Michael Phillip Hollar, 75, of Edinburg, Virginia passed away Saturday, November 8, 2014 following a courageous battle with cancer.
Mike was born October 14, 1939 in Edinburg, the son of Lee King and Ruth Heishman Hollar. He was a 1957 graduate of Edinburg High School, served in the United States Navy from 1957-1960, and was employed by Safeway Stores for 31 years. Following his retirement from Safeway, he spent the next 10 years working for Crowder Pest Control. He also worked for the United States Forest Service, where he fought wildfires across the country with firefighters half his age.
A man of great faith, he was a dedicated, lifelong member of St. John’s United Methodist Church. He loved the church and served in many capacities including Chairman of Trustees for 30 years, Sunday School Superintendent, the United Methodist Men, and driving the courtesy car. In recognition of all his work for the church, last year St. John’s United Methodist Women bestowed the honor of “Lifetime United Methodist Woman” upon him.
Preserving the church building and grounds was a labor of love for Mike. He could be seen working on projects from the bell tower to the basement.
Helping and caring for the community, he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Edinburg and also served on the Edinburg Ole Time Festival Committee.
A true outdoorsman and lover of nature he developed a passion for hunting and fishing in his early childhood while growing up on Stony Creek, often hunting before and after school with his beloved dog, Penny.
Closest to his heart were hiking the mountains in search of Ruffed Grouse, listening to his beagles run rabbits, and fly-fishing the Shenandoah from his canoe. He was also an enthusiastic gardener who loved sharing the bounty of his gardens with his family, friends, and neighbors.
Mike married Shelby Jean McIlwee of Zepp, VA on September 20, 1964 and recently celebrated 50 years of a loving marriage. Together, they reared two wonderful children and in their retirement enjoyed traveling and spending time with their beloved grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife Shelby, daughter Stacey Michelle Smith and husband Matthew, of Woodstock; son Travis Michael Hollar and wife Dena, of Harrisonburg; mother Ruth Heishman Hollar of Edinburg; brother Harold Lee Hollar and wife Sharon, of Glen Allen, VA. Also surviving are grandchildren, Madison Smith, Andrew and Olivia Hollar. He was preceded in death by his father Lee King Hollar and grandson, Owen Michael Hollar.
The family will receive friends on Monday, November 10 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Dellinger Funeral Home in Woodstock, VA.
A funeral service will be held at St. John’s United Methodist Church, Edinburg, on Tuesday, November 11, at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Robert Jones and Rev. Timothy Teates officiating. A private burial at Cedarwood Cemetery will follow the service. Those not attending the burial are invited to gather at the Edinburg Fire Hall to await the return of the family and then enjoy a meal together. Pallbearers will be Carl Bright, Jr., Pirkey Bromley, Gerald Buttram, Todd Crowder, Sam Gochenour, Henry Green, Ned Irvin, and John Richman, Jr.
It is requested that members of the Class of ’57, Safeway retirees, Edinburg United Methodist Men, and Odd Fellows Lodge all attend in a body.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 310, Edinburg, VA 22824.
Mike was one to never slow down and was active until shortly before his death. He will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered as a kind, giving, patient, and “gentle”man.