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Dr. C. George Hollis

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Dr. C. George Hollis Obituary
Dr. C. George Hollis

Memphis, tn

Dr. C. George Hollis, age 90, passed from this life Wednesday, July 26. George possessed all the wonderful qualities that made the "Greatest Generation" the greatest.

Born in rural poverty in Leeds County, Alabama, George grew up in a dirt-floored house and slept head-to-toe-to-head with two of his three brothers. Daily chores included bringing water to the house, fetching wood and starting the fire each winter morning, working the garden, etc. His mother died when he was very young and since his father traveled, his sister, Doris, took on mothering duties at age 8. As George grew into adolescence he often traveled with his father helping with light construction and timbering land.

At 15, George lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He rode the troop train to San Diego where he completed Medical Corps Training. At age 17, he was a medic to the First Marine Division during the landing at Peleliu Island. After the war, despite his limited schooling, he was able to use the GI bill to attend the University of Alabama, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as his doctorate in Microbiology.

In Tuscaloosa, he met and married the love of his life, Mildred Payne. He and Mildred raised three children - David, Philip, and Susan. He taught at Arkansas College in Batesville before moving to North Carolina to accept a position with Buckman Laboratories. Eventually, Buckman brought him to Memphis where he also spent time teaching Microbiology and working with the graduate department at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis). He returned to Buckman where he retired as Vice President of Research and Development. During his tenure at Buckman he traveled the world speaking at conferences. He also served as President of SIM (Society of Industrial Microbiologists).

A true renaissance man, George loved to cook, was an avid reader, and was a wonderful storyteller. Many Trezevant ladies enjoyed some lavish luncheons and "happy hours". He and his sons built their lake house from the ground up and, in his seventies, he taught himself to quilt.

George was predeceased by his wife, Mildred, his son, David, his parents, his brothers, Leonard and Leroy, and his sister, Doris. He leaves his brother, Robert Hollis of South Carolina. He also leaves his son, Philip (Alice Duke) Hollis of Rossville, and daughter, Susan (Greg) Webb of Memphis and Wimberley, TX. He leaves his grandchildren, David Hollis, Jr., Derek Hollis, Vance Webb, Edward Hollis, and Peter Hollis, and great-granddaughters, Sarah and Savannah Hollis, all who loved and admired him, as did his many nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by all his family and all that knew him.

Services will be Tuesday, August 1, at 1:30 p.m. in St. Edward Chapel at Trezevant Manor with a reception following in the Snowden Dining Room.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on July 30, 2017
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