A Life Well Lived...

Marcus Wolfe Hollenberg was known for his unique sense of character, inherent knack for being a "people person", and most of all his upbeat sense of humor, which he displayed until his last day. He died on February 26th, 2019 at the age of 79, after battling COPD. 

Marcus was born on April 3, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois to Samuel Hollenberg and Frances (Corman) Hollenberg. He graduated from University Of Illinois At Chicago, receiving his Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) in 1962. He married Ellen Devine in Chicago in 1963, and later divorced. He owned and successfully ran several neighborhood pharmacies in the areas of Waukegan and Chicago until retiring in 1988. In 2006, his son and daughter were able to help him relocate to Oakland, CA. He spent nearly a decade living in an apartment near the trail entrance to Joaquin Miller State Park, with a running creek and giant redwood trees. He had a love for all animals, oceans and trees, and also enjoyed telling stories to anyone who took the time to listen.

He is survived by daughter, Nina Hollenberg of Alameda, CA and son, Adam Hollenberg of Phoenix, AZ (from his first marriage to Ellen Devine); beloved grandson, Ashton Hollenberg; brother, Norman Hollenberg; cousins, nieces and nephews.

A private memorial ceremony and celebration of life will be held at Natural Bridges State Beach (Santa Cruz, CA) in Summer 2019. Donations can be made to Save The Redwoods League: 111 Sutter Street, 11th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104 and 4Ocean (4ocean.com).

This memorial blog was put together by Mickey's family with photos collected through the years. If anyone wishes to send digital copies of any other photos you might have, we would greatly appreciate messages via the contact form on this page. There is also a guest book if you wish to share your thoughts and stories about Mick.

Mick's Memorial at Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz CA (August 2, 2019)

August 2, 2019 at 10:30am USA Pacific time:
A small contingent of close friends & family gathered together at Natural Bridges beach in Santa Cruz, CA to honor, remember and celebrate the life of Marcus "Mickey" Hollenberg.  

A memorial ceremony was held on the beach near the water where everyone had a chance to write their own messages for Mickey onto a paper "leaf" that was placed into a floating paper flower. The bottom of the flower carried a small vessel containing a small and symbolic amount of the ashes. After the ceremony, the flower was released into the waves under the arches of the rock structure that was one of his favorite places.

Hand-blown glass bottle (for carrying the ashes) specially created for the occasion by Cary Hollenberg

Adam and Nina, Mickey's son and daughter, led a symbolic ritual of honoring and releasing his physical presence on Earth and scattering ashes to the elements, and then slowly walked into the ocean carrying the flower to float out into the sea. 
There was a toast to Mickey's honor afterward with cups of sparkling apple cider, and then a journey up the hill to downtown Santa Cruz where the group met for brunch at Zachary's. 
left to right: Joseph, Adam, Steve, Nina, Das, Roy, Cary, Christy

Many stories were shared by all, and there was even a surprise gift from one of Mick's friends, Roy from Waukegan IL, who presented photocopies of the original menu and adverts from the restored ice cream soda fountain, the Cocobanana, which was part of the Rexall pharmacy Mickey owned in the 1970s, Druce Drug, Co.

The painting (above) was a gift from Roy that he had saved all the years since Mick had his pharmacy in Waukegan - the painting is a watercolor that Roy's father painted from sketches after Roy and Mickey had come up with the basic design for restoring the old ice cream soda fountain...

Adam, Roy and Nina after lunch at Zachary's (Santa Cruz, CA)

Our warmest and most heartfelt thanks to all the family and friends who were able to gather on this special occasion, and who traveled from faraway places just for this day to remember our Dad together on the beach that he loved so very much.  Also extended thanks to those who joined remotely and contributed thoughts and lightbeams during the ceremony. It was a gorgeous and auspicious day, with brilliant weather and highly magical atmosphere on that beach (Mickey would have loved it!). Such a joyous occasion at the brunch celebrating all sorts of interesting connections and friendships that continue to this day. Adam and I are so very touched that our Dad's heart and unique sense of character could be honored in such a highly memorable way. ~Nina

Mick’s Picks II: Later Years (1970s-1980s) / music mix

from Nina Hollenberg:
A collection of my Dad's favorite music from the later years (1970s through the 1980s) when he listened to quite a stealthy array of rock music, ranging from psychedelic to progressive to new wave. I created this mix out of love & remembrance for Fathers Day 2019.

Marcus "Mickey" Hollenberg (April 3rd, 1939 - Feb 26th, 2019).

🙌 ✨💛

love & remembrance, 

Mick’s Picks II: Later Years (1970s-1980s)

More gems from the photo treasure trove....

From Nina Hollenberg:

More gems from the photo treasure trove.... found these two among thousands of images that I've been digitizing from my Grandmother's collection... golden years, priceless memories (so much love and happiness.... such a gift)

Months now since Dad passed, but somehow, essentially, there is a closeness that feels much more intense than what memories of the past can hold.

He was a special person and unique parent... these early photos of him smiling and in family mode really shine.

Posting here for my brother, cousins, close friends and loved ones who knew him... in honor of Fathers Day 2019.

🙌 ✨💛

love & remembrance, 

pictured here: my father, mother, my grandfather, my aunt (mom's sis), me, my grandmother, my brother and my uncle during a backyard birthday barbeque (probably my birthday since the weather looks like summertime), early 1970s.

pictured here: my mother, father, myself and younger brother... taken during Winter time at a family holiday dinner at my grandparent's place in Chicago (early 1970s)

Mick’s Picks: The Early Years (1950s-1970s) / music mix

from Nina Hollenberg:
Today would have been my Dad’s 80th birthday, so I’ve been in the process of creating some musical mixes in his honor, starting with the early years spanning tunes from the 1950s through the 1970s that he really loved. I’m working on a second one that will have his faves from the later eras late 1970s through the 1990s. He didn’t get to listen to much music in the millennial years due to hearing loss, but we definitely talked about it all the time :)

🙌 🎂 🍰🎈🎉 ✨💛

love & remembrance, 

Mick’s Picks: The Early Years (1950s-1970s)

January 2019

One last smiling photo Mickey sent to his daughter Nina in a text message (January 2019)

Visit to Dimond Park / May 2018

Mickey sitting under his favorite tree at Dimond Park (he lived right next-door to this park for 7 years before he relocated to the care home, and would walk there every day, talk to his neighbors, watch birds and listen to his beloved creek (which was visible and audible from his apartment window, especially enjoyable during warmer months where he could leave the window open to see and hear it).

Mickey waves hello to Nina as she takes a few pics....

Telling another tale while Nina takes more photos (Dimond Park, 2018)

Nina with Mickey (Dimond Park, 2018)

Here are a couple of videos we took that day in the park:

Adam visited for a few days and we all went to Dimond Park and enjoyed some sunny days together (Aug. 2018)