Edward Joseph Holland Jr., 98, of Venice, Fla., and former Fairfield resident who served on many town boards and commissions, died Sept. 28, 2010.

Born on Aug. 18, 1912, in New York City, he lived there until moving with his family to Fairfield in 1948. He was a graduate of Xavier High School, Holy Cross College and the Fordham Law School. He moved to Florida in 1990.

A lawyer and member of the College of Real Estate Attorneys, he led the real estate law division of Mutual of New York, later becoming executive vice president of MONY Mortgage and vice president of Stuart Title Co. He also served as vice president for the real estate section of the American Bar Association and founded the Northeast Life Real Estate Council.

He was elected to Fairfield's Representative Town Meeting and served as its moderator. He also served as chairman of the Board of Education, chairman of the Ethics Commission, chairman of the Charter Review Board, chairman of the Flood and Erosion Control Board and, for many years, was a member of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission. He helped found and served as legal counsel to Nuestra Casa del Pueblo, a non-profit housing initiative in Bridgeport.

In Venice, he founded Royal Venice, another non-profit housing initiative and was an active volunteer with the Venice Chapter of the Florida Council of the Blind.

He is survived by four children, Edward J. Holland III of Miami, Maureen Holland of South Venice Beach, Fla., David M. Holland of Fairfield and Venice, and Susanne Holland Gilmartin of Osprey, Fla., and their spouses Anne Brown Holland, Paquita Biaschoechea Holland and Eugene Gilmartin; seven grandchildren, Michael Holland of Fairfield, Dean Holland of Woodland Hills, Calif., Christopher B. Gilmartin of Buffalo N.Y., Katharine Gilmartin O'Brien of New York City, Commander Paul Gilmartin, USN, of San Diego, Daniel J. Holland of Seattle and Natanya Holland Allan of Washington D.C.; and eight great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret Frances (Peg), in 2008.

A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 5, 2010, at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. Donations may be made the Venice Chapter of the Florida Council for the Blind, P.O. Box 1154, Nokomis, FL 342744.