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Joanna Marylouise Hollier

January 28, 1925 January 21, 2020
Joanna  Marylouise Hollier
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Obituary for Joanna Marylouise Hollier

Joanna Marilouise Hollier, 94, of Kenai passed away peacefully January 21, 2020 at Central Peninsula Hospital.

Joanna was surrounded by her loving family. Joanna was born in Woodside, Pennsylvania on January 28, 1925 to John and Eva Bahnub. She was the oldest of seven children, raised on a dairy farm in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Hard work, “going to the barn" to milk the cows, attending Pine Grove School and little Norway Lutheran Church were huge parts of her life. Growing up, whenever her and her sisters and brothers would see an airplane in the sky they would scream, 'Give me a Ride." After graduating from high school in 1943 she worked various jobs to save the $200 for tuition needed to attend the Electronics Radio Television Institute in Minneapolis, where she was trained to be an aircraft Communication Specialist.

On October 9th, 1945, at the age of 20, she was hired as an Aircraft Controller for the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA}. Joanna headed to Alaska on a two-year contract stationed in Talkeetna. Joanna was proud to say, she was one of the first "Women's Libbers". At a washroom dance, Ed Hollier appeared in her life. He returned with a new suit and ring and they were married two years later October 9th, 1947. Joanna said, "It was love at first sight." After honeymooning in Curry, Alaska Ed returned to his job in Kenai. Christmas Eve 1947, Joanna was granted a transfer and arrived in Kenai. In 1952, they were awarded one of the last homesteads on Beaver Loop Road in Kenai. No roads, no power, no water, they lived in a trailer house while Ed worked on the house.

In 1960, Joanna went back to work in the airline industry, which was her passion. Over the next 27 years, she worked "any and all" positions for various companies. She stated many times, "I was the Airlines!" Joanna worked for many airlines, Cook Inlet Aviation, Cordova Airlines, Pacific Northern Airlines, Western Airlines and Wien. In 1987, after working as a travel agent in Soldotna, she retired from the airline industry.

In 1992, she sold part of the homestead and moved into the Kenai's Vintage Point Manor. She was a very active member of the community. Joanna volunteered her time at the Kenai Senior Center, the Council of Aging, Senior Connections, Kenai Foundation, Pioneers of Alaska, and the Kenai Historical Society. Joanna had many interests, baking wedding cakes, ceramics, journaling and Facebook to name a few. Joanna always considered herself an "Athlete”, for the last 45 years she swam an hour a day at Kenai High School. She thoroughly enjoyed bridge. Her attitude with bridge and life was, "If you don't come to win, don't come to play."

Joanna had a strong faith in God and in 1949 was a founding member of the Kenai United Methodist Church. During troubled times, Joanna's faith never wavered. Joanna thanked God for her many opportunities and blessings she had in her life. She loved her family and enjoyed all the times they had together, whether it be traveling, hanging at the beach site, a quick drive up to the cabin in the hills, going out to the homestead; spending time together with all the people that she loved brought her great joy, especially on Thursdays with her homesteader friends. She was genuinely true to herself, her loved ones and her faith in. God. She will be missed tremendously by so many. May her adventurous spirit and love for life carry on through us all.


Joanna is survived by her children, Gary (Gilda} Hollier, Linda Sue Hollier, her grandchildren Sarah (Abraham} Hollier-Pellegrom, Carrie (Daniel} Hollier (Norman}, great-grandchildren Zane, Claire, Jayden, Troy and Carmen, Sister Lillian Hart and Brother Claire Bahnub. She is preceded in death by her husband Edward, her daughter Kathleen Jo (Ron) Hollier Olsen, her sisters Lucille Sumerwell and Jean Hart, her brothers Billy and Jack Bahnub and her good friend Paul Kim.

Joanna's Celebration of Life will be held at the Kenai Senior Center February 1st, 2020 starting at 2 pm. Refreshments will be served.


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