Evelyn (Evie) Dorothy Sophia Holland, age 88, of Buffalo, passed from this life into the arms of the Lord in whom she trusted Sunday Jan. 22, 2012, at Allina Hospital in Buffalo.
She was born Oct. 15, 1923, at Eitel Hospital in Minneapolis, to Carl and Ruby (Lindstrom) Gunnerson. Evie and her family lived in Minneapolis until about 1926, and then Johnsville, MN until 1933, when they moved to Annandale.
Evie attended the Peterson School at Johnsville, Gunnery Public School at Annandale, and graduated from Annandale High School in 1941.
She furthered her education at Swedish Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1945.
After graduating from nursing school, Evie joined the Army Nurse Corps at the request of her father, Carl, who had fought during WWI and knew how important nurses were to the wounded soldiers. She served as a 2LT from April 1945 to September 1946, stationed at Fort Carson, CO and O’Reilley Army Hospital in Springfield, MO.
Evie married Howard W. Holland Oct. 8, 1948, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buffalo. The couple farmed in Buffalo (1948 to 1951) and French Lake (1951-1956), before purchasing the farm in Buffalo where Evie has lived until her death.
They were blessed with 48 years together before Howard’s death in 1996.
Evie worked at Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis prior to her marriage, and later, Catlin Hospital and Buffalo Memorial Hospital between 1946 and 1972. She was employed as a school nurse for Buffalo Public School District 877 from 1972 to 1990.
Evie was active at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buffalo, where she taught Sunday school for more than 50 years and served on many committees and projects including Health Cabinet, Project Compassion, Mary Circle, LWML, and MCCL.
She was honored to be Buffalo’s Most Honored Citizen in 1996, and a runner-up for Wright County’s Most Honored Citizen in 2003. Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich declared Oct. 24, 1989, as “Evelyn Holland Day” in Minnesota for her work as the school nurse for the Buffalo School District 877, providing nursing care for several schools and more than 4,000 children and staff during her tenure of 17 years.
The School Nurse Organization of Minnesota (SNOM) recognized Evie for her outstanding contributions to school nursing and long-term support of children’s health at the SNOM Annual Conference Nov. 2, 2007.
During her retirement, Evie continued to be involved in supporting children’s health by participating in school programs including Teen Parenting (TAPP), and community programs including Buffalo ProLife, Wright County MADD, and the Wright County Child Abuse Task Force.
She was active in the local Lioness/Lions Club and American Legion with Howard, as well as after his death. Evie and Howard also served as volunteers for the Buffalo High School all-night graduation parties for several years.
Evie was a member of the Mile Square Neighborhood club since 1956, as well as a member of the Buffalo Unit of Farm Bureau.
Evie loved to dance, fly planes, and ride motorcycles with Howard. She was an avid traveler traveling with her family throughout the USA, Canada, the Bahamas, Sweden, Norway, England, and Holland. She especially loved to visit Kauai, Hawaii with Chrys and Jason.
A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, godmother, and dear friend to countless neighbors and friends, Evie was very proud to be the second of four consecutive generations to serve in the US Army that started with her father Carl, a runner in WWI; and has continued with her son, Rodney Holland, who retired as a Lt. Col. in 2011; and her grandson, Jason, who is currently serving in Kuwait.
Evie was committed to her faith and never missed the opportunity to witness her love for Jesus in the way she lived her life, whether it be to a stranger seated next to her on a plane or with her own family and friends.
Evie is survived by her daughters, ChrysMarie Suby of Edina, and Jolie Holland of Buffalo; and son Rodney Holland (Lora) of Bloomington. Her legacy continues with her grandchildren: Jason Suby, John and Ben Holland, and Jessica Ruth, Sirena, and Raquel Powell; nieces; nephews; and godchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Ruby (Lindstrom) Gunnerson of Annandale; twin children who died at birth (1951); a granddaughter, Johanna Holland (2005); a brother, Rodney Gunnerson (2005) and his wife, Eleanor (2011), of Cokato; and her sister, Ethelyn Schultz (2006) and her husband, Louis (1998), of Annandale. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Donations in memory of Evelyn Holland should be made directly to the following organization of your choice: St. John’s Lutheran Church, Focus on the Family, Billy Graham Ministries, Buffalo American Legion, Buffalo Lioness Club, Buffalo ProLife, Buffalo Teenage Pregnancy Program (TAPP), and Wright County MADD.
Memorial services took place Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Family Life Center at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Buffalo, followed by a committal service and interment at the Lakeview Cemetery in Buffalo. Pastors James Disney and Roger Klemz conducted the services.
The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.