A. Holly Hollingsworth(1926 - 2018)

A. Holly Hollingsworth
May 11, 1926 - Dec. 12, 2018
Orinda, until 2012
Holly Hollingsworth left this world peacefully on December 12, 2018 in her apartment at the Palo Alto Commons, Calif., with family at her bedside. She was born in Russiaville, Indiana on May 11, 1926 to Nelson D. and Cecil (Rhodes) Hollingsworth, where she resided until leaving for college in 1944. The highlight of her younger years was taking vocal and piano lessons and singing solos at church, school and family gatherings. She studied at Indiana University, Bloomington in the School of Music, was active in the Association of Women Students and Mortar Board, and graduated in June of 1948 as a Bachelor of Music Education. Audiences were struck by her rich contralto voice.
She married Chester T. O'Konski in August 1948 and they moved to the eastern San Francisco Bay Area and raised four children (in Berkeley, Orinda, and Lafayette) before divorcing in 1982. Holly was a loving, empathetic and devoted mother who gave the gift of music to her children, as well as an appreciation of reading, good cooking, travel, history, birds and anything that blooms.
In her busy years as a stay-at-home mom of four, Holly remained active in the community: singing with the choir at church; participating in a handful of musicals; volunteering with a Diablo Valley group that presented professional music concerts for young people and as a founding member of the East Bay Alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. She became an active member and president of the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area, and eventually served on the national board.
When LWVBA launched a newsletter on regional issues, the "Bay Area Monitor," Holly was the initial editor. She was passionate about regional transit, air quality and land use issues in the ever growing Bay Area. This editorship helped her land a job at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, where she served as a legislative analyst until retiring in 1991. She especially enjoyed the challenge of her career when it took her to the halls of the State Capitol in Sacramento, and occasionally to the nation's capital.
In retirement, Holly frequently toured out of the country. She read, gardened, attended the symphony, opera, ballet, theater and, at the drop of a hat, baked cakes and pies for her children and grandchildren. She delved into her Hollingsworth family genealogy, volunteered in literacy and family planning programs, and became part of a Great Books club.
A. Holly Hollingsworth is survived by her four children, Holly O. Austin (Neal Austin) of Crescent City, Calif., Timothy O'Konski (Susan Meade) of Palo Alto, Calif., Mark O'Konski (Jody O'Konski) of Fort Myers, Fla., Brian O'Konski of Washington, D.C. and five grandchildren including: Jay S. Austin; Alexander T., Patrick B. and Christina M. O'Konski; and Samuel A. O'Konski, as well as many nieces and nephews and their families. She was predeceased by both of her parents and all her siblings, including Jean Hollingsworth-Crenshaw, Evelyn Noe, and Joel Hollingsworth.
At Holly's request, no public service is to be held. The family suggests memorial donations in her name be made to the Audubon Society (audubon.org), the (), and/or your favorite musical nonprofit.

View the online memorial for A. Holly Hollingsworth

Published in East Bay Times on May 18, 2019