Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hella Maria Holman

PUEBLO, CO - Hella Maria Holman passed away at age 99, April 4, 2014, while living in Pueblo, Colo. She was born Hella Maria Hochstadter in Berlin, Germany, Nov. 28, 1914. After the end of WWI, her parents settled in Munich, her father's hometown. She attended primary and secondary schools in Munich and graduated from the Gymnasium. After her education was completed, she worked for the Deutsche Acadamie. 

Her future husband, John, was a medical student at the University of Munich; and they met because Hella was seeking American English conversation and he responded to the newspaper help-wanted ad. In 1937, she emigrated to the United States, due to the threats of war and the increasing repressive Nazi politics. Her parents followed her to the U.S. in 1938 and 1939. She lived in New York City and married John in 1938, after he completed his studies and returned to the U.S. Until the outbreak of WWII, when her husband was drafted into the medical corps of the U.S. Army, they lived in various parts of New York City and during the war in Austin, Texas. 

After the war, they settled in central Illinois, first Pawnee, where John started a medical practice, then Springfield in 1947, which was their long-time home. She was active in all aspects of a public life. In Pawnee 1951, she was responsible for starting a library in the former city hall. In Springfield, throughout the time she lived there, she was active both as a member and in leadership roles in the Medical Auxiliary, the Art Association, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Until her death, she was a lifetime community board member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. 

In addition to art and music, she loved to write and while in New York wrote for the German language newspaper the Staats-Zeitung und Herald and in Springfield wrote a series of essays for the Bulletin of the Sangamon County Medical Society from 1967 until 1974. In 2004, the essays were published in book form "From Month to Month" and in 2013 she published her memoirs "Episodes of a Life". In late 2011. 

Due to declining health, she moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where almost all of her immediate family now lives. She continued to follow her great loves: music, reading, and writing, in spite of failing eyesight and hearing. She was very happy living with her family in Pueblo, but she also continued to communicate with and missed her lifelong friends and life in Springfield and Munich, her other great love about which she often reminisced. 

She was preceded in death by her father, Otto R. Hochstadter, in 1958, her mother, Olga L Hochstadter, in 1974, and her husband, John Holman, M.D., in 1995. Surviving are her sons, Andrew P. Holman (Vera) and Robert L Holman (Laura); four grandchildren, Andrea Weyersberg of Schwabisch Gemund, Germany, Justin Holman (Bronwyn), Shana Holman-Hanna (Steve) of Las Vegas, Nev., and Rachel Holman-Langseth (Eric) and three great-grandchildren in Pueblo. In Germany, three great-grandchildren, several cousins, and a Goddaughter in Munich survive her. 

The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Cindy Orgaz and Jaye Ordaz for their loving and loyal care to Hella, and many thanks to the staff and residents at Primrose Retirement Center and Sangre de Cristo Hospice. Funeral services are to be held in Springfield, Illinois. A celebration of her life is planned at Primrose on Friday, April 25. The date of her memorial services in Springfield will be announced on a separate date. At her request, donations to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, instead of flowers, may be made in her memory.

Memorial tributes may be posted at the SJR Legacy page for Hella Holman.

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