We regretfully announce the passing of Marline Rimando Diaz Holland, age 77, of Scottsdale, Arizona, on October 23, 2023. Marline was surrounded by her family and passed away peacefully.
Born in Baguio City, Philippines, to Antonio Diaz and Maria Rimando, she was one of seven children. Quick to laugh and sing, she was also joyful in her dancing. As a young girl, she was once recruited by her uncle to help entertain the crowds by dancing with a broomstick while he was campaigning for political office.
Never at a loss for words, while attending Mt. Mary Primary School, the teachers were often left in frustration as she was able to draw other students into distracting conversation, no matter where they moved her desk in the classroom. This talent led her to be active in many school groups, and eventually become class president of her high school, St. Louis University. After graduation, she went on to attend the prestigious University of Santo Tomas, which she was proud to point out was established 25 years before Harvard. Marline received her degree in Medical Technology in 1966.
In 1968, she immigrated to the United States and began her career as a microbiologist in Ulysses, Kansas. This is where she met her husband, Rolla “Skeet” Holland III. They celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary this past June. In 1972, Marline and Skeet moved to Tucson, Arizona, where they later had their first of four children. Eventually, they moved to Phoenix, Arizona and remained there. After working as a microbiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital for 41 years, she retired in 2021. She truly had a passion for her field of science, and could go into enthusiast detail about viruses, bacteria and parasites.
An avid reader her whole life, it was not unusual for her to read into the wee hours of the night. She had an amazing ability to thrive on little sleep, so it was not unusual for her to be the last to bed and the first to rise in the morning. Despite being an early riser, in true Filipino tradition, she was consistently late for everything.
Marline was a creative cook. Although a scientist, she did not consider cooking a science and regarded recipes as suggestions, rather than instructions. This talent allowed her children to become adventurous, if at times confused, eaters. But as she often said, “You lived, didn't you?” She also had great enthusiasm for gardening, albeit with little success. This did not deter her, and it allowed her to wear her ridiculously large straw hats while gardening.
One of her greatest attributes was her kindness and generosity. She was a welcoming and warm hostess who insisted that there is always plenty of food and room at the table. There are many family members, friends and neighbors who experienced her generosity and love.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Leticia Diaz and Helen Grindel. Marline is survived by her husband Skeet, her children, Alegria Ohlinger (Marion), Marisa Hopkins (Justin), Rolla Holland IV, and Mackenzie Holland (Jorge). She delighted in the antics of her four grandchildren; Maleah, Zara, Miles and Kai. She is also survived by her siblings Guadalupe Abenoja, Antonio Diaz, Delia Diaz and Rudy Diaz.
In following with her wishes, Marline will be cremated. A celebration of life service featuring lots of dancing, singing and karaoke will occur at a later date.
Our mother was one of the strongest and kindest women to ever grace this earth. Our family was blessed to have her as the head of the family. We know that when we see a butterfly, she is near and smiling at us.