In Memory of





Obituary for Jose Maria Hollero Austria

Dr. Jose Maria Hollero Austria, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and cherished physician, passed away peacefully yet unexpectedly at age 82 on January 18, 2021 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia.
The cause of death was complications resulting from a subdural hematoma. Despite the global pandemic, the family was grateful to have visited with him before his passing, and that his cherished son-in-law Timothy was by his side at the time of death.
The firstborn of the late Jose Maria A. Austria and Rizalina H. Austria, Joe, as he was known, was born in Iloilo City, the Philippines. During World War II, his father, a civil engineer, worked with Filipino guerilla forces on Panay Island to oppose the Japanese occupation. With three toddlers in tow, including Joe, Rizalina trailed her husband and the resistance fighters as they battled through the war. Running barefoot with his siblings out of the jungle at age six when the war ended, he didn't possess shoes or recall ever seeing the paved roads he now encountered. Indelibly shaped by these experiences, Joe had a lifelong interest in joint Philippine and U.S. World War II history, and an abiding love for both countries.
After graduating from University of the Philippines and earning a medical degree from University of the East in Manila, Joe began an internship at St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, New York in 1964, followed by a residency in Internal Medicine at the former Booth Memorial Hospital in Flushing, Queens.
There the stars aligned one morning when he noticed Mary Pote step off the elevator. He would later describe his immediate admiration for the vibrant RN with sandals and a straw bag on her way to Jones Beach from the night shift. She would later describe Joe as "the best decision I've ever made." They married in 1968, and their profound devotion to one another was not only a great reservoir of happiness for them both, but also an exceptional example to all.
From New York, the couple moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where Joe became a house physician. In 1971, they settled in Dover, where they raised their children, and where Joe maintained a private practice in Internal Medicine until 2007. During this time, he was also an attending physician at Kent General Hospital, where he developed many lifelong friendships. Through the years he was an active community volunteer, providing free seasonal athletic physicals for Capital School District's athletes, and cooking and serving meals for various local soup kitchens.
Upon retirement, he was a volunteer physician at the Hope Medical Clinic in Dover, which provides free medical care for the uninsured, and for several years worked as a physician at the Perdue Farms Wellness Centers in Milford and Georgetown. In 2008, the couple made Lewes their permanent home.
A gifted cook, Joe was known for his savory sauces, marinades, and rubs, and the legendary dishes for which he prepared them. He kept fastidious handwritten recipes of his favorites. Family and friends recall many joyful, lengthy mealtimes in the Austria home, where food, drink, music, and laughter abounded.
Also fastidious was Joe's attention to his patients. An old school doctor, he knew their stories and cared for them well. He was known to haul home from his office up to four suitcases of charts every night in order to keep abreast of their progress, and spent countless evening hours personally calling them with lab results.
In addition to his relentless work ethic, Joe was also known for his gentle, humble, calm, and quiet nature, belied by a silly and steady sense of humor. His inimitable adaptations of English idioms, such as "It's on the edge of my lips," while searching for the right word, or calling someone who was no fun a "stuffed collar," amused his family and Joe himself.
In his lighthearted way, he was thoughtful, kind, and patient, and was always present for his family. While his children were growing, he never missed a swim meet or wrestling match, with his VHS camcorder and work beeper attached to him. Later, he adored nurturing his eight grandchildren, who affectionately knew him as Lolo Joe. He also enjoyed nourishing his gardens, houseplants, and Lewes birds.
Most of all, he always aspired to bring joy to his wife, Mary. He was an example to all who knew him of forging through life with utmost honesty and integrity, great love for his family, and a steady, broad smile.
He is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 52 years, Mary, and his children Cristina Austria Bell and husband, Timothy; Elissa Austria and husband David Pasquantonio; Matthew Austria and wife Karen; and Andrew Austria; grandchildren Carolina, Madeline, Leah, Olivia, Colin, Alexander, Maiella, and Matthias; siblings Zaida Austria-Hertan, Arturo H. Austria, Nieves Austria-McNulty, Benjamin H. Austria, Rolando H. Austria, Susana Austria-dela Merced, and Milagros H. Austria; and numerous nieces and nephews. Joe was preceded in death by their dear infant son Christopher Austria and nephew Alan Austria.
The family will plan a joyful celebration of Joe's life when it is safe to do so. They would also like to sincerely thank the frontline workers who provided Joe with such thoughtful care at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 12PM, Friday, October 15, 2021 at The Church of The Holy Cross, 631 S. State St., Dover, DE 19901
Memorial contributions may be made in his name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: by mail to 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; by clicking on "Make a Memorial Donation" at ; or by telephone at 1-800-822-6344.
A live stream link will be posted a few days before Mass.