Carol H. (Quinn) Holden

Carol H. (Quinn) Holden, of Amherst, NH, and South Yarmouth, MA, died peacefully at her home on Friday, April 1, 2016, after a brief illness. She was 73.

Born on Nov. 6, 1942 in Boston, MA, Carol was the older of the two daughters of John S. Quinn, Jr. and Helen J. (Donovan) Quinn. Carol grew up in Needham, MA and was a graduate of Needham High School. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. and her M.A.T degree in Political Science from Boston College. She married Donald B. Holden in 1965 while he was in the Air Force. They lived in Rome, NY; Needham, MA; and moved to Amherst, NH in 1977 and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December.

Carol was dedicated to public service and served as a secondary school teacher, a volunteer coordinator and a political office holder. She was Vice Chairman of the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners since 1997 and Supervisor of the Checklist for Amherst. Carol was an officer of the New Hampshire Association of Counties. In addition, she was a member of the Bass River Yacht Club, Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties and was President of National Conference of Republican County Officials.

During Carol’s thirteen years (1984-97) of service in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, she served the last two years as Assistant Majority Leader, chaired the Children, Youth and Juvenile Justice Committee; co-chaired the Constitutional and Statutory Revision Committee; and authored numerous election laws. Her other elected offices include Delegate to the 1984 Constitutional Convention and Amherst School District Moderator (1990- 2012).

Carol was an active member of the New Hampshire Republican Party. Some of Carol’s other community activities include: Past President NH Partners in Education, Alumnae Association Board of Directors Trinity College (DC), Past President Boston College Club of NH, Junior League of Boston, Past Vice President NH PTA Board of Directors, Board of Trustees Child and Family Services, and Board of Directors Community Council of Nashua.

She was an influential politician, a fierce competitor and a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She was very proud of her family and adored her children and grandchildren. Sailing with her family on Nantucket Sound brought Carol great joy. July 4th and Labor Day parades were her opportunity to wear a signature hat, walk with her Newfoundland, and dress up in red, white, and blue regalia. She loved traveling, politics, and her Maine Coon cat.

Carol is survived by her husband, Donald B. Holden; her sister and brother- in-law, Ken and Nancy Rodgers of Bay Shore, NY; her daughter and son-in-law, Helen and David Slottje of Ithaca, NY; her son and daughter- in-law, Jonathan and Shannon Holden of North Hampton, NH; her daughter and son-in-law, Lydia and Craig Wilkins of Boston, MA; her son, David Holden of Boston, MA; her five grandchildren Andrew, Christopher, Matthew, Elizabeth, and Henry.

Calling hours were held Tuesday, April 5, from 5-8 p.m. in the Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm St., Milford, NH. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Wednesday in St. John Neumann Church, 704 Milford Road, Merrimack. Carol will be buried in a private ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hillsborough County Nursing Home, Activities Fund, 400 Mast Road, Goffstown, NH 03045. Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, Milford. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to