Patricia “Pat” Hollada – Benton, IL

Patricia “Pat” Hollada, 87, of Benton, IL, passed away on July 2, 2024 at her home.

Pat was born on January 26, 1937, in Benton, IL. She is a 1954 graduate of Benton Consolidated High School and was an avid Benton Rangers sports fan through the decades.

Pat attended SIUC where she obtained her bachelor’s degree, while participating in three-sports. At SIUC Pat played tennis two years, basketball four years and softball for four years.

Pat spent more than 35 years teaching at Benton High School and Sesser-Valier High School before retiring in 1993. After her retirement she worked as a part-time health-education instructor at Rend Lake College and also returned to SV and many other area schools to work as a substitute teacher.

During her teaching/coaching career, Pat served as an assistant track coach at Benton and coached basketball and track at Sesser-Valier. As a coach at SV, Pat was a pioneer in ushering in girls’ sports, which were non-existent in the early 1970s. Working to see that girls’ sports was on a level playing field with boys’ athletics was a goal and a passion that Pat worked for her entire life.
Pat also taught physical education, health and driver’s education at SV. Pat taught many SV students the driving skills they still use daily and also sat in the passenger seat for many students on their first attempt behind the steering wheel.

During her retirement Pat did not slow down, and to the contrary, actually became more active and involved. At the age of 70, Pat shined at the Huntsman World Senior Games held in St. George, Utah. One of more than 10,000 athletes from 30 nations that participated in the event, Pat competed in track and field and basketball. She won a bronze medal (third place) in the discus and she narrowly missed the medal round in the shot put, finishing in fourth place. In basketball Pat brought home a gold medal in what was called the “hot shot” – a shooting exercise where the participant tries to make as many baskets as possible during an allotted segment of time. Hollada barely missed bringing home two gold medals in basketball finishing in second place in the combined event of free throw and three-point shooting.

Pat also invented “Jett the Clown” and performed at countless birthday celebrations, holiday parties and in later years at area nursing homes. Spreading happiness and smiles as Jett the Clown was one of the true joys of Pat’s life.

Pat was also active in her community, serving as a board member at Benton Public Library and the Rend Lake Tourism Council. She was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary at Franklin Hospital and an active member at Immanuel Baptist Church, in Benton.

Pat is survived by one brother, Bill, and wife Roberta, of Mattoon, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home, in Benton, with Dr. Kirk Kay officiating. Visitation will at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery, in Benton.

For more information or to send online condolences please visit

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Pat’s memory to the Benton Public Library or the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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