Cover photo for George Holly Whitacre's Obituary
George Holly Whitacre Profile Photo
1935 George 2020

George Holly Whitacre

March 23, 1935 — December 1, 2020

George “Holly” Whitacre, 85, passed away December 1, 2020. Holly was born at home in 1935 in Brooklyn, NY. He grew up in Valley Stream, NY with his mother Elsie. He had a special relationship with his grandfather, Ferdinand “Pop” Holly which helped to shape the special person Holly became. Holly graduated Valley Stream Central HS and received both his Bachelor’s and Masters’ degrees from Hofstra University. He did additional graduate and grant work at NYU and U of Maine, Bangor. He played basketball at Hofstra and was a member of the Sigma Alpha Lambda fraternity.

Holly married Lillian “Lil”, his wife of 64 years at the Grace United Methodist Church in Valley Stream. He served in the Army National Guard Reserves 42nd Infantry Division from 1953-1961 as a sharpshooter and later in communications as a Wireman and Air Traffic Controller.

Holly and Lil moved to Smithtown, NY. He was very active in the community and was a founding member and past president of the Jaycees in Smithtown. He served the Smithtown United Methodist Church as a lay leader, member of the Finance Committee and Board of Trustees.

Holly lived his life as an educator. He started his career as a High School Social Studies teacher and Director of Student Activities. He later became a guidance counselor and High School Administrator. He worked in various school districts on Long Island before accepting an opportunity with Smithtown Central Schools. He loved his students and never missed the opportunity to support a school theater production, athletic or academic event. After retirement Holly and Lil moved to Durham, NC.

In Durham, Holly was an active member of the Downtown Durham Rotary and later Durham Sunrise Rotary as a past president and a John Harris Fellow. Holly volunteered and also served as a docent with the Durham Visitor Bureau for over 12 years. He loved sharing Durham’s history with others. He served for many years on the Dunbarton Homeowner’s Association to include the Finance Committee and Infrastructure Committee.

Holly cherished his family, especially his granddaughters and grand dogs. Holly (and Lil) were present at all recitals, sporting and school events that his granddaughters participated in. He loved family time, vacations and holidays spent together. He loved to read, play golf and travel. He was an avid Duke fan. Holly will be remembered for forging friendships wherever he went, his kind heart, gentle soul and love of life.

Holly is survived by his wife Lil, his daughters Susan Arrington and Leslie Bard (Richard). He was the loving Grandpa to Holly Bard (Greenville, SC) and Melissa Bard (San Diego, CA), and brother-in-law George Harrison (Danville, PA). He was predeceased by his son-in-law Tom Arrington and brother-in-law Col. (Ret.) Hugh Harrison.

A celebration of Holly’s life will occur post COVID.

The family would like to thank the Duke Heart Center for their care and support. Donations can be made in Holly’s memory to the Duke Heart Center Gift Fund

The Whitacre family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham, NC.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of George Holly Whitacre, please visit our flower store.


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