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Holly Grasso went to be with her Lord on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at the age of 92. Holly's goals were always to serve God, family, mankind, and to delight in travel. She spent most of her time, resources, and extraordinary energy serving those ends. She was born to Sam and Pearl Hollinger in Paola, Kansas in 1921, and she was married to San Antonio native Clarence H. Grasso. Their long-term marriage was terminated by Mr. Grasso's death in 1981. They had one child, Randall C. (Randy) Grasso, a practicing attorney in Dallas.
As a young woman, Holly worked for Phillips Petroleum Company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The outbreak of World War II inspired her to do her part in the nation's war effort. She volunteered as a trainee in the newly-created Women's Air Force Service Pilots-the WASPs. She became a pilot, towing target planes for flight gunnery practice and teaching foreign students how to fly on instruments. Holly flew at an airfield in Victoria, Texas, and came to love nearby San Antonio.
At war's end the WASPs were disbanded, and Holly worked in Albuquerque about two years for the FAA controlling traffic on the designated airway between Kansas City and Los Angeles. It was about this time she met and married her husband. Holly continued her relationship with flying by remaining a member of the Air Force Reserve. In 2010 she, along with the other WASPs, received the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. commemorating her efforts during World War II.
Holly always loved God and raised her son to be a good Christian man. She was a long-term member of Concordia Lutheran Church, and later joined Alamo Heights United Methodist Church.
Holly served as chairman of the local Salvation Army Advisory Board, she was President of the San Antonio Council of Parent-Teacher Associations, and she founded the Helping Hand Project (which was emulated by many communities around the country and for which she was named an Honorary Texan by Governor John Connally), and she is listed in Who's Who in Texas. For her PTA work, the Express News named her Woman of the Year.
Holly served San Antonio on the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, and she worked with the Blue Birds for the Methodist Hospital for about 20 years.
With all of this, Holly Grasso also managed to be an active assistant to her business-owner husband, to design and build three homes, and to have a successful career brokering, dealing in and operating real estate.
Let's not forget a lifetime of travel. Holly ventured to just about everywhere one can go on planet Earth, including Antarctica. In 2003 she took her entire family on a trip to the Atlantis resort. Now she has embarked on her final and best journey yet.
Holly was preceded in death by her husband, Clay, and her sister, Edna Barnett. Holly is survived by her son, Randy and his wife, Lisa; the mother to her grandchildren, Ellen Isreal; grandchildren, Clayton R. Grasso and wife, Lauren, Robert S. Grasso, and Laura R. Grasso; great-grandson, Brooks C. Grasso; step-granddaughter, Maleah E. Matheny; brother Hugh Hollinger and nephews, Arthur Grasso, Gerald Grasso, Harold Barnett, and Jay C. Hollinger, and their wives. The family also wishes to thank Adela Bazan for her many years of faithful service to Holly as she neared the end of her life.
MARCH 19, 2014
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
825 E. BASSE ROAD
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Published in Express-News on Mar. 18, 2014