Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Passing of Rhodes Holliman, Ph.D.

by Glenn N. Holliman

We lost one of our best family historians this morning - Dr. Rhodes Burns Holliman (1928-2014) of Dublin, Virginia.  For decades, Rhodes taught biological sciences at Virginia Tech., himself a Ph.D. in infectious diseases from Florida State University.  April 29, 2014, after months of ill health, he slipped away with his loving wife, Phyllis Anne Holliman, by his side.

Since retirement, Rhodes had indulged in his love of family history, building on the voluminous research of his father, Cecil Rhodes Holliman (1902-1986).  Much of what many of us know of the Alabama and Carolina Hollimans comes from the work of this marvelous father and son duo of family historians.

Rhodes was my second cousin.  His father, Cecil, was my father's (H. Bishop Holliman, 1919) first cousin. All of us were born in Alabama.  In March 2012 in this spot, I published Rhodes' memories of summers and weekends in his beloved Fayette County, Alabama.  These articles on rustic life in the 1930s have attracted more readers than almost anything that has been published in this space in the past four years since inception.

 A number of you reading this column know Glenda Norris, a niece of Rhodes, the daughter of Cecile E. Holliman Youngblood (1937-2012), late of Alabaster, Alabama. Below with her hand on her Uncle Rhodes is Glenda,who has helped conduct the 2011 and 2013 Holliman Family Forums in Fayette, Alabama. Rhodes, her uncle sits at the table in Birmingham, Alabama with another niece, Susan Youngblood Corley, behind him.  His sister, Cecile is also at the table in this 2007 picture.  

Glenda, an avid student of Holliman and her associated families such as the Bakers, Burns and Blakeneys, remembers her grandfather, Cecil, pecking away in the 1960s on his manual typewriter, laboriously recording family stories.

The work of Rhodes and his father, their manuscripts, files and photographs, he generously shared with me.  I have scanned and uploaded the bulk of this vast family material to the Hollyman/Holyman MyFamily.com site.  

The genealogy work of Rhodes and Cecil is not in vain nor stored forever in some attic, forgotten by future generations.  It is available for researchers as long as the web exists.   

That is what Rhodes asked me to do, and that is what I have done. I have done the same with the Walt O. Holliman manuscripts entrusted to me by his children.  And some day, I hope someone will do the same for me with my family histories and research.   Family, pass it along....

Below, the writer with his cousin, Rhodes, April 2013 in Dublin, Virginia.

Rhodes his survived by his wife of many years, Phyllis Anne Holliman, a son and good friends of mine, Jim Holliman, M.D. and his wife, Karen, of Hershey, Pennsylvania.  There are four grown grandchildren, one great grandson and three nieces.  Rhodes was predeceased in death in 2008 by another son, Daniel Rhodes Holliman, M.D.  Two other lovely people in Rhodes' life are brother-in-law Dennis  Jackson and Clare Fugate, the mother of two of his grand children.

 Have questions about Holliman family history? You are invited to join the Hollyman Email List at Hollyman-Subscribe@yahoogroups.com and the Hollyman Family Facebook Page located on Facebook at "Hollyman Family". Post your questions and perhaps one of the dozens Holyman cousins on the list will have an answer. For more information contact Tina Peddie at desabla1@yahoo.com, the list and Facebook manager for Hollyman (and all our various spellings!).

Join your many cousins at MyFamily.com and view an expanded Holliman family tree and many files on the history of the family.  Just write to glennhistory@gmail.com for an invitation. Or go to the HOLLYMAN GENEALOGY MyFamily site at http://myfamily.com/group/hollyman. Then click on "Request to Join" in upper righthand corner!

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