Thelma Holt Chollar, age 102, resident of Vienna, Virginia since 2009, died on November 17, 2018.
Thelma Lucille Holt was born in Chester, Connecticut in 1916 and grew up in the nearby town of Deep River. Following high school, she attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where she met and married Robert G. Chollar in 1934.
After college, Thelma and Robert lived in Kettering, Ohio, where they raised three sons. As a mother, Thelma nurtured a strong moral and ethical foundation in her children. She regularly attended St. Georges Episcopal Church, and later Fairmont Presbyterian Church along with them. Thelma led her family through many wonderful, as well as some very tough, times.
Thelma was active in the Rock Hill Garden Club, as well as in a number of bridge clubs and reading groups.
Robert’s work (as an executive with Dayton’s National Cash Register Company, and later president of the Charles F Kettering Foundation) gave Thelma many opportunities to join him in traveling all over the world. In the years following Robert’s death in 1981, Thelma’s love of travel continued, and led her to every continent with the exception of Antarctica. For her 80th birthday, she traveled with her sons to the Galapagos Islands, and in later years accompanied them to Kenya, Australia and New Zealand.
Over many years, Thelma devoted much of her time and energy to hersecond home on Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Thelma closely watched over every aspect of the life of the cabin, from its early planning, through the building, furnishing, and in many years of upkeep and renovation. Sometimes with the family, and often on her own, she spent every summer and also several winter holidays there from 1968 through 2013. Thelma was also a founding member of The Wild Center, a natural history museum in nearby Tupper Lake.
In 2000, Thelma moved to a retirement community in Charlottesville, Virginia. She lived there until 2009; when her sons helped her move to Tysons Woods Assisted Living home in Vienna, Virginia. In her remaining years at Tysons Woods, Thelma was cared for by a team of highly skilled, compassionate staff, who honored Thelma’s independence, quick wit, and strong heart.
Thelma will always be remembered for her wonderful laugh, her sense of style, her combination of strength along with graciousness, and her deep generosity to family and friends. Her positive attitude and optimism stayed with her through the end, and was an inspiration to many around her.
Thelma is survived by two sons: Brian of Falls Church, Va, and Ric of Washington, DC. She was predeceased by her husband, and by her oldest son Charles who passed away in 1985.
A memorial gathering in celebration of Thelma’s life will be held January 12, 2019, 11am at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to: