LTC Gregory Francis Hollewinske USA (Ret.)

February 22, 1924May 28, 2014

LtC. Gregory F. Hollewinske (Ret.), On May 28, 2014, Gregory went to his reward. Gregory was born to John and Anna Hollewinske on their small farm in Gaylord, Michigan on February 22, 1914. He attended both Pulaski School and St Mary’s High School in Gaylord, MI. After high school, Gregory entered the Alexian Brothers Novitiate in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. In 1945 he entered the Alexian Brothers Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois and graduated with his degree and registered nursing license for the State of Illinois in 1948. Gregory worked at Alexian Brothers hospitals in Chicago, IL; Elizabeth, NJ; St. Louis, MO and Oshkosh, WI. Continuing his professional career in the industrial nursing field, he was contracted to work on the DEW Line in Alaska. Thereafter, he worked for two years in Saudi Arabia at the U.S. Army Air Base at Dhahran. He continued his nursing work in Aruba with the Standard Oil Company and was called on active duty during his time there. He was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Army Nursing Corps and assigned to supervise two orthopedic units in Germany and Japan. Gregory also worked for the Army dispensary in Korea with KMAG. He continued on to serve as the Medical Nurse Advisor to the Vietnamese Hospitals in the Central Highlands. It was during this time that he was awarded the Bronze Star for his distinguished service. Gregory then returned to the states where he was appointed as the Director of the 91 Charlie (91C), a school for licensed vocational nurses. A memorable moment in Gregory’s life was when he was trapped on the tail end of a burning oil tanker in Aruba. He rowed through a canopy of water and fire deterrent, with an 80 foot flame from the burning tanker on his left and pipe lines on the right. Others had reluctantly declined due to the fear of the tanker exploding and Gregory stepped forward. He was rewarded by the oil company for his courageous act. He encountered other close calls throughout the years that changed his life. Once Gregory was shot at by a sniper while returning from Panmunjom, North Korea. Another was managing to live through frequent rocket attacks in Vietnam. Through the help of his Guardian Angel, Christopher, Gregory survived and was able to share many memorable stories with others. Gregory was an Honorary Life Member of the Knights of Columbus (3rd and 4th Degrees), a Knight Grand Cross of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, ACTS teams, American Legion, Disabled Veterans and VFW. Gregory traveled to 92 countries and enjoyed studying the history and culture of each. Besides traveling, his favorite pastimes included classical music, cooking, hunting and fishing with his best friend and companion, Duffy, a Yellow Labrador that was well-known and loved by the locals.

Preceding him in death are his parents John and Anna Hollewinske, to whom he gives much of his gratitude for his success in life. Also preceding him are his sisters Helen Ursula, Frances and Genevieve; brothers William, Victor, Benjamin, Ralph and Robert Hollewinske. He is survived by his sister Jackie of Milford, MI and brother Ernest of Allen Park, MI; and many nieces and nephews over four generations.

“He lived well, laughed often and loved much; gained the respect of intelligent men and love of little children; his life was an inspiration; his memory a benediction…” - B. Stanley

A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 3 p.m. at St. Pius X Church 3909 Harry Wurzbach, San Antonio, Texas, with a private burial to follow at Ft. Sam Houston.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Retired Priest Home at Padua Place 80 Peter Baque Rd San Antonio, Texas 78209


  • Visitation Friday, June 6, 2014
  • Rosary Friday, June 6, 2014
  • Funeral Mass Friday, June 6, 2014

LTC Gregory Francis Hollewinske USA (Ret.)

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Rodney Sustaita

October 21, 2014

Thank you Brother for all you did for this world!

June 6, 2014

J Patrick Rick

June 6, 2014

Hearing he was very ill, I was saddened to learn we lost Gregory Hollewinske. He sat down with me for an interview a few years ago while I was writing the book, The Abbey & Me.

In a hand-written document, Gregory describes playing an obscure role in an actual 1949 exorcism. History shows that Hollewinske was probably the last living former Alexian Brother to have observed the St. Louis exorcism inspiring the book and movie, The Exorcist. Add this to his list of intriguing chapters in his life.

Jack Buckley

June 5, 2014

You know someone for years & find out more about them after they have passed on. Greg never spoke of all the danger he faced nor the courage he showed in the face of it all. He was a very kind, generous, giving individual you had to admire because of his great love for people. The Lord has taken a wonderful man to his just reward in heaven for all the good things he did in this life & his own personal commitment to Christ. Rest in peace, old friend. One day we will all join you to celebrate eternal life together in heaven.