Susan “Susi” Holland, 80, died at home in Harker Heights, September 19, 2020. All of her friends are invited to join her family for a memorial service at the Heritage Funeral Home at 425 E. Central Texas Expressway, Harker Heights, Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 6:00 PM. Face masks and social distancing will be required. Pastor Doug Vance will be officiating.
Susi was born on July 10, 1940 to Frank and Hazelle Spaeth in Port Chester, New York. Her family moved to Salina, Kansas where Susi spent her early childhood and her mother gave birth to four more children. Then, on Susi’s 10th birthday, her father died. After the death of her father, the family lived in various places, including Mexico, Japan, Guam, and Alabama. They finally settled in Rye Beach, New Hampshire, where Susi completed high school, graduating as the Class Valedictorian.
She then attended Tufts University, majoring in English and Philosophy. During this time, she spent summers traveling in Europe, including England and Russia, on college sponsored study trips. After graduating with honors from Tufts University (1962) she joined the Peace Corps as a community development volunteer.
She received her Peace Corps training in Hawaii and served two years in the most southern part of Thailand. Following her service she spent the next eight months traveling alone through South East Asia, India, Burma, Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Europe where she met her future husband Robert Leo Holland, who was serving as a young officer in the 3rd Armored Division (1965). Susi ended her travels and returned to her family in Rye Beach. The following year she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the State Department. Lieutenant Holland was promoted to Captain and on 10 July 1966 the two were married in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, where he was stationed at the time.
In 1967, the Army sent Captain Holland to northeast Thailand. Shortly afterwards, Susi started her travels again and visited many countries and islands, finally settling in Bangkok, until it was time for her husband to return to the USA. As an Army wife, Susi became an active volunteer at many military bases in the United States and Europe. She also took advantage of the many moves to travel and shop. When Leo was in the field she was often on a tour or shopping. Her desire to travel was curtailed somewhat after the birth of their daughter, Katherine, although they did a lot of travelling as a family.
After 30 years of military service (ending in 1992) her husband retired at Wildflecken, Germany. They moved to a small mountain village in Southern Bavaria where they lived a very active life, taking advantage of the location for travel and the proximity to the nearby military station. Susi and Leo were very active in a Christian ministry for soldiers and at the chapel at Bad Aibling Station. Susi also had a personal ministry, helping poor german widows, who had been married to American soldiers.
Because of failing health, Susi began her transition to Texas in 2016, spending only summers in Germany. She made her last trip to Germany in the Spring of 2019.
Susi is survived by her husband Leo Holland; her daughter, Katherine Marcyes (Dustin); granddaughter Chentelle Marcyes; brothers John Spaeth (Patti) and Frank Spaeth (Judy); and sisters Carol Simmons and Judi Cody (Ron S.).
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