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Time wouldn't stand still for Edgar 'Ed' Hollinger

April 20, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back -- through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others -- at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Edgar "Ed" Hollinger, who died April 10 at the age of 94. His obituary was published in the April 11 edition of The Herald-Mail.

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Ed Hollinger made more than 100 grandfather and grandmother clocks in his lifetime.

It all began with one very large grandfather clock that Ed's oldest brother in Harrisburg, Pa., bought as plans. He soon found the project was more than he could handle.

"It was in the early 1960s ... Dad built it down here in the pattern shop at Keystone Homes," said his son, Ken Hollinger.

Ed soon was building clocks for other family members, friends, and friends of friends.

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"He was hooked then," Ken said.

Ken said he remembers that his father would work all day at Keystone Homes, come home and eat, then go back so he could make another clock.

Many of the larger clocks had to be taken apart after Ed built them so he could deliver them to their new owners. Ken said he went along on some of those trips to Washington, D.C., and even as far as upstate New York.

As Ken was recounting his memories of his father's clockmaking, he was fingering an old ledger his father meticulously kept over the years of every clock he made. There were pages and pages of entries.

Ed's daughter, Nancy Shafer, said she recalls that her father's connection to his clocks didn't end when they were delivered.

"He'd go and work on them when they weren't working," Nancy said, stressing that all of her father's clocks were handmade.

Ken, who runs Master Pattern Works in Rouzerville, Pa., worked in a mill in Pennsylvania when he wasn't going to school. He and his father both worked in millwork -- sometimes together and sometimes apart.

Nancy remembers trips to the airport in Washington with her father when she was young. She said they would sit for hours and watch plane after plane take off and land.

"My best years with dad were after 1987, when I started my business," Ken said.

They both worked in pattern shops, at Keystone Homes and making wood forms for foundries. Both men also worked at Landis Tool Co. in Waynesboro.

"Dad loved to travel," Ken said. "Sometimes, we'd get on the road at 7 a.m. and still be going at 11 p.m. We would sleep in the van."

In 1993, Ed and Ken drove to Alaska. On that 5,000-mile trip, they visited Valdez, flew to the Arctic Circle, ate moose burgers and spent time in a native village.

Nancy said her father's health began to decline in recent years. Their mother, Doris Hollinger, died in October.

Sitting at his desk at Master Pattern Works, Ken said the loss of his father was just sinking in.

"There were more than 150 people at the funeral service," Ken said, drifting into his private thoughts.

He then remembered one more thing he wanted to say about his father.

For 18 years, Ed did all of Ken's books for the business.

"I didn't need a computer," Ken said. "I had dad."

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