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Darline Holland

Obituaries in Geneseo, IL | Geneseo Republic


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Darline Holland

Geneseo - With profound sadness we announce the passing of Darline Holland, our loving and devoted mother, grandmother, and friend to all whose lives she touched, on January 22, 2022. Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory – Geneseo Chapel will be assisting the family with arrangements.

She left us from the home where she was born and lived her entire 95 years in Geneseo, Illinois. She was the fifth generation to live in the house and on its property.

She was born on July 5, 1926, the last of six girls to Elmer and Florence Underwood. She stayed in Geneseo with her mother, and they formed a beautiful team working and maintaining the land their ancestors had purchased in the 1850's. The land provided an abundance of beautiful trees and wildflowers, a creek, birds and a natural habitat for forest animals, and her joy was walking the property, sitting on a bench in her natural park, and watching and feeding the birds. She also enjoyed being outside with each of the dogs she had in her life: Sparky, a rat terrier and her two Yorkies, Hercules, and Tucker. Her most favorite activity was mowing her lawn on her John Deere tractor.

She was married and divorced from James Holland so with her mother she raised her two daughters, Sharon and Nana.

During her adult years in Geneseo, she worked as a house cleaner, caterer at John Deere parties, furniture upholsterer, a linotype operator at the Geneseo Republic, and 16 years in the bookkeeping department of the Geneseo Telephone Company until her retirement.

During her work at the Geneseo Republic, she met her companion of 25 years Charles Whitney with whom she spent years together entertaining on his houseboat, hosting, and attending parties with friends, and attending World Affairs events in the Quad-Cities.

She was a member of the First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) and was one of its longest and oldest members. She was very active in the church as a Sunday school teacher and member of the choir, as well as a volunteer for many church activities.

She was a strong believer in giving back to the community she loved, she served many roles. She served as president of the Geneseo Business and Professional Women's Club and Maple Bluff Golf League, district director for the business and professional women's club, associate member of the Geneseo Music Club, and was a member of the Geneseo Library Board of Trustees and helped plan and witness the construction of the library on its present location. She was an avid reader of all literary genre and could often be seen reading the newspaper in the new library. She was very proud of her family and was often invited to speak to the schools and local groups about her family's history in Geneseo. She was also a storyteller at Geneseo's 175th Anniversary and was selected by the Geneseo Lions Club to be its Grand Marshall of its 39th annual Father's Day Parade. The highest honor was accepting the invitation to speak at Harvard University.

She lived a full life in Geneseo. She had many friends, loved to sing and dance, had a wonderful sense of humor and wisdom.

Most of all she loved her two daughters Sharon LeCompte of Elgin, Illinois, and Nana Holland of Geneseo, and her only granddaughter Sohani Holland of Los Angeles, California. When all four of them were together, those were the happiest times of her life.

Posted online on January 26, 2022

Published in Geneseo Republic