A recent celebrant of her 101st birthday, Rose Plotkin Holz of Oak Ridge, TN, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Medical Medical Center surrounded by her children. She was a resident at Commonwealth Senior Living.
She and her late husband, Peter P. Holz, moved here in 1953. The daughter of the late Sarah (Cohen) and Joseph Plotkin, she was born on October 17, 1920, in Worcester, MA. She was the surviving sibling of their six children: sisters Bess Allentuch and Esther Becker; and brothers Abraham, Jack, and Sidney Plotkin.
She is survived by her son, George E. Holz, and his wife, Jennifer, of Phoenicia, NY; and daughters Jane R. Vercruysse and her husband, Mike, of Avon, NC; Barbara G. Holz of Knoxville; and Bonnie L. Dings and her husband, John, of Louisville; grandchildren Sarah P. Dawson of Durham, NC; Emily E. Dings of Bethlehem, PA; Peter B. Hance of Knoxville; and Joshua D. Holz of New York; and great-granddaughter Fiona Rose Dawson of Durham.
Mrs. Holz graduated from Beth Israel Hospital School of Nursing in Boston in 1942. A senior there when Pearl Harbor was attacked, she signed up for the US Navy Nurse Corps Candidate program and became a Commissioned Ensign.
She was stationed as a Navy nurse in Newport, RI, and San Diego, CA. At Balboa Park Naval Hospital in San Diego, celebrities including Bob Hope visited to entertain servicemen injured in the Pacific. The Associated Press circulated a photo of her feeding a wounded sailor. She remembered rolling her patients' beds and wheelchairs out to hear Eleanor Roosevelt speak on the nearby patio.
In San Diego, Mrs. Holz met her future husband, who was also serving in the Navy. They married in Worcester in 1945. Shortly afterward, his ship left for overseas duty. After World War II ended, they moved first to Norfolk, VA, and then to Knoxville. Following his recall to serve in the Korean War and discharge in 1953, the family settled in Oak Ridge. From 1963 to 1985, she worked in the City Public Health Department. Generations of school children recall meeting her during inoculation clinics.
An active member of Temple Beth-El in Oak Ridge, Mrs. Holz taught in religious school, served on the congregation board, and belonged to the Women's Auxiliary. A Life Member of Hadassah, she became Hadassah President and was later named "Woman of the Year" in 2002.
In 1992, she spent 2 months in Israel with "Winter in Netanya," a Hadassah volunteer program. An avid global traveler, she visited Israel five times. She also organized a drive within Hadassah to send medical supplies to Bosnia.
In 1989 during a trip to Germany with her son George, the Berlin Wall came down. The two chipped out pieces together. In 1997, she attended the dedication of the "Women in Volunteer Service to America" in Washington, DC, with her daughter Jane. She also joined many local WWII contemporaries on an Honor Air flight from Knoxville to Washington.
In Oak Ridge, Mrs. Holz served on the boards of Camp Fire Girls and the American Diabetes Association. She also volunteered at the Same-Day Surgery Clinic at Methodist Medical Center.
Mrs. Holz's funeral will be held at Martin Funeral Home in Oak Ridge Friday December 3, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. Cantor Jaquie Marx will officiate. Following the service, buri
al will be at Beth El Cemetery in the Oak Ridge Memorial Park. Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, any memorial contributions be sent to Hadassah and the Jewish Community of Oak Ridge. Online messages may be left for the family at