Clyde Hollingsworth (“Holly”) died peacefully in Medford, Oregon, surrounded by his wife of 68 years, Vivien Frances (Brake) Hollingsworth, and his children Cheri Hollingsworth (San Clemente CA), Greg Hollingsworth (Olalla WA) and Stacy Hollingsworth (Ashland OR).
He was born in Crowell TX to Clyde Olin and Mattie Mae (Russell) Hollingsworth, and grew up in Sweetwater, TX playing baseball, riding his bike, and playing cutthroat Texas poker with his many aunts and uncles. He graduated from Texas Tech University, where he enrolled in the ROTC program. In Lubbock, he met Vivien, the love of his life. Clyde and Vivien were married in her hometown of Pampa, TX in 1954. They concurrently started a family and commenced their life together in the US Air Force, living with the family at air bases on both coasts, as well as in Hawaii and Japan. Holly was an old-school, hands-on navigator on long-distance military transport planes, and his service included a deployment in the Vietnam War where he was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, completed 78 missions and received 8 other medals and awards from 5 different Presidents of the United States.
He was part of the Edwards AFB test team for the C5-A, the largest aircraft built for the USAF. He was able to see a lot of the world via military life and retired in Shalimar, Florida, after topping off his career as Wing Commander at Eglin AFB. He was a humble leader who championed his staff and garnered loyalty and respect from his colleagues.
Clyde loved being with his family foremost, but he also loved his friends and neighbors and was curious about people in general. He would talk to anybody, anywhere and was especially vibrant at parties and on the golf course. If he could have, he would have been a golf pro; golf was his passion from the 1960’s through the 2000’s, when he stepped back from active play after a couple of surgeries sidelined him. He and his buddies travelled annually to play challenging courses around the country and abroad. When he wasn’t playing golf, he was watching golf or football (a devoted Dallas Cowboys fan). And did we say parties? He was the quintessential life-of-the-party: he loved dressing up, singing, dancing, and entertaining his friends and neighbors until the wee hours, with bushels of oysters, barrels of blue crab, steaks on the grill and maybe a martini or two.
Clyde used his sharp mind and his big heart to navigate the world. Through to his last moment, he embodied the same strength and determination with which he lived his life. He left us with proof of his open, affectionate heart and the clarity of purpose to do what he thought was right, alongside his wholehearted desire to have a good time.
Clyde is survived by what he called his “perfect family” – usually going through all the names on the roll call until he got to the name he meant to say: Vivien, Cheri, Stacy, Greg. He was Granddad to his three beloved granddaughters: Ya-Ling Sale, Leah Andrews (husband Shawn), and Trisha Hollingsworth, and to six great-grandkids: Madilynne Hollingsworth, CJ Woodul, Charlotte Sale-Hollingsworth, Vivienne Sale, Tate Andrews and Isla Andrews. His only sister Theora Matheson and her husband Dale live in Tucson AZ.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, any donations be made to Wounded Warriors, his favorite charity.
Col. Hollingsworth will be placed to rest with full military honors at Eagle Point National Cemetery in Eagle Point, Oregon.
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