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Margaret Connelly Holland, 86, died on December 15, 2012 at Champions Assisted Living, Wilmington, NC.
Born in Raleigh, NC on February 13, 1926, she was a daughter of Willard Moss Connelly and Martha Caroline Green Connelly.
Margaret fell in love with school in the first grade and reading and studying were encouraged by her parents for all their seven children. Books became their favorite gifts. Margaret sometimes spoke of the joy she felt at Cary Elementary School when teachers gave out new reading books. Within just a few days she had read every story in the book (which of course was not what the teacher intended). Reading and studying remained her favorite activities throughout her life.
Later, at Hugh Morson High School in Raleigh, she met her future husband, Jack Holland, in the seventh grade. After their graduation in the outstanding class of 1943, Jack enlisted in the US Navy for World War II, serving for three years in the Pacific area, and Margaret enrolled in the US Cadet Nurse Corps, receiving training at Rex Hospital in Raleigh from 1943-1946. She spoke of her fellow student nurses as "a wonderful group of young women".
She married Jack in 1948, and upon his graduation from NC State College in 1950 with a degree in forestry management, they moved to Wilmington, where he was employed as a forester for International Paper Company and where they were blessed with a son in 1954 and a daughter in 1957. The family was transferred and moved to South Carolina in 1973. In mid-life, Margaret made a career change to education. This led to her earning four college degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Magna cum laude with honors in English, Wilmington College, (now UNCW); Master of Education, Clemson University; Education Specialist, University of Southern Mississippi; and Doctor of Education, University of South Carolina.
After more than 35 years with International Paper Company, in North Carolina and South Carolina, Jack retired in 1985; Margaret was employed as a public school teacher, school counselor, and school administrator. She retired from the South Carolina Public School system in 1989. They then built their retirement home in Hampstead, NC.
Margaret was a dedicated club woman all her adult life. She enjoyed immensely her association with the women of several civic organizations which emphasized public service, volunteerism, and contribution to good works: the North Carolina Sorosis, the Wilmington's Woman's Club, and the Hampstead Women's Club. She was also a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which promotes and advocates equity for women and girls. The Hampstead Book Club whose member's critiques and chatter she enjoyed so much. She wanted to say "Thanks for the memories" to the women of these organizations. She wished to thank the residents and employees of Plantation Village and for their friendships and kindnesses during her stay there.
Margaret's devotion to the members of Trinity United Methodist Church was a strong inspiration in her life. These dear people were very special to her as were the pastors who served her church through the years. In 1994 she was chosen "Layperson of the Year' for her work as Church Historian, in which office she served for 10 years. She was a former Sunday school teacher in the Shepherd Fellowship Class, a past president of the Woman's Society of Christian Service (WSCS), and a former circle chairman. She was currently a member of the United Methodist Women's Mary Lee Stewart Circle at Trinity and of the Friendship Circle of the Hampstead United Methodist Church.
Margaret was pre-deceased by her parents, her husband, and five siblings: Robert L. Connelly, Patricia E. Connelly, Linda C. Smith, Caroline C. Milner, and Ben L. Connelly as well as her precious Royal Standard Poodle Beau.
Survivors are her beloved children, a son, Jack Calif Holland, Jr. (and his wife Louise) of Hampstead; and a daughter Elizabeth Leigh Holland and granddaughter Courtney Elizabeth Grissett of Shallotte; sister, Jennifer C. McNeill of Austin, TX; sister in law Laura Holland Uzzell of Raleigh; brother in law Perry Griffith Holland (and wife Sandra) of Portland, OR; as well as much loved nieces and nephews.
A Memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church at 14th and Market, on Friday, December 21, 2012, at 1pm. Visitation with the family will be held one hour before the service.
Inurnment will be held at a later date in Oleander Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to the Family Life Center of Trinity United Methodist church, 1403 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 or to the
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.andrewsmortuary.com
Andrews Hampstead Chapel
Online condolences at StarNewsOnline.com
Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Dec. 19 to Dec. 20, 2012