Holby, Ex-Larchmont Local & WWII Dissenter, Dies

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LARCHMONT, N.Y. - Former longtime Larchmont resident, Aase-Grethe Holby died at her daughter's home in New York City on Jan. 26. She was 91.

A member of the Norwegian resistance movement against Nazi Germany, Holby was involved in several Larchmont organizations and was married to Warren B. Holby of Merritt & Holby, a firm that built post-war housing developments in Westchester County.

While raising her family in Larchmont, Holby was active in Planned Parenthood of Westchester, the Larchmont Women's Club and the Newcomer's Club. She was a trustee of the Larchmont Avenue Church and chair of the Larchmont assembly. 

She was born Jan. 17, 1921 in Oslo, Norway. Her father died when she was eight years old, leaving Holby's mother to rent out the lower floors of their home and live with her three children in the attic. She graduated from Oslo Business School in 1941 with hopes of becoming a fashion designer. 

With Germany occupying Norway at the time, she went to work for the Norwegian government instead. Holby served in the Norwegian resistance simultaneously, helping her Austrian-Jewish brother-in-law to escape Norway.

While working for the resistance in 1943, Holby was taken in the middle of the night and imprisoned in a German concentration camp in Norway for 18 months. Released in 1944, she escaped to Sweden where she worked for the Norwegian Embassy in Stockholm. 

Holby was transferred to England and then the Norwegian embassy in New York, where she was offered a position at the United Nations. She chose to marry instead in 1947 and moved to Larchmont. Her husband later developed the Rye Ridge Shopping Center and a number of office parks.

She maintained ties to her Norwegian roots, serving as chair of the American-Scandinavian Society Societal Committee. Holby and her husband traveled to Oslo and a log home in Gubrandsdalen annually in their later years. She also enjoyed a vacation home in Ludlow, Vt., volunteering for "Skiing with the Blind."

Holby is survived by her children Grethe B. Holby of New York City, Kristin C. Holby of Larchmont, W. Barrett Holby, Jr. of Warren, R.I. and Wegard D. Holby of Upper Black Eddy, Penn. and 11 grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband in 2002. 

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel in New York City. Memorial gifts may be sent to New Life of New York City, Inc., ℅ R.Nixon, 87 Columbia Street #13G, New York, NY 10002.

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