Still stylish at 100

Published 7:13 pm Thursday, December 23, 2021

Suffolk native Pearlie Mae Holland is celebrating her 100th birthday on Dec. 26.

Holland has lived in Suffolk her entire life. She was born to the Hare family who owned farmland off of Pineview Road. She was the oldest of three with a brother and sister.

She graduated valedictorian of her class at Nansemond County Training School in 1939. After high school, she married Lloyd Manning Holland on Dec. 27, 1943, and their marriage was blessed with four children, seven grandchildren and over 10 great-grandchildren.

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Once they were married, her husband built their home down the road from her family’s farm, where she was born. Holland still lives in this home today, which hosts their family gatherings.

“She’s definitely a matriarch of the neighborhood,” said Dvon Williams, her granddaughter. “Living there for over 70 years, she knows the families and is still an active figure in many lives.”

Holland kept busy. She spent two years working in a doctor’s office, and as an excellent seamstress, she would make coats, suits, dresses and more for those who asked. She also has a talent for drawing, which many of her children and grandchildren inherited.

She is a member of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church and has attended the church her whole life. As the oldest member, she is regarded as the matriarch of the church — as well as a fashionista.

“She is well known for being the best dressed at church,” said Wiliams. “With her hat collection and style, she’s known by everyone for being stylish.”

According to her family, Holland’s long life is attributed to her staying active and occupied. They also credit her positive attitude, as she is always at peace and is never one to gossip.

“It’s the good Lord,” said Holland. “I don’t know anything I did special.”

Holland will show off her style again in a festive red suit for her drive-by birthday celebration from 2:30 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 26. Those wishing to participate can meet between 2:15 to 2:30 p.m. at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at 4481 Butler Drive.