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Friday, August 8, 2008

Ellen Holland 1928-2008: Saint, Titan and Wildcat

Ellen D. Holland, 80, of Clinton, died at 7:18 a.m. Wednesday (Aug. 6, 2008) at Manor Court, Clinton.

Her Mass Of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Wapella, with Rev. Fr. Patrick Henehan and Rev. Fr. Robert Hoffmann officiating. Burial will be in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Wapella. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with the Rosary at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Memorials may be made to the Diabetes Foundation or Alzheimer's Foundation.

She was born April 9, 1928, in Bloomington, the daughter of James A. and Josephine Carroll Ryan. She married William R. Holland on May 24, 1951, in Clinton. He passed away Feb. 2, 2002.

She is survived by two sons, Rick (Vicki) Holland and Jim (Shelley) Holland, both of Wapella; one daughter, Mary Westfall, Wapella; nine grandchildren, Holly Morris; Sean (Suzanna) Holland; Kelly (James) Murphy; Casey Holland; Reggie Westfall; Corey (Jaime) Holland; Stacey Portscheller (Mike); Kelsey Holland; and Megan Johnson (Andrew); seven great-grandchildren, Haley; Kaehl; Maci Kate; Hannah Faith; Maxwell; Clare; and Sofia; and one brother, James (Marilyn) Ryan, Mesa, Ariz.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

She was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Wapella.

She came to Wapella upon graduation from Illinois Wesleyan in 1950, to teach history, geography and later physical education. There she met her husband while selling tickets at a basketball game. While raising her family she continued teaching at Wapella both full and part-time retiring in 1970. Always a sports fan, she played in a women's softball league from 1960 to 1963 making lifelong friends. Later she stayed physically active with golf and mentally sharp playing bridge, again making lifelong friends.

She and her husband enjoyed their trips to Ireland, Curacao and Mexico as well as their weekend getaways with friends.

Her greatest joy in life however was her family. She always supported her grandchildren and great-grandchildren's school activities.

She possessed an incredible lust for life and anything chocolate. Her memory will be fondly kept by those who loved her.

Her family thanks the staff of Manor Court of Clinton for their compassion, patience and professionalism during her illness.

Ellen (along with her husband Bill) were great supporters of St. Patrick's Parish in Wapella, Wapella (and Holy Trinity) Schools, and the Wapella Community, developing Holland Brothers (with John Holland) into the leading plumbing and heating companies in Central Illinois, making plumbing to this day the major employer in town. A grand, gracious and very Irish lady, Ellen remained a key part of Wapella even after a move to Clinton in the 1970's. Ellen frequented school, parish and family events.

Our condolences to the Holland family on the loss of our friend Ellen. May she Rest in Peace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Om behalf of the family, I'd like to extend a HUGE 'thank you' to all my Grandmother's friends/extended family, and to everyone from Wapella who attended her services, and to everyone who helped out in any way.

An extra thanks to St. Pat's, Calvert's, and Father Henehan and especially to dear friend Father Hoffman. The day wouldn't have been the same without all of you.

Wapella always held a special place in my Grandmother's heart, and today was a testament as to why - everyone was out in force, which is what makes Wapella the place that it is.

A shout out to my Grandmother's brother, Jim Ryan, his wife Marilyn, daughters Vickie and Denny, The Reidy clan and the Costigan clan, Dan Brady and the full Irish diaspora who attended the wake and post-wake celebrations.

Thank you all so much. The family is humbled and we will all miss my Grandmother dearly.

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