Holly  Emrick Meyer
Holly Emrick Meyer

September 30, 1924 - September 6, 2016
Resided in Lakewood, CO
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Obituary

Holly Emrick Meyer passed away peacefully surrounded by her children at The Denver Hospice on September 6, 2016. Holly was preceded in death by her son, Dave; her first husband, Jack Emrick; and her second husband, Bob Meyer. She is survived by her sons, Jack (Jann), Thom (Sherri), Ken (Kristin); daughter Holly (Tiger); grandchildren: Kevin, Matt, Stine, and Toril. A memorial service celebrating Holly's life will be held in the Sanctuary at Rockland Community Church on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 2:00 pm and a reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall.

Mildred Ruth Hollenweger (Holly) was born in New Rochelle, NY in 1924 to Gladys Jones and George F. Hollenweger. She had two sisters (Gladys and Margie) and one brother (Bud). She lived there until she graduated from high school at 16. She enjoyed spending summers in Connecticut at the family cottage on the lake, dancing to the big bands at Glen Island Casino and frequenting New York City.

At age 16 Holly entered nursing school at Meriden Hospital in Connecticut. It was affiliated with three other hospitals, including Bellevue in NYC and she earned her diploma and RN certificate.

In 1945 at age 20 she went to Staten Island and was sworn in as an army nurse with a rank of Second Lieutenant. After completing basic training at Atlantic City and nursing duties at Mason General Hospital, she was assigned to an Army Hospital Group at Camp Kilmer, NJ. The Hospital Group was then sent to Ft. Bragg, NC for staging for the European Theater. While in Ft. Bragg she cared for returnees at the Ft. Bragg Hospital. When the war in Europe ended in May, the Hospital Group was shipped by train to Ft. Lewis WA and in July the group embarked for Tinian Island in the Pacific Theater to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Two days after she arrived on Tinian the "Enola Gay" B-29 took off from Tinian and dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. The plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki also took off from Tinian. That resulted in the war officially ending on September 6, 1945. In early October she was transported by ship to Kure, Japan and served in a military hospital that had been the Japanese Naval Academy on the island of Etajima. While there, she visited Hiroshima just three months after the bombing. She then served in a military field hospital in Osaka until March when she returned to the states.

After leaving the Army in mid-April as a First Lieutenant, she returned to New Rochelle and worked in the pediatrics department of the local hospital. She wanted to do something different before going back to school so she served as a ship's nurse on the Kaiser Liberty Ship, the "Marine Shark", which was carrying European War refugees back to Eastern Europe. The ship landed at Piraeus, Greece; Haifa, Palestine; and Alexandria, Egypt.

She returned to the States in 1946, decided to go the University of Virginia to earn her nursing degree and moved to Charlottesville, VA. She worked part time as a nurse at the University Hospital and entered nursing school.

When Holly returned home from school she was introduced to Jack Emrick by her parents. He was an Air Corps officer who piloted (55) B-17 bombing missions over Europe. She was attending Columbia University School of General Studies and working in an orthopedic surgeon's office in Manhattan when Jack proposed to her. After she said "Yes!" she decided to resume nursing duties at New Rochelle Hospital and they were married in June of 1948. Jack's duty stations as an ROTC instructor, a B-52 pilot, an Air Force liaison to the Civil Air Patrol and a Training Commander at Lowry meant that they did a bit of traveling and a lot of relocating.

During Holly's six years in Allentown, PA she was involved in private nursing, operated a clinic, was a Red Cross instructor in home care for the sick, and received her BS in Cooperative Nursing. She also became a mother; in 1951 son Jack was born and in 1952 another son, David.

In June of 1953, Holly and her two little sons took an army transport ship to Tachikawa, Japan to join Jack at his posting. While there, Holly enjoyed some traveling, learning about oil painting and flower arranging, teaching Red Cross classes and serving as program chairman for the Officers' Wives Club. Her family grew with the birth of Thom in 1954 and Ken in 1955.

In 1956 Holly's family was again transferred, this time to Altus, Oklahoma. Then in 1957 to Abilene, Texas; in 1958 to Louisville, KY and then in 1959 to Lexington. While in Lexington, Holly was able to visit Paris on her way to join Jack in Brussels for a three-week trip. She took classes at the University of Kentucky, attended the Kentucky Derby, raised 4 boys, and in 1961 added her daughter, Holly, to the family. She also worked part time in a Lexington hospital, taught nursing "team-leading" and intravenous therapy in addition to teaching nursing at Good Samaritan.

Holly's family's last relocation was to Denver in 1964 and it was here that in addition to skiing and raising a busy family she completed her 23 years of education when she obtained her Master's Degree from Boulder in 1967 and also a certification as a Nurse Practitioner. She was one of the first Nurse Practitioners in Colorado and later participated in writing practice guidelines and protocols for Nurse Practitioners.

Holly worked as Program Director at Sewall Rehabilitation Center in Denver from 1973-1976 in addition to being active in the Colorado Nurses Association and serving on the Board of Directors. During this time, she was also a member of the Quality Assurance Committee of the American Nurses Association and helped formulate guidelines for care. She also taught a class on Quality Assurance to nursing students at Arapahoe Junior College and Metro State College in addition to orienting local nurses to the new materials.

In the spring of 1976 Holly was engaged as a state lobbyist by the Colorado Home Health Association and she served in this role for one legislative session. She then accepted a position with the Colorado Department of Health as a Pediatric Nurse Consultant in the Handicapped Children's Program in order to bring specialized care to remote areas of Colorado. This required a great deal of travel either alone or with colleagues and involved setting up clinics, training nurses, employing physicians, and writing protocols and procedures. She also served as a consultant and presenter for the United State Department of Health and Human Services. In this capacity she provided technical assistance in Ohio and Pennsylvania in addition to making a keynote presentation at a conference in Chicago. She retired from the Colorado Department of Health in 1987. Shortly after her retirement she was awarded with the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Human Caring.

Between 1989 and 1993 Holly reviewed states' grant requests for handicapped children's programs for the federal government and in 1994 she went to Jackson, Mississippi to give technical assistance. She worked with the Grief Education Institute in various rolls from 1987 until 1995 and developed lifelong friends. Holly served as a Stephen Minister for two churches for 10 years and as a docent at the Denver Public library for six years.

Holly's life was not without family loss: Edith Emrick (mother-in-law) lived with the family for 11 years until her death in 1975; her son Dave died in an automobile accident in 1980 and both her husband and father passed in 1984. She was the last of her generation on both sides of the family.

Holly loved to travel whether alone or with family and friends. After she retired she traveled to Mexico, France, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, England, Scotland, Netherlands, Bahamas, and Turkey.

Holly, never one to sit idle on the sideline, met Bob Meyer in 2000 and they were married in 2002. His first wife had passed in 1999 and he had four children (Joe, Dan, Greg and Melanie). Bob was a retired lawyer and pastel artist. They both enjoyed exploring the world and their honeymoon cruise up the Amazon river in Brazil was one of many trips over the next four years to China, Italy, Japan, Thailand, Europe, Mexico, and Canada as well as extensive auto tours of the United States. Their travel was curtailed due to declining health and Bob passed in 2013.

Holly was a remarkable woman who was ahead of her time. She shared her passion for life, gave it her all, and encouraged others to do the same.

Condolences may be posted online in the guestbook below or mailed to:
Jack Emrick
1460 South Valentine Way
Lakewood, CO 80228

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Holly's name to The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center or Rockland Community Church.

The Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center
8299 E Lowry Blvd
Denver, CO 80230
http://www.thedenverhospice.org

Rockland Community Church
17 S. Mt Vernon Country Club Road
Golden, CO 80401
http://www.rocklandcc.org

Guestbook

Photos


Services

Service
Rockland Community Church
17 S. Mount Vernon Country Club Road
Golden, CO US 80401
Thursday, September 22, 2016
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Family Gathering
Rockland Community Church
17 South Mt. Vernon Country Club Road
Golden, CO US 80401
Thursday, September 22, 2016
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Charities

Denver Hospice Inpatient Care Center
8299 East Lowry Boulevard
Denver, CO US 80230
Rockland Community Church
17 S. Mt. Vernon Country Club Road
Golden, CO US 80401