Merzella Julus (Hansen)-Holm
1905 - 1961
Merzella Julus Holm, a pianist and soprano, taught music in Seventh-day Adventist schools in the 1930s and the late 1950s. Although she was known as Merzella Julus during her study and music teaching, she also has been listed as Margella, or Olive Rosella Hansen in various records.
Merzella was born in North Dakota and raised in Canada until her early teens, a daughter of George and Illeda (Estelle) Randolph Hansen. Although she began singing publicly at age four, serious study in voice started at Walla Walla College, now University, under Gladys Manchester-Walin who had taken an interest in her long before she had entered WWC as a student. When Walin accepted a position at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, in 1927, Merzella transferred there in order to continue voice study voice with her.
By the time Merzella gave her senior recital at WMC in 1930, she had become a popular singer on campus, having what her teacher described as a "lively mezzo-soprano voice." Walin would also observe at the time of the recital:
Merzella always loved music and wanted to make it her profession. I have had her as a student for several years, and our associations together have been most pleasant. There have been many hard vocal problems to work over, but Merzella has been a sincere earnest student, determined to succeed. . . . It has been a great joy to see her grow and develop, and to have helped her on to a successful career.
Merzella returned to the Northwest, where she taught in the elementary music program at WWC for two years. She was teaching music at Yakima Valley Academy in Washington when she married Edward Buford Holm in 1937, and they then moved near Moscow, Idaho.
She would later teach in the Upper Columbia Conference and at the elementary school at La Sierra College. She was residing in Riverside, California, when she died at age 56.
Sources: Ancestry.com, Latta-Hanson and related families;The Washington Missionary College Sligonian, 10 April 1930 (Quotation); 17 April 30; North Pacific Union Gleaner, 6 July 1937, 4 and other references in that magazine.