Charlene ‘Shug’ Holliday was born February 3, 1934 in St. Louis, MO and was adopted 3 days later by her father and mother, Horace and Ada Johnson. Nicknamed Shug by her parents, short for Sugar Baby, Charlene was raised as an only child.
Charlene received an education in the St. Louis Public School System, attending Lincoln Elementary School, Vashon High School and Forest Park Community College where she earned her designation as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Additionally, because of her love for fashion and style, Charlene also attended cosmetology school.
With her parents, she attended True Light Missionary Baptist Church where she was baptized at an early age. After relocating to the West End, Charlene and her parents became members of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.
Charlene, initially a homemaker raising 4 children until the youngest became of school age, began her medical professional career at Renard Hospital caring for neurological and psychiatric patients. In 1982, Renard Hospital, currently part of Barnes Jewish Hospital, Washington School of Medicine, closed its doors as a standalone hospital and merged with the East and West Pavilions of Barnes Jewish Hospital. Rather than transition with the merger, Charlene branched out and began a career as a Private Duty Nurse. With multiple clients during her tenure, she eventually retired after providing long term care to the wife of Judge Ivan Lee Holt, Jr., Mary Edwards Holt, from 1981 until her death in 1985.
Strong, beautiful and fiesty - Charlene leaves her mark on the world. She played a huge role in the lives of those close to her, and anyone who had the pleasure of spending time with her knows what a special treat she was. She was outspoken and told it like it was, whether you wanted to hear it or not. And after she told you about yourself, she fed you. This woman is love and she will be missed severely.
Charlene’s parents and biological sister preceded her in death. She was a matriarch, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend. Leaving a host of family and friends, who all refer to her respectfully by many names. The St. Louis Hamilton Heights community will always remember her as Ms. Holliday, the Hamburger Lady.
Her legacy lives on in her children, Jesse (Terry) Holliday, Jr., Jerry Holliday, Cheryl (Jerome) Holliday- Hall, and Carol (Lawrence) Wiggins; grandchildren, Adonica (Demarko) Coleman, Jocelyn Wiggins, Jessica Wiggins, and Cimone Holliday-Hall; great grandchildren, Jazmyn Drake, Camryn, Paityn, and Jordyn Coleman; niece Juana Love; bonus grandchildren Rita, Rayna, Mya, and a host of other family and friends.
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