Dr. Leta Jane Holman, 83 Retired Longwood Professor, Dies Thursday

Published 2:04 pm Monday, July 26, 2010

DECEMBER 3 – Dr. Leta Jane Holman, 83, of Farmville, died Thursday, November 27, 2003 after a long illness.

A native of Seymour, Texas, she was born July 30, 1920, the daughter of D. A. and Eula Lee Holman. After graduating from Seymour High School, she earned a B.S. degree from Texas Tech University, a M.T. degree from Baylor University, a M.A. degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland, the latter completed in 1961. She taught biology at Longwood College from 1962-1986, and retired as Professor Emerita of Biology.

During her professional career, she was an active member of many distinguished organizations, including Sigma XI, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, Southwestern Association of Naturalists, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Virginia Academy of Science, the Association of Southeastern Biologists, and the Acarological Society of America. She studied the biology and reproductive mechanism of chiggers for many years, a work culminating in a seminal presentation to the Third International Congress of Acarology held in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

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She also served the college on several departmental and college-wide committees, including the Library Committee, the promotion and Tenure Committee, the Landscape Committee, and English Proficiency Committee.

Dr. Holman was well known as an avid bird watcher, and participated in numerous field trips designed to document population numbers of various species. She was a long time member of the Margaret H. Watson Bird Club in Farmville, and served for many years as its secretary. In addition, she was an ardent fan of country swing music, and had her own band in high school. Her group often played on WFAA radio in Dallas, TX.

She is preceded in death by her parents in 1976, and brothers David in 1919 and Lynn in 1983. She is survived by her beloved sister-in-law, Vivian, of Wichita Falls, Texas; a niece. Donna Carver of Seymour, Texas; her nephews, Paul of Beaumont, Texas, Joe of Killeen, Texas and Danny of Wichita Falls, Texas; nine great-nieces and great-nephews; as well as numerous friends who formed her extended family in Farmville.

Remembrances may be made to the Oncology Unit of Southside Community Hospital, to Brookview Lodge, or the Longwood University Foundation.

Interment will be in Seymour, Texas on Wednesday, December.