OBITUARY

Melvin Jerome Holliman

January 28, 1953July 30, 2018
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Melvin Holliman, husband, father and accomplished engineer, died on July 30, 2018.

Melvin was born to Peola Holliman (Riddick) and William Bentley in Thompson, GA. As a child he lived briefly in GA and TX, before relocating to New Jersey with his mother and step father, Robert Franklin. He loved his grandparents and developed a strong work ethic at an early age by working in his grandmother’s salon and working on cars with his grandfather. He was the first grandchild and was doted on by his grandparents.

Mel, aka ‘Hollywood’, attended Weequahic High School, where he excelled in football, baseball and basketball.

With encouragement from his Uncle Jimmy, he graduated from Newark College of Engineering. He made history by being part of the first class of African American students to graduate from the engineering program. He was also a founding member for the Iota Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He was a successful civil engineer, creating blueprints and designs for many bridges across OH and MI. He worked for various companies throughout his career, but his heart was in owning his own business, Summit Engineering. He successfully worked as an independent contractor, had a knack for developing connections and building relationships everywhere he went. He also gave back to the community by mentoring students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program (STEM).

In 1975 he married Beverly Covington, with whom he moved to Cleveland, OH and raised two children Danielle (whom he affectionately called Baby Girl even though she is 40) and Jason whom he warmly called Son. He helped care for his younger brother Dwayne (Strong), who visited Cleveland every summer during his childhood, providing him with love, guidance and discipline. His children were his pride and joy, he taught them to work hard, live with integrity and the importance of learning family history. He cherished spending time with his children, and imparting wisdom learned from his successes and failures over his lifetime.

He was the family documentarian and was known for finding relatives all over the country. If ever he met another Holliman (no matter how the name was spelled) he’d say “we’re related”, and would begin the process of figuring out how. He enjoyed taking his children back to GA and NJ, to meet other relatives and visit family landmarks. He captured time spent with family on video and in photos.

Next to the love he had for his children, was the great love he shared with his beloved wife of nearly 15 years Joyce Holliman. They enjoyed traveling, seeing the latest movies, attending concerts, golfing and entertaining friends. Mel loved to DJ parties at home, introducing friends to new wines and his margaritas (even though his margarita recipe wasn’t very good). After the love of his wife and children came his passion for golf (or maybe golf came first). He began playing golf at a young age and fell in love with game. He played every chance he could and over the years has collected every golf hat, shirt, and memento ever made. He set tee times with his golfing buddies and never missed a game. If he wasn’t with family you could find him hanging out with his “boys”, enjoying roasted peanuts, or listening to Motown. He was a cigar aficionado and avid Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoyed history, reading biographies, and “stimulating conversation” as he called it. Mel knew a lot about a lot. He could talk about anything politics, history, sports and took pride in his vast knowledge. And if anyone questioned him about his facts or opinions he’d reply “one time I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken”.

Mel was semi-retired and has spent the last few years spending more time engaging in all the activities he loved. Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud to be a grandfather to Harper Grace to whom he was affectionately known as Pop-Pop. He was present for her birth, and attended every milestone thereafter.

Loved ones that will miss Mel until they meet again include his wife Joyce; mother Peola Riddick; daughter Danielle Timmons (Donnell); son Jason Holliman; step-daughter Kellie Durham Etzel (Jason); granddaughter Harper Grace Timmons; brother Dwayne Franklin; nephew Thaddeus Franklin; godson Devin Taylor; a host of other dear relatives and friends; and the great members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Visitation Sunday, August 5 from 5-8pm at Harry J. Will Funeral Home 34567 Michigan Avenue in Wayne. Funeral Service Monday, August 6 at 11am at the Funeral Home. Memorials can be made to the charity of your choice.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, August 5, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, August 6, 2018
REMEMBERING

Melvin Jerome Holliman

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Tony Spring

September 24, 2018

My condolences to Mel's family and friends. Mel was a friend and mentor to me. It was truly a pleasure knowing him and having him to share words of advice. He was always engaging and real.

Rita Banks

August 6, 2018

Mel was one of "Good Guys" to know, always willing to help a friend and giving of his time.
We worked together many years ago at the Perry Plant for (CEI) known as First Energy today.
He took pride in his work, and had a way of explaining in "laymen" terms if you did not understand
something.

I was sorry to hear about his passing, he will truly be missed.

Now you can be at PEACE AND REST MY FRIEND.!

Clarence Davis

August 3, 2018

On behalf of the Lee road Baptist Church men’s club of 1992 we are all experiencing deep sorrow by the passing of our brother in arms of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. Mel Holliman (Melvin) was a dear friend to all of us and a hard-working church board member and men’s club member of Lee road Baptist church we will all miss him.

Tom Mason

August 2, 2018

Mel was a good friend and a truly good person. I could share my feelings with him and be sure that his comments were honest, not for effect or manipulation. He had insights into technical, social and political items. We will miss him.

Anthony Thomas

August 2, 2018

I met Mel at Shawnee Hills Golf Course(1990s). We became friends through golf and business. He was truly a great guy and will be missed. I am sorry to hear of his passing. Joyce, I will keep you in the family in my prayers.

Rob Ring

August 1, 2018

Mel was one of the true good guys. One of the nicest people you would have ever met. Words cannot accurately express the sorrow of his passing. He will be truly missed. -Rob from JR

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Melvin Holliman, husband, father and accomplished engineer, died on July 30, 2018.

Melvin was born to Peola Holliman (Riddick) and William Bentley in Thompson, GA. As a child he lived briefly in GA and TX, before relocating to New Jersey with his mother and step father, Robert Franklin. He loved his grandparents and developed a strong work ethic at an early age by working in his grandmother’s salon and working on cars with his grandfather. He was the first grandchild and was doted on by his grandparents.

Mel, aka ‘Hollywood’, attended Weequahic High School, where he excelled in football, baseball and basketball.

With encouragement from his Uncle Jimmy, he graduated from Newark College of Engineering. He made history by being part of the first class of African American students to graduate from the engineering program. He was also a founding member for the Iota Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He was a successful civil engineer, creating blueprints and designs for many bridges across OH and MI. He worked for various companies throughout his career, but his heart was in owning his own business, Summit Engineering. He successfully worked as an independent contractor, had a knack for developing connections and building relationships everywhere he went. He also gave back to the community by mentoring students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program (STEM).

In 1975 he married Beverly Covington, with whom he moved to Cleveland, OH and raised two children Danielle (whom he affectionately called Baby Girl even though she is 40) and Jason whom he warmly called Son. He helped care for his younger brother Dwayne (Strong), who visited Cleveland every summer during his childhood, providing him with love, guidance and discipline. His children were his pride and joy, he taught them to work hard, live with integrity and the importance of learning family history. He cherished spending time with his children, and imparting wisdom learned from his successes and failures over his lifetime.

He was the family documentarian and was known for finding relatives all over the country. If ever he met another Holliman (no matter how the name was spelled) he’d say “we’re related”, and would begin the process of figuring out how. He enjoyed taking his children back to GA and NJ, to meet other relatives and visit family landmarks. He captured time spent with family on video and in photos.

Next to the love he had for his children, was the great love he shared with his beloved wife of nearly 15 years Joyce Holliman. They enjoyed traveling, seeing the latest movies, attending concerts, golfing and entertaining friends. Mel loved to DJ parties at home, introducing friends to new wines and his margaritas (even though his margarita recipe wasn’t very good). After the love of his wife and children came his passion for golf (or maybe golf came first). He began playing golf at a young age and fell in love with game. He played every chance he could and over the years has collected every golf hat, shirt, and memento ever made. He set tee times with his golfing buddies and never missed a game. If he wasn’t with family you could find him hanging out with his “boys”, enjoying roasted peanuts, or listening to Motown. He was a cigar aficionado and avid Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoyed history, reading biographies, and “stimulating conversation” as he called it. Mel knew a lot about a lot. He could talk about anything politics, history, sports and took pride in his vast knowledge. And if anyone questioned him about his facts or opinions he’d reply “one time I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken”.

Mel was semi-retired and has spent the last few years spending more time engaging in all the activities he loved. Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud to be a grandfather to Harper Grace to whom he was affectionately known as Pop-Pop. He was present for her birth, and attended every milestone thereafter.

Loved ones that will miss Mel until they meet again include his wife Joyce; mother Peola Riddick; daughter Danielle Timmons (Donnell); son Jason Holliman; step-daughter Kellie Durham Etzel (Jason); granddaughter Harper Grace Timmons; brother Dwayne Franklin; nephew Thaddeus Franklin; godson Devin Taylor; a host of other dear relatives and friends; and the great members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Visitation Sunday, August 5 from 5-8pm at Harry J. Will Funeral Home 34567 Michigan Avenue in Wayne. Funeral Service Monday, August 6 at 11am at the Funeral Home. Memorials can be made to the charity of your choice.