Her family is famous in Northeast Mississippi for treating all people equally.
Rich or poor, regardless of race, religion or pedigree, the Hollands of Lee County are famous for stubbornly insisting that everyone be treated alike and treated well. They are a radically egalitarian bunch.
Yet, Sadie Monts Holland, the matriarch of this numerous tribe of democratic Hollands, had a bearing, a gracefulness, that invariably made me think of royalty. Her graciousness came not from wealth or power, but from fundamental decency, keen intelligence, kindness, and a dazzling smile. She was little more than five feet tall and petite, but her presence filled every room she entered.
Sadie Monts Holland died Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. She was born Jan. 31, 1933 and grew up in the Palmetto community of Lee County, the daughter of sharecroppers.
She married J. C. Holland and together they raised six sons on the “Sadie J. Farm,” an operation that, at one time, included more than 9,000 acres in three north Mississippi counties. J.C. died in 2016.
Sadie J.’s career of public service spanned half a century.
She was the first female school bus driver in Mississippi,
She served a term as mayor of Nettleton.
She was Tupelo court administrator for eight years.
In 2003, at age 70, Sadie J. Holland was elected a Justice Court Judge in Lee County. She was re-elected three times and retired a year ago this month when nearly 87 years old.
I last saw her about a month ago, dropping by unannounced at Holland Funeral Directors on Cliff Gookin Blvd. in Tupelo. She did not know me well, but she treated me as she would a long-treasured friend.
The earthly reign of Sadie J. Monts Holland has ended.
Long may she reign.
J. W. Shiverdecker
J.C. Holland’s last earthly party: http://newalbanyunionco.com/john-clarence-j-c-holland-flesh-and-blood-faulknerian-mississippian-attends-his-last-earthly-party/