Margaret "Jean" Hollander

Hollander, Margaret 'Jean'

Margaret Emogene Hollander, known simply as "Jean" to the community she served through her life-long dedication to education and public service, died on May 1 in Markesan, Wisconsin, following a stroke. She was 86 years old.

Raised on a family farm in rural Omro, Wisconsin, Jean Hollander earned a bachelor of science degree in home economics education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1949 and spent much of her life sharing her homemaking skills with others, as an educator, a county extension agent, a food service manager, a leader of the Wisconsin Extension Homemakers, and as a judge at county fairs. She moved with her husband, the high school teacher Arlyn Hollander, to Markesan in 1954, and through cooking for her church, the Kiwanis club, and the Markesan Resident's Home, probably fed everyone in the community at least once. In an age before how-to information was widely available on cable television and the internet, Mrs. Hollander showed women "how to do it" as she led sewing, baking and cooking classes as a demonstration agent for the Fond du Lac County Extension from 1951 to 1954, and later in Green Lake and Winnebago counties. She was active in 4-H programs, a volunteer at the Green Lake County Fair, and was a Green Lake County Board Supervisor. Mrs. Hollander was inducted into the Omro High School Wall of Fame in 1996.

Mrs. Hollander taught home economics in the Viroqua, Wisconsin schools for two years before moving to Markesan, where she served as a substitute teacher. She also worked as an education coordinator for the Moraine Park Technical Institute. She was very active in Green Lake County Homemakers (now known as Wisconsin Association for Home and Community Education), and served as president of the organization at the county, district and state levels and attended Homemakers conventions across the country and in Holland and New Zealand. She began cooking dinner for the weekly meeting of the Markesan Kiwanis Club with her friend Mae Abendroth, and soon was cooking for other groups in the community, and led the crew that prepared the annual June Dairy Days Breakfast. She also sewed costumes for the annual Kiwanis Club Variety Show. When women were welcomed as members of Kiwanis, Mrs. Hollander joined and was eventually President-Elect of the Markesan club. She served as food service supervisor at Riverdale Manor, the community nursing home, and was the defacto "boss of the kitchen" at Markesan United Methodist Church for many events.

In 1969, Jean and Arlyn Hollander packed up their family and left Markesan for a two-year posting in Ibadan, Nigeria, at the Moor Plantation School through a program of the University of Wisconsin and the United States Agency for International Development. Mrs. Hollander organized programs to teach local women how to cook using solar power - to preserve scarce firewood - and how to sew; at that time in Nigeria sewing was a skill reserved for male tailors. Mr. Hollander taught farm machinery repair. In 2010, Mrs. Hollander joined a Partners of the Americas mission to Nicaragua, where she helped establish a library and literacy program at a community center.

Mrs. Hollander was an active member of the Markesan Evangelical United Brethren and United Methodist churches, participating in Friendship Circle and Women in Christian Mission Around the World, and serving as both a Sunday School and confirmation teacher.

Margaret Emogene Stone was born on March 2, 1927, in Omro Township, Wisconsin, to Edna and George Stone. She was the eldest of five children and attended Tice School through eighth grade and graduated from Omro High School in 1945 and the University of Wisconsin in 1949. She was married to Arlyn Walter Hollander from June, 1954, until his death in 1999. Mrs. Hollander is survived by her daughter, Celeste (Kevin) Daw of Duluth, Minnesota; and Dennis (Josie) Hollander of Carrizo Springs, Texas; five grandchildren, Benjamin, Rachel, Chandra, Gregory and Ana-Alyssa; three great-grandchildren, Matthew, Nathan and Emma; a sister, Lenora Tritt, and her brothers, Rex, Russell and Leonard Stone. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arlyn, and her parents.

Jean Hollander's life will be celebrated on Saturday, May 4, 2013, at 10 a.m. at United Methodist Church, 74 E. Catherine St., Markesan with Rev. Paul Yoder officiating. Visitation will take place on Friday, May 3, 2013, from 4 until 7 p.m. at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 181 S. Main St., Markesan and also on Saturday prior to the service at church, beginning at 9 a.m. Following the service, burial will take place at Markesan Cemetery.

Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Markesan, 398-3998, is honored to be serving the family.

You may send private online condolences or sign the family's guest book at

Published in Fond du Lac Reporter on May 2, 2013