Cover photo for Donna Giddens Holleman's Obituary
Donna Giddens Holleman Profile Photo
1923 Donna Giddens Holleman 2023

Donna Giddens Holleman

December 7, 1923 — November 5, 2023

Brentwood

 

Donna Giddens Holleman of Brentwood, TN, and Columbus, MS, passed away on November 5, 2023 at nearly 100 years of age. She was born to the late William and Elizabeth McKnelly and grew up with her three sisters, Erna, Amanda, and Maylene. Later, her family included two stepbrothers, Oran and George Wiseheart. Donna’s mother, a widow before and during the Depression, ran a boarding house and a café to support her children, leading the young Donna to develop core values of kindness, high standards, hard work, service, and achievement. Donna attended the First Christian Church in Stuttgart, AR, and she graduated as valedictorian of Stuttgart High School, receiving several college scholarships. She entered the University of Tennessee School of Nursing in Memphis, TN, and worked at John Gaston Hospital, earning her nursing degree and RN license. She became a nurse in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at Great Lakes Naval Hospital in Illinois during WWII. At Great Lakes, she was a Ward Supervisor, caring for injured sailors and marines when they returned from overseas. After the war, she attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and married David Giddens of Nashville, TN, who preceded her in death. During the 1970s, Donna returned to nursing at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, where she was head nurse on the internal medicine floor. She married Dr. Jeremiah Henry Holleman and lived with him in Columbus, MS, for more than 20 years; he preceded her in death. She was a member of the Preservation Society of Columbus and Les Amis.

 

In Nashville, Donna was an active member of Glen Leven Presbyterian Church and, later, a member of Second Presbyterian Church of Nashville, and the Brentwood United Methodist Church and its Robert I. Moore Sunday school class. In Columbus, she was a member of the First United Methodist Church.

 

Donna was a caring, supportive, and giving mother to her four children, Hal, Joy, Tom, and Beth, who were raised in Nashville. Donna embodied the essence of her name, “lady,” and was an accomplished pianist, a skilled gardener, an excellent cook, an expert dressmaker for her daughters and herself, a welcoming hostess, and a sensitive conversationalist. She also found joy (and escape from demanding children) in making many decorative ceramic pieces. Donna was gracious, kind, and compassionate to all she encountered.

 

Donna is survived by three children: Joy Lumb (Martin) of Uig, Scotland; Tom Giddens (Patti, O.D.) of Franklin, TN; and Beth Giddens, Ph.D., of Marietta, GA; three grandchildren: Suzanne Kemp (Justin), David Lumb (Maii), and Katherine Giddens; and great-granddaughter Aella Kemp. She is also survived by stepson Dr. Jerry Holleman, Jr. (Karen) of Cornelius, NC; stepdaughters Virginia Harkness of Starkville, MS, and Helene Hassell (David, M.D.) of Mobile, AL; six step-grandchildren; a number of step-greatgrandchildren; and many relatives and friends.

 

A graveside service with military honors will take place Wednesday, November 15th at the Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Gardens, 3009 Columbus Ave., Franklin, TN, at 12:00 pm with visitation beginning two hours prior to the service. Steve Ladd, D.V.M.; Carl Ladd; Robert Ladd; and Stephen Ladd, D.V.M. will serve as pallbearers. Piper Suzanne Kemp will play before and after the service. Pastor Jim Bachmann will deliver the Christian burial service and eulogy. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or Samaritan’s Purse.

 

The family expresses special thanks to Dr. Scott Parker, the doctors and staff of Vanderbilt Oncology, and the staffs of Maristone of Franklin and AccentCare.

 

WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, 615-794-2289. www.williamsonmemorial.com

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Giddens Holleman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

10:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service

3009 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Williamson Memorial Gardens

3009 Columbia Ave, Franklin, TN 37064

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 1022

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree