MITCHELL — Hollace D. Sherwood, 91, long time Mitchell teacher passed away early in the morning June, 20, 2014 at Mitchell Manor. Hollace Daniel Sherwood was born on March 4th, 1923 the oldest son of Hollace Chase and Dorothy Bryant Blackwell Sherwood on the family farm near Mitchell where his uncle, Dr. Walter Sherwood, delivered him. Educated first in Bryantsville and then Mitchell schools he graduated from Mitchell High School in 1940. Hollace Dan, as he was known to both family and friends, and his younger brother by a year, John Robert Sherwood entered Indiana University together in the fall of 1940. John Robert continued his studies in music at IU but Hollace Dan transferred to Purdue University after his first year with a goal to study vocational agriculture. Unable to enter the service due to poor eyesight, Hollace Dan attended classes in the shortened war semesters, closed the Purdue Chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity as members left campus and also returned to work on the family farm. In the spring of 1945, he received his B.S. degree from Purdue in his intended major of Vocational Agriculture. He had met the love of his life, Ila Jane Reish of Francisville, Indiana, while at Purdue and they were married on November 24, 1945.
Returning to the Mitchell area, he taught a variety of subjects at Mitchell High School, including agriculture but he had always had an interest in science and began teaching more science courses. He received one of the very early National Science Foundation Fellowships to increase his science knowledge at the University of Michigan where he and the family lived for the 1958-59 academic year. He received is A.M. from Michigan in the summer of 1959. Returning to Mitchell, he educated generations of students in Chemistry, Physics and Physical Science at the Jr./Sr. High School retiring from secondary teaching in 1985. In his later years, he and Ila taught for Vincennes University at both their Mitchell and Jasper centers and they continued this into retirement, teaching Chemistry to many students who were working towards nursing degrees of various kinds.
In 1984, Ila read about the famines in Ethiopia and shared her concerns with Hollace. Together with a set of committed individuals first from the Bryantsville Church of Christ and then other local and regional churches formed what became the Bryantsville Hunger Relief Project (www.bhrp.org). The project has grown since its inception in 1985 through dedicated volunteers and financial supporters. High protein corn is produced at cost on the Sherwood family farm and volunteers clean and bag it into approximately 60 pound bags, usually for a cost of about five dollars/bag. National organizations such as Feed the Children, worked with the BHRP, and were able to find ways to get truck and boat space donated to transport, first to Central America and the Caribbean, and then to over 25 countries across the world. As of last year, 158,592 bags of corn (about 9.5 million pounds) had been sent to needy families at no cost to them. Even after a stroke limited Hollace Dan’s strength and the death of his beloved Ila in 1999, the project has continued with the support of churches, other organizations, and many volunteers.
Hollace Dan was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and two of his brothers, John Robert of Cincinnati and R. Edward of Mitchell. One brother, James N. Sherwood, of LaCrosse Wisconsin survives. The surviving children include, Susan Jean Crawford (Warren) of Mitchell, Robert D. Sherwood (Linda) of Bloomington, and Elizabeth Joan Miller of Springboro, Ohio. Also surviving are six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 1 to 6 PM on Sunday June 22 at Chastain Funeral Home & Cremation Center with a Celebration of Life to be held at the Bryantsville Church of Christ at 1:00 PM on Monday June 23. Brother Ken Wilson will officiate. Burial will be in Bryantsville Church of Christ Cemetery.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Bryantsville Hunger Relief Project, P.O. Box 1023, Bedford, IN 47421 or the Lawrence County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1235 Bedford, IN 47421 to benefit the Sherwood Family Scholarship that goes to a Mitchell High School student who plans to become a teacher.