Robert M. “Bob” Hollister ’50

Dr. Robert M. Hollister concluded his life of earthly service and went to be with the Lord on Dec. 19, 2021, at 6:30 a.m. He would have been 95 on Christmas Day.

A native of New Bern, North Carolina, Dr. Hollister spent his childhood years in Korea, where his parents were Presbyterian medical missionaries. After graduation from The McCallie School in Chattanooga, he joined the U.S. Navy in the closing years of World War II.  

Upon his discharge from the Navy, Bob majored in chemistry at Davidson College, graduating in 1950, and then went on to Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, from which he graduated in 1954 He decided to follow his parents’ example and served as medical director at Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Deschappelles, Haiti, from 1962-64. Bob’s loving wife, Cornelia, supported his work there and in London following their marriage in 1961. 

The two moved to Franklin in 1964 at the invitation of Dr. Walter Pyle, and four years later, Bob was instrumental in founding Williamson County Hospital’s first cardiac care unit. He practiced internal medicine in Franklin for almost 40 years, and in 1982, joined with two other Franklin physicians to found the nonprofit Claiborne and Hughes Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where it still serves the community today. 

Bob began his career in a different age of medicine; he carried his medical bag on house calls from Leiper’s Fork to Spring Hill and treated Franklin’s poor and disadvantaged with the same dignity as Nashville country music stars and NASCAR drivers.  

He is survived by his dear wife, Cornelia, with whom he strove to live out their Christian faith; their sons Stephen and Rob; daughter-in-law, Michele; grandsons Aidan and Owen; his sister, Emily Vecella; and many loving nieces and nephews.  

Bob loved family and traveled whenever he could, whether across Canada by train, to the pyramids and the Holy Land with his younger brothers, or to Mexico and Estonia when his son was overseas. 

Bob never stopped learning and loved reading novels with Cornelia, doing crossword puzzles and word games with Stephen and Rob, and discussing physics, music, football or anything else with his beloved grandsons Aidan and Owen.  

Donations in his memory can be sent to The Gideons International, of whom Bob was a member for many years, at, or to Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti at  

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021, at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in Williamson Memorial Gardens.