Claude Milton Hollyfield, 90, passed away on September 14, 2012 in Greenville, SC. The sixth child of the late Maude Davis and Columbus (Charles) Milton Hollyfield, he was born March 8, 1922, in Princeton, WV, and grew up in Roanoke, VA.
Lt Col. Hollyfield was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patricia Wolff, brothers Paul, Jay, and John; and sisters Ruth, Mary Hope, Doris (Dottie), and Louise. He is survived by six children: sons Neil (Nancy), of Marion, VA; Jay of Flintstone, MD; John (Lynn), of Accokeek, MD; and daughters Gale Goodwin (Dexter) of Greenville, SC; Hedy Hollyfield (Jim VanKirk) of Raleigh, NC; and Elizabeth Hollyfield (Steve Miller) of Lewes, DE. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Lt Col. Hollyfield joined the Army Air Corps in 1943. He was stationed in Horham, England during World War II where he co-piloted B-17s, completing 30 missions and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. While completing his B.S. degree in Materials Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute after the war he met and married the love of his life, Patricia Wolff. Activated during the Korean War, Claude served as an officer in the US Air Force until he retired in 1973 with 30 years of service soon after completing an assignment in Viet Nam where he earned the Bronze Star. Later he was a consultant for engineering firms in the Washington area. After retirement he and his wife relocated to Marion, VA.
Claude was a man with many interests and talents. During high school, he learned to make fudge in Home Economics while also playing on a winning football team. He gave up football but continued to hone his cooking skills. When Pat became disabled with MS in the early 1980s, he became her primary caregiver and family chef. Lamb and roasted potatoes, Vietnamese egg rolls, and peach cobblers were among his most popular dishes. After Patricia's passing in 1995, Claude traveled extensively to visit his children and their families, also returning to England many times.
Claude lived a long life full of grace and love. He had a steadfast sense of purpose, a dedication to duty to his family and his country, and a delightful sense of humor and joy. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Funeral services and internment will take place at 3 p.m. on November 19, 2012 at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice or a .

Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 18, 2012