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Holliman being buried in Shepherdstown

September 16, 1998

John HollimanBy DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town




SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - CNN reporter John Holliman may have been farther away from Shepherdstown than he wanted, but he will rest here forever.

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Holliman, 49, who was killed in a car crash Saturday in suburban Atlanta, will be returned to Shepherdstown and buried in Elmwood Cemetery along W.Va. 480.

Although his assignments took him around the globe, Holliman enjoyed coming home to an old farm along Ridge Road just south of town.

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He and his wife Dianne also were involved in the community, finding friends at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church and helping produce the Rumsey Radio Hour, a locally produced radio show.

Friends say Holliman remained attached to Shepherdstown, even though a new job with CNN kept him away a lot of the time.

"They considered this home," said Bill Howard, an elder at Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church.

A memorial service for Holliman was held Wednesday at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, said Howard. The service was led by the Rev. Randy Tremba, pastor of Shepherdstown Presbyterian. Tremba also worked with Holliman on the Rumsey Radio Hour.

A second service for Holliman will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at the church on West Washington Street in Shepherdstown. The burial at Elmwood Cemetery will be private, Howard said.

Holliman and his wife raised English sheep dogs on their farm, and Holliman learned the basics of carpentry as they worked to turn an old farmhouse into the home of their dreams.

In the Rumsey Radio Hour, which was a mix of music and comedy, Holliman was a guest emcee for some of the shows. He also did monologues, which often poked fun at politics, said Dorothy McGhee, who worked with him on the show.

"I think we had him once as a crazed White House reporter, which he did with a great deal of zealousness," said McGhee.

McGhee said Holliman could have blended into the background and never made his presence known in the community. But he wanted to become involved, she said.

"He had an enormous capacity for fun," McGhee said.

CNN recently asked Holliman to take a new job in Atlanta, and he "went down there with some reluctance," said McGhee. Although the Hollimans were spending less time here, they often came back on holidays, she said.

Holliman and fellow CNN reporters Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw became household names for their coverage of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

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