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Jan. 15, 1926 – Oct. 10, 2013

Duane Holder, a co-founder of laundry and dry cleaning chains and one of the city’s first hemodialysis technicians, died at home Thursday after a long illness. He was 87.

A native of Buffalo, Mr. Holder was an Army WWII combat veteran of the occupation of Okinawa, Japan.

Mr. Holder and his late father, Alexander, and his younger surviving brother, Wilbert, formed Holder Brothers before the war, operating three locations handling dry cleaning and laundry until 1977. In 1949, the year the Buffalo Veterans Hospital opened, Mr. Holder began work there as its chief technologist in the hemodialysis unit, a job he kept until 1985.

From 1987 until 1994 he worked as supervisor of the dialysis unit at the Erie County Medical Center, a job he was actively recruited to take even though he had already gone into retirement.

A Hutch-Tech High School graduate with a lifelong passion for music and especially jazz, Mr. Holder in his younger days enjoyed attending concerts at Buffalo’s Colored Musicians Club on Broadway, seeing some of the country’s jazz greats perform there in person. He played the tuba and other horn instruments and had a jazz band that performed locally.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, the former Judith Stanchak; four daughters, Gabrielle Holder Moore, Jennifer, Lorraine Holder Medina and Jacqueline Holder Garlow; his brother, Wilbert, and two sisters, Madeline and Gwendolyn.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday in the Lombardo Funeral Home, 885 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.