Archived Story

Holladay celebrates 100th birthday

Published 7:00pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Essie Holladay was born in the Penn community south of Danville on Nov. 17, 1913, to Dr. James Samuel Crow and Dona Miller Crow. She was the third child in a family of seven.

Holladay learned to do hard work as a child and teenager to help her mother provide for the family.

She and her sister, Hazel, rode together on a horseback to attend Penn School. She met her future husband, Clyde Holladay, at Penn School and married him at the age of 18.

Essie and Clyde had six children, four of which are still living. Paris Joan Holladay died at two and Lyle Reed Holladay died at 61. Doris Puckett and Kyle Holladay live in Danville, Kathy Hildie lives in Florence, Sonja Holladay also lives in Danville and Essie, her mother, lives with her. Clyde was a farmer and barber who also worked at some public works job in North Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina. Clyde and Essie lived a simple life socializing with their extended family and friends and worshipping at Friendship Baptist Church. Essie never worked outside the home until after Clyde died when she was 55.

Through her good management and personal sacrifices, she was able to see all five children educated with masters’ degrees plus.

She delighted in staying busy and tackling every kind of project, craft, or activity. She credits her longevity to hard work, clean living and God’s grace. Eleven years ago after living in Hartselle for 20 years, she helped daily at the worksite as Sonja was building a new house at the family farm.

Essie always had great pride in herself, her family, her home and her yard. She mowed her lawn and road banks with a zero-turn lawn mower until she had a stroke at age 97.

During winters, Essie’s interest was in piecing and quilting quilts. Most of these special quilts she has given to her children and grandchildren to use as bedspreads.

Essie still lives at home and attends church regularly. Essie had a great influence on her grandchildren’s lives when they were young and lived near her. Her seven grandchildren are John Puckett and Rob Puckett of Danville; Rick Holladay, Scott Holladay and Amy Lasher of Alaska; Alison Mullins of Pennsylvania; and Laura Shackleford of Florida.

Her 10 great-grandchildren are Mattie and Rachel Ann Puckett of Danville; Lucas Puckett of Jacksonville; Conor Mullins of Pennsylvania; Anita Holladay of Washington; Ian Holladay of Alaska; J.D. Shackleford of Texas; Elizabeth Shackleford of Florida; Isaac Lasher and Avery Lasher of Alaska; Kyle, Doris and John, Kathy Essie, Sonja, Clyde and Reid.

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