OBITUARY: Carmelina Franco Holloway

Carmelina Franco Holloway passed away peacefully, surrounded by family early Sunday morning on January 15.

A memorial Mass was held in her memory at the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Decatur, Texas, on Wednesday, January 18, at 11 a.m. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur, Texas.

Carmelina is survived by two brothers, Abelardo and Rede Franco; one sister, Yvonne Franco Hinojos; four children, Rosalinda Holloway Scott (husband Dennis), Bill Holloway, Rachel Records (husband Bobby), Bobby Holloway (wife Sonya); nine grandchildren; nieces; nephews; cousins; and many friends whose lives she impacted. She is preceded in death by her husband, Bob Holloway Jr.; daughter Tisha; her mother and father; sister Delfina; and brothers Armando, Al, and Rene.

She was born in Shafter, Texas, to Manuel and Lucy Rede Franco and attended public school in Marfa where she was active in athletics, playing volleyball and tennis. She attended Texas Western in El Paso (UTEP) and graduated with a degree in music education. She met her future husband Bob Holloway Jr. while they were both teaching in Presidio, and they married in 1959. They lived in Presidio, El Paso, Keller and finally moved to a farm near Greenwood in 1968.   A lifelong educator, Carmelina continued her teaching career in Keller, teaching second grade, then in Decatur, teaching music, reading, second grade, ESL and became the first Hispanic woman principal (elementary) in Decatur ISD. She completed her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Texas Woman’s University and taught at the university level at both UNT and TWU. She retired from Texas public education as a field agent for Region 11 Service Center where she worked for several years.

In 1956, while she was a summer school student at Sul Ross State University, she was cast as an extra in the movie GIANT, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. This was an incredible experience as she often shared stories of the cast and crew and their interactions on and off the set. She often said that her grades that summer were her worst in college because of the distractions of the film set.

While in college, Carmelina began playing the harp, which she continued throughout her life, bringing much joy to listeners. She traveled to Ohio and Maine to study with famed French harpist Carlos Salzedo.

After retirement from public school, she continued to be an advocate of the underprivileged and disadvantaged in many ways. She directed PROJECT LITERACY for the Ft. Worth Library which paired community members as tutors for adult students wanting to learn English.

An active member of The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Decatur, Carmelina was also a member of the City of Decatur City Council for a time and a dedicated Meals on Wheels volunteer.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Wise County Historical Society and/or the Decatur Public Library.