In Memoriam: Rick Holden, San Jose Community and Arts Advocate

San Jose has lost a beloved advocate for arts, education and community, with the passing of Rick Holden.

The retired executive director of the San Jose Leadership Council died today, his family reported.

The late Rick Holden, San Jose community leader.

A strong advocate for music, the arts and education, Holden was very involved with a variety of community organizations. He facilitated Community Leadership San Jose, an adult leadership program that encouraged community involvement.

He created and facilitated the San Jose Leadership Academy for high school juniors, which was operated with the support of the San Jose Unified School District.

As a teacher, Holden was president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2390. He was a member of the San Jose Jazz Society Board for 14 years and served as board president for eight years.

He served on the boards of the Belle Foundation and We Players and was on the San Jose Arts Commission from 2008-2015, which he served as chair for three years. He also was chair of the Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose Board of Directors.

Holden is survived by his wife, Sandra Moll, one son and two grandsons. He enjoyed spending time working on their koi pond and garden, which have been featured in several publications.


  1. With Rick’s passing we have lost both a giant and a mensch. In addition to supporting We Players, he also was a major supporter of City Lights Theater Company; two of the most innovative and creative theater companies in the Bay Area. Naglee Park has lost an icon too soon and he will be sorely missed.

  2. Rick & I shared the same exercise space for several years, which encompassed the peak pandemic period. His insightful perspectives and commendable life experiences impacted me in ways that opened my awareness and provided many humorous non sequiturs. Rick was a teacher at heart and will be missed by those he connected with and touched. My condolences to Sandy and family.

  3. I too shared his exercise space for several yearsand came to know the kind hearted person that he was. Always a postivie and humerous disposition. He will truely be missed! RIP Rick and sending my condolences to his wife and family.

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