Elmer J. Hollstein

Elmer J. Hollstein, age 88, of Wilmington, DE, passed away suddenly at his home on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

Born in Pittsburgh PA, Elmer was the son of the late August H and Emma K (Lang) Hollstein. He earned his undergrad degree at University of Pittsburg and his masters at Penn State University. For 42 years, he worked as a research chemist for Sun Oil before his retirement in 2004. He served in the US Army Corps of Engineers and then in the Army reserves, reaching the rank of colonel. He was co-inventor on many US and foreign patents. Elmer was noted for his sense of humor and enjoyed sharing jokes and for his kindness, generosity and for being a true gentleman. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Patricia L. (Panella) Hollstein, in 1997 and his brother, Paul Hollstein, in 1962. 

Elmer will be dearly missed by his devoted fiancée Linda Whittington and by his children and their spouses, Kathleen P. Lynch (Wayne) of Dover, DE. Kurt A. Hollstein (Jennifer) of Elsmere, DE; and Kristina A. (Hollstein) Rash (Michael) of Newark, DE; his grandchildren, Christopher, Kara, Megan (Jimmy), Valerie, Erik, Nicole and Maya; his great grandchildren, Wesley and Ellie.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 4th at 11 AM at Mealey Funeral Home, 2509 Limestone Road, Wilmington where friends and family are invited to visitation after 10 AM.  Burial will follow at All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project, or Disabled American Veterans, Po Box 407, Camden, DE 19934-0407 Online condolences may be sent to



Submitted by John Burmeister on
I had the distinct pleasure of working with Elmer in two capacities, from 1967 to 1974. First, as his doctoral research advisor at the University of Delaware (1967-1971) - a part-time effort on his part which, sadly, did not reach final fruition. Second, as a consultant for his employer, Sun Oil (1969-1974). Simply put, Elmer was a wonderful colleague. He was an extremely hard-working, well organized chemist, whose dynamic, outgoing personality made him a joy to work with. Had he been able to arrange a leave of absence for the requisite year of full-time residence at the U of D, there is no doubt that he would have added Ph.D. to his list of educational laurels. Sincere, heartfelt condolences to the extended Hollstein family. John Burmeister, Newark

Submitted by Kurt Hollstein on
Thank you John. I am Dad's son and hearing what an academic he was does not surprise me but gives me some hope during this trying time. All of his children and grandchildren have carried his torch into helping others whether it be in science or in education or both. I am still in shock over his death because he was larger than life and my every day hero.

Submitted by Judy Shuler on
Some of my best memories are times spent with Pat and Elmer and the dogs. I remember Elmer standing over Misty as I was trying to clean her teeth, "Misty, don't bite Judy now." (she never did). Elmer driving us all over to show those dogs. Elmer carrying Jayson to the edge of the ring on a muddy day so that he could go in PERFECT. Elmer showing Eloise for me (and winning). Elmer and Kathy showing Jayson. Elmer's wine was "legendary"... Pat & I would be grooming the dogs, watching Sesame Street on a Thursday night, and Elmer would come up from the basement wanting us to taste a new batch of some red he had made. Elmer had a great, dry sense of humor. Prior to getting into the car to go anywhere Elmer always said, " Go to the bathroom when available, not when you have to." Obviously a holdover from his Army days. Elmer and Pat are always in my heart. Kathy, Kurt and Kris - Scott and I send our deepest sympathy. Judy & Scott Shuler, Lancaster PA

Submitted by Monica Kenney on
Dearest Darlingest Hollsteins (Family and Friends): The sudden passing of Mr. Hollstein breaks all of our hearts. I (Monica) have been privileged to spend time with him and Mrs. Pat P. Hollstein at a number of fun, music and beer-filled Oktoberfests in Delaware. He and Pat were always laughing and smiling and joking in their quick-witted way. As an Irish-American colleen, I had never had the privilege of attending such a "venue," and I absolutely loved those fabulous times that Dr. Kris and Pat had invited me to. It wasn't long until Dr. Kris and Michael were engaged, and then along came Nikki. I later married a nice German-American man myself, so I was delighted to introduce Elmer and Pat to "Herr Fetterolf, He Who Must Be Obeyed," as Pat so aptly observed. I love Pat and Elmer, and all HOLLSTEINS. Your mother and father have no equal. Every time I think of them, I SMILE. Dr. Kris is the best chiropractor in the entire universe, and we are fortunate to have her as our brainiac doctor and honored friend. As they say, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," and Mr. and Mrs. Brainiac Elmer and Pat Hollstein passed on their brains, creativity, and good humor to Dr. Kris and all of their offspring, and their lights will continue to illuminate our world. "Here's to the man who's raised me, Who's weathered good and bad. Here's to the man, and praise be, MY FATHER, MY FRIEND, MY DAD!" - anon. With love and prayers to all of you during your grief journey, Monica and Marie Kenney, Patients of Dr. Kris

Submitted by Frau Fetterolf on
"The pain passes, but the beauty remains." - Auguste Renoir

Submitted by Michael & Bonni... on
My family had the blessing and privilege of being Elmer's neighbor for nine years. We cannot imagine a more perfect neighbor. His smile and kindness was radiating. I will never remove the image of Elmer delivering Morris' newspaper to him every morning, until Morris moved. Elmer finished the race well! Our many prayers to Linda and the Hollstein family. We pray our Lord's grace and peace for each of you.

Submitted by steve mcdaniel on
I worked with Elmer at Sun Oil R&D. I called Elmer "Colonel" out of respect and affection. My deepest condolences to his family and Linda.