Marian M. Holliday


LOWVILLE - Marian M. Holliday, 102, passed away peacefully Sunday evening March 21, 2021 at the Lewis County Health System Nursing Home. She had previously lived at the family home on Clinton Street, Lowville and later Brookside Sr. Living Community, Lowville.

Marian was born in Webster, South Dakota on September 20, 1918 the daughter of the late Clara Annette Larson Swanson and Swan Elmer Swanson. She was the fourth of five daughters. Marian graduated from high school in Mobridge, SD in 1936 where she was Valedictorian of her class. Following high school she entered the St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing, Aberdeen, South Dakota, graduating in 1940.

Marian entered the Army Nurse Corps at Fort Lewis Washington in 1941. During the World War II she served in field hospitals in major theatres including North Africa, and later in France. She was awarded the Meritorious service Unit Plaque - African Campaign, Southern France Campaign and Rhineland Campaign, the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, and the American Defense Service Medal. After the War ended she attended the Education Program at the University of Paris, the Sorbonne. She was promoted to Captain in January 1946.

While stationed in Northern Africa, Marian met John Holliday. John was serving in the Army. They were married July 28, 1944 at the Dutch Reformed Church, Oran, Algeria. One of the stories Marian told was having her wedding dress, which her mother sent to North Africa, hemmed with surgical thread while standing on an operating table in their field hospital. John went on to become a career officer in the United States Air Force retiring as a Colonel in 1971. Marian and John relocated their family several times during his 35 years with the Air Force. These included England following the war, Colorado Springs, Washington, Hawaii, Texas, and New Jersey. With each move Marian was involved with many volunteer activities including the Red Cross and Chairwoman of the Air Evacuation Committee at McGuire AFB, New Jersey (1968 -1969).

Marian and John relocated to Lowville in 1971 following John’s retirement. Previously they had been in Lowville many times visiting Bob and Virginia Sunderhaft, Marian’s sister. They purchased a home on Clinton Street. Marian joined the Lewis County Hospital Auxiliary Association and volunteered there for over thirty years. She was also involved in many volunteer activities at the Lowville First Presbyterian Church where she was elected a Deacon. John died on April 4, 1986. Marian subsequently relocated to Brookside.

Marian had many interests. She will be remembered for her sense of humor, her love of gardening, cooking and baking, attending local auctions and decorating for the holidays. Her baking inspired her grandson Chris Bassett to become a highly regarded executive chef in Maine.

Marian is survived by her son, Stephen H. Holliday (Lt. Colonel, USAF Retired) and wife Janet of Simpsonville, SC; her sister Virginia Sunderhaft of Lowville; Grandsons Stephen Bassett (Joanne) of San Antonio, TX; and Christopher Bassett (Lisa) of Freeport, ME; great grandchildren, Eric Bassett, Lauren Bassett, and Patrick Bassett; several nieces and nephews including Eric and Marcia Sunderhaft who assisted Marian in her later years.

Marian was predeceased by her husband John (Colonel, USAF Retired), her daughter, Patricia Bassett Bode, and three sisters, Helen Olson, Phyllis Radtke, and Evelyn Hamann.

Memorial services will be scheduled at the West Lowville Rural Cemetery in late spring. Memorial donations may be made to: First Presbyterian Church, 7707 N. State Street, Lowville, NY 13367

On-line condolence of sympathy may be made to:

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