Charles Curtis “Chuck” Hollen, beloved husband of Anita Hollen, brother of Martha Hollen Howard and John Hollen, uncle of Sarah Howard Ivey and David Howard died May 3, 2019. He was born November 30, 1939. He worked in the Detroit advertising industry, then as a counseling psychologist in Caro.
Above all, Chuck loved Anita, cars, music, learning, and being with his family. We agreed that the best memorial would be to talk about who and what he loved most.
Growing up Chuck loved music and cars. He played in the high school band, and bought his first car—a 1950 Olds coupe, soon after he turned 16. After high school, Chuck got a job in the Van Nuys GM Assembly Plant where our uncle worked. At the end of the summer, he had one of the best car adventures ever. For $50, he bought a 1938 Packard that had been in a wreck with a semi. Chuck cut the wrecked part off the front fenders with a welding torch and drove the car back from California. He found two Packard front fenders, for $6 each at a junkyard and painted them to match the car. His ingenuity and hard work transformed that wreck into a classic car for $62 and the price of some body paint.
Then he went to college. Chuck showed his love of learning by earning a BA from Michigan State in 1963, an MA from Harvard in 1965, and a PhD from Michigan State in 1967.
When Chuck started working in advertising, of course he wanted to advertise cars! He worked for J. Walter Thompson and other large ad agencies on Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler accounts.
While he was working in Detroit, he sang with the Detroit Lutheran Singers. And, one of the greatest joys of his life was to work on cars with his brother, John. He got to buy his dream car, a classic 1967 Mustang.
Chuck met the love of his life when he met Anita. They got together in the early the 1990s and married on Valentine’s Day 1996. He was the happiest ever in his marriage with Anita and in their life together.
When he transitioned from advertising to counseling, Chuck got a job with The Caro Center—one of Michigan’s remaining three mental health institutions. He worked there 11 years, helping many people who suffered severe mental illness.
Chuck and Anita enjoyed a wonderful life in Caro. They attended the United Methodist Church, and had many good friends there. They went to Interlochen for music festivals, and on Elder Hostel trips, including to the Grand Canyon. Chuck joined a singing group and kept up his music. He especially loved being with Anita in their home with its beautiful indoor and outdoor space.
A few years after he retired, Chuck and Anita had to say goodbye to Caro. This wasn’t an easy thing to do, but when they found their condo in Southfield, it turned out to be just the right thing.
The main stress at that time was Chuck’s illness. Everyone knows how challenging Alzheimer’s disease can be. After Chuck could no longer be cared for at home, Anita visited him faithfully. This past Christmas, John, David and Martha were fortunate to spend part of the holiday visiting with him. He passed away peacefully in his sleep last month. We will miss him.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the 2:30 p.m. service Sunday, June 9, 2019, Sawyer Fuller Funeral Home and Cremation, Berkley.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to your favorite organization that supports mental health.