Cover photo for Bridget F. “Betty” Holland's Obituary
Bridget F. “Betty” Holland Profile Photo

Bridget F. “Betty” Holland

d. August 9, 2023

Bridget F. “Betty” Holland

Mrs. Bridget “Betty” Frances (Burke) Holland, of Abington, Mass. died Wednesday.

Born in 1930 in Cooldurragha, Union Hall, Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland to Katherine and Cornelius Burke, she was “smack dab in the middle” of her 13 siblings. She hated to be called Bridget- “call me Betty,” she would tell people.

Betty grew up on a farm near the ocean without electricity and running water. The family traveled into town by pony and trap–a type of wagon–though she said later she sometimes dreaded the trip because the animal had a habit of biting and kicking. 

She didn’t take to life on the farm. Once, while feeding the calves at her Uncle Lawrence’, she grew frustrated because they kept knocking their heads on the milk pail spilling the milk. She wanted to go to a dance, so she tossed the bucket and took off, only to be caught by her Uncle Lawrence-who laughed about it.

Betty left Ireland in 1947 and settled in Massachusetts. A devout Catholic, she attended Mass every week and worked as a cook at St. Albert’s Church in Weymouth. When a fire at the church displaced a bedridden monsignor, she welcomed him into her home, one of many people who benefitted from her generosity and kindness.

For fifty-five years, if you dropped by her home, you would find a house filled with family and friends, a whistling tea kettle, the aroma of Irish bread wafting from the oven and the sound of laughter. On many nights, Betty and her sister, Jo, would spend upwards of three hours gabbing on the phone.

She was a master storyteller and a Betty Holland story had more twists than an Irish country road. Friends and family members knew they’d best grab a cup of tea and settle in when she launched into a tale.

Betty and her husband, Jerome, were gracious hosts who always put out a fine spread for visitors. Good luck to any guest who tried to leave without eating something. She was still a teenager on the farm in Ireland when she created her signature potato salad. Her Irish bread was legendary, though no written recipe for it existed, and she never used a measuring cup, only her well-tuned eye. The result was a sweet treat that was more of a dessert than the traditional Irish raisin bread.

In her final days, she was visited by countless loved ones, said goodbye to her beloved husband at his bedside, witnessed her oldest grandson’s marriage, sung every lyric to “The Black Velvet Band”, and was told how much she was loved. Her loss will leave a crater in the lives of those who knew her and her family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support. We love and miss you, Ma.

Beloved wife of Jerome Holland. Loving mother of Jerome Holland and his wife, Michele, John Holland, Eugene Holland, Margaret Hayes and her husband, Stephen, Patricia Holland,  and Pauline Barry and her husband, Brian. 

Sister of James Burke and his late wife, Kathleen, Elizabeth O’Donnell and her husband, Tomas, Siobhan Wells and her husband, Len, the late Cornelius, Margaret, Jeremiah, Patrick, Kit, Molly, Ann, Josephine and her surviving husband, Tommy, and the late Michael. Sister in law of Michael and Margaret Holland.

Cherished Nana to Kaitlyn, Maeve, Breda, Sean, Shayne, Emily, Jake, Grace, Meaghan, Erin, A.J., Matthew, Brooke, and Rubie. Great Nana to Holly.

Also survived by many nieces and nephews and many family in Ireland and England.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visiting hours on Wednesday, August 16th  from 4-8 PM in the McDonald Keohane Funeral Home SOUTH WEYMOUTH at 809 Main Street (Rte 18 opp. So. Shore Hospital). 

A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the funeral home at 9:45 AM on Thursday, August 17th, prior to the Funeral Mass in St. Bridget’s Church, Abington at 10:30 AM. Burial in Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bridget F. “Betty” Holland, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visiting Hours

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

McDonald KeohaneFuneral Home - South

809 Main Street, Weymouth, MA 02190

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life Service

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Starts at 9:45 am (Eastern time)

McDonald KeohaneFuneral Home - South

809 Main Street, Weymouth, MA 02190

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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