Lt. Col. Margaret A. Hollinger (Ret.)

Lt. Col. Margaret A. Hollinger (Ret.)

Retired Lt. Col. Margaret A. Hollinger, the oldest surviving member of the Army Nurse Corps at age 102, passed away Thursday, January 17, 2013 in Seattle. Her military career spanned 28 years in three phases beginning in 1935 and concluding in 1963 when she retired as Chief Nurse of the Fourth Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Between her stints of military service, she was a nurse with the Veterans Administration, worked in hospitals in North Dakota, Montana, Oregon, and California, and did private in-home nursing.

During World War II she volunteered as a surgical nurse in the famed 120th Evacuation Field Hospital that cared for front line soldiers under General Patton's command in Western Europe.

Her service with the 120th Evac included providing medical care to Buchenwald Concentration Camp survivors. Her efforts to aid Buchenwald survivors have been honored by the Israeli government, and by holocaust survivor groups in Israel and in the U.S. While with the 120th Evac, Hollinger was lost behind enemy lines for several days after volunteering to go into the field to assist a wounded soldier.

Her military assignments included service in Korea as Chief Nurse of a Mobile Army Surgical force (MAS), with a field rank of Colonel, during the time of the 1960 "April Revolution." She also served in Hawaii, Washington, Virginia, Oregon, and Texas including service at Madigan, Tripler and Walter Reed hospitals.

Among her decorations are two Battle Stars for her European service in WWII, a National Service Medal, WWII Service Medal, and a U.S. Army Commendation medal.

Hollinger was graduated from Gladstone High School in 1931. She became an R.N. in 1935 after graduating from St. Alexis School of Nursing (University of Mary) in Bismarck, N.D. She received a bachelor's degree in nursing and education at the U.W. in 1950 and then earned a master's degree in hospital administration from Baylor University in 1957. She was one of the first women to enter the hospital administration field.

After retiring from the military, Hollinger served as a hospital administrator in Oregon and then joined Washington State's Department of Social & Health Services in Olympia.

Her recent honors include receiving the University Of Washington School Of Nursing's first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. She had used her GI benefits to earn her U.W. degree after WWII.

She was born in Gladstone, North Dakota, in 1910 to Ignatz and Theresia Hollinger.

Survivors include her sisters Arlene Brackebusch (Art), LaVern Cornish (Howard); brother Anton Hollinger, all of Montana; her sister-in-law Audrey Hollinger (John) of Seattle plus many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great- nephews.

Hollinger is predeceased by her parents, brothers Peter, John, and Joe Hollinger; her sisters Elizabeth Kraiter and Ann Delys; her sisters-in-law Ann (Peter), Jean (Joe), and Barbara (Anton) Hollinger; and her brothers-in-law Mike Kraiter and Fred Delys.

Viewing will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, January 27, at Sunset Hills Funeral Home, Bellevue. Catholic services will be at 1 p.m. in Sunset Hills' Chapel. A memorial reception will immediately follow.

Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery this spring.

Remembrances may be made to: University of Washington School of Nursing's Nursing Scholarship Fund; Wounded Warriors Project's "In Memory Fund;" or Seattle's Washington State Holocaust Education Center's Tribute Fund.

The family's deep appreciation goes to the Caroline Kline Galland Home staff, Seattle; the Jewish community in Seattle and Israel; the JBLM Madigan Hospital Army nurses; the U.W. School of Nursing, and the U.S. Army Nurse Corp. To view the full obituary, and to journal online sentiments, please visit

Published in The Seattle Times from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2013