, 2021 in a tragic lake accident, doing what he loved: being outdoors, celebrating with family and friends. He was 52 years young.
Chad was born on March 26, 1969 in Princeton, MN, and grew up helping out on the farm where his love of being outside began. As the owner and operator of Holland Bobcat Services, Chad loved spending time plowing parking lots and building boulder walls. From mudding to boating to throwing bags, if it was outdoors, Chad was doing it: preferably shirtless and shoeless.
Those who knew Chad knew he was a man with a big heart, willing to do anything for those in need, stranger or friend, and he will be missed by those whose lives he touched in some way. He loved life, loved to celebrate with those around him, and loved to just be happy.
Chad’s family grew when he married the love of his life, Isabel, in February 2020. Although they found each other later in life, they made the most of their time together.
He is survived by his loving wife, Isabel; sons, Jerrid, Ethan, Arnaldo, Francisco, and David; parents, Jerry and Mary; siblings, Jade (fiancé, Greg), Josh, Jenny Dehmer (Randy); brothers and sisters-in-law in the Dominican; and numerous nephews, nieces and grandchildren.
Funeral service details are pending.