Mary Anne Holberg, 82 Dies June 2 At Her Home In Suffolk

Published 1:08 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SUFFOLK, June 8 – Mary Anne Kitchin Holberg died with peace and dignity in her home early Tuesday morning, June 2, 2010. She was 82 years old. Her quiet passing followed an extensive struggle with numerous health problems, most notably Parkinson's Disease. “Anne” was the daughter of Donald Linwood Kitchin, Como, North Carolina and Mabel Bradshaw Kitchin, Isle of Wight County.

She is survived by her husband, Fred Duane Holberg, Missouri Falls, Iowa and daughter, Kristin Ann Holberg, Chesapeake; sister, Page Kitchin Lane, sister, Cassandra Kitchin DeLoatch Gray and husband, Gene Gray; brother James Linwood Kitchin and wife, Jamie Parker Kitchin; brother-in-law, Earl James Holberg and wife, Lois Holberg, and sister-in-law, Margaret Punch Holberg. Her surviving cousins, nieces, and nephews were beloved, but too numerous to include.

Mrs. Holberg was born October 1927. She moved about Southside Virginia several times during childhood, but like Jesus, never lived more than 50 miles from where she was born, Franklin. Her qualities of energy, creativity, artistry, and work ethic served her well as she grew up during the Great Depression. Grandmother Lula Gatling Kitchin trained her to be an accomplished needle artist and seamstress. Her love and gift for music, inherited from “Daddy” Kitchin, were channeled into piano and swing dance. Even her memorable meals were worthy reflections of her Virginia-Carolina heritage. But Anne's crowning achievement was when she decided, mid-life, to become an artist.

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Attending classes at Tidewater Community College exposed her to a variety of media and the most prominent local instructors of the time. Artists such as John Head, Jack Clifton, Janet Walsh, Robert Clonz, and Robert Burnell all enjoyed and spoke well of her as a student. Mrs. Holberg went on to help found and establish the Smithfield Brush and Pallete Club, participate in the Smithfield Arts Calendar, and both judge and receive awards at local art shows.

The gradual failing of her health prevented her from traveling further afield with her art. However, she spent the remaining years of her life creating a beautiful home with her husband near Bacon's Castle and maintaining a home art studio, Hog Island Studios, which overlooked Lower Chippokes Creek and Chippokes Plantation State Park. She always maintained an attitude that “I do everything because I enjoy it and most all, at this point, I like to paint with my friends.”

She will be missed for that love of life, her inner strength and endurance through suffering, and for proving herself to be a worthy representative of America's “Greatest Generation”.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, at Baker-Foster Funeral Home, Suffolk. Burial will follow at 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens, Suffolk.

The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to “The Sigma Alpha Iota Rose Scholarship Fund” care of Longwood University Foundation, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909.

Condolences can be offered to the family at