HOLER, John - Passed away peacefully at home, comforted by his loving wife and son, on June 23, 2018 in his 83rd year.
Dearly loved husband of Marie for 46 years. Loving father of Peter and the late Johnny.
Cherished grandfather of Lailah and Lidiah.
Dear brother of Bronko (Fini) of Slovenia and Marica (Vinko) of Germany.
He will be missed by many nieces and nephews.
In the early 1950’s Mr. Holer emigrated from his native Slovenia to seek a bright future in Niagara Falls, Canada.
As a lifelong self-reliant entrepreneur, he pursued his vision with determination and passion to create a theme park where all Canadians could discover their own passion for Canada’s fascinating marine animals.
Starting in 1961 with a tiny two-acre site, two sea lions and a bear, he grew Marineland into one of the largest and respected aquarium and theme park’s in the world. Marineland now covers one-thousand acres and, among other attractions, houses the finest collection of Beluga Whales in the largest pools in the world.
Mr. Holer was always dedicated to the best interests and health of all his animals. He believed in supporting each and every animal from birth through old age remaining committed to each animal in good health and nursing them through any bad health.
Mr. Holer was a committed and active member of the Niagara Region, living next to the Park throughout his life in Canada. Through Marineland, Mr. Holer attracted millions of visitors to the Niagara Region, employed tens of thousands over the decades, by providing jobs he helped to fund the education of many young people in the community, was responsible for an estimated 55 per cent of all hotel reservations through the summer season, and contributed enormous sums to the Province over the decades.
He re-invested year after year to grow the Park. Even in declining health he focused on his work, developing a new Avian Safari, soon to be Canada’s largest outdoor aviary.
Exchanging ideas and his vision with, among others, Walt Disney and August Busch, he was considered one of the original and great founders of North America’s Aquarium and theme park community.
Mr. Holer represented one of the finest examples of a new Canadian who dedicated his life to his Country his community and his family.
Mr. Holer is at Morse & Son Funeral Home, Niagara Falls where his family will receive friends on Tuesday, June 26th from 2-4 & 7-9 pm.
Funeral mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of Peace Church on Wednesday morning, June 27th at 11 o’clock. Interment with Rite of Committal will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.