David A. Hollis
Rockport — David Andrew Hollis, 50, a sharp-witted, widely traveled man who liked a tall glass of Moxie as much as he appreciated a well-chosen wine, died Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010, at Anderson Inn at Quarry Hill in Camden.
He was diagnosed with brain cancer in May 2009 and went courageously through treatment with honor and dignity.
He was born in Bangor on March 20, 1960, the son of Frank and Sue Carol (Carmichael) Hollis, and grew up in Waldoboro and Camden.
At what was then Camden-Rockport High School, he excelled at two activities that became lifelong passions: sports and music. He was a member of the soccer, basketball and baseball teams and the band and chorus and performed leading roles in school dramatic productions. He also was president of the National Honor Society, belonged to the Latin Honor Society, and was elected to the Student Council. He graduated with the class of 1978.
He went on to Amherst College, spending his junior year abroad at the London School of Economics before graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science and economics.
Amherst also gave him the chance to continue singing: He belonged to the a cappella group the Zumbyes and the Men’s Glee Club, touring Europe and Asia with the group. In the 1990s, he joined the Mastersingers USA, made up of alumni of various collegiate men’s choruses.
His personal musical tastes favored such singers as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Nat King Cole. Several weeks before his death, he took great pleasure in a mix of his favorites put together by friends, listening raptly and making only the occasional comment (“Sinatra was flat there” or “Great stuff”).
He took delight in embracing what may have puzzled those around him – not only music of a different era, but also the uniquely bitter taste of the soft drink Moxie, a front-yard vegetable garden, and the surreal comic strip “Zippy the Pinhead." He worked in marketing and development for various companies and the state Office of Business Development before his desire for a career change took him to Vermont Law School, from which he graduated in 2007.
In his spare time, he pursued a variety of activities so enthusiastically that they almost couldn’t be considered hobbies: gardening, hiking, sailing, and restoring convertibles, sailboats, and the homes where he lived in Rockland and Camden. One of the comforts of his last summer was spending time on his father’s sailboat in Maine.
His greatest joy in life was seeing his two sons, Graham, 17, and Myles, 15, grow up into academically and athletically gifted young men. He enjoyed going to their games and was very proud of them.
He loved good food wherever he could find it, whether that was at Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, or at Indonesian restaurants in Amsterdam. As a host, he was solicitous of his friends’ comfort, urging them to stay for one last cup of tea or glass of wine. Even during his last months, he asked visitors “what can I get you." He insisted on walking guests to the door to say goodbye for as long as he physically could.
He was predeceased by his mother in 1996.
He is survived by his sons, Hollis Graham and Myles Emerson Safford, and their mother, Lori Safford, all of Hampden; his partner, Lisa Johnson of Asheville, N.C.; his father, Frank Hollis, of Rockport and his sister and brother-in-law, Lynn and David Cooke, and nephews Thomas and Daniel, all of Harvard, Mass.; his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Melissa Hollis, and nieces Elizabeth and Katherine, all of Winthrop; aunts, uncles, and cousins from the Bangor area and Lynnfield, Mass.; and many, many friends.
A celebration of his life has been scheduled for Friday, Jan. 7 at High Mountain Hall, 5 Mountain St. in Camden from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
His family and friends would like to thank the staff of Anderson Inn at Quarry Hill and Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care & Hospice for their skilled and attentive care. Their kindness meant a great deal at a difficult time.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care & Hospice, 17 Pleasant Street, Rockland, ME 04841.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland. To sign David’s online guestbook, please visit obituaries at www.bchfh.com.