Last surviving parent of four May 4 victims dies at 96

Madison Baughman

The mother to a May 4 shooting victim died Saturday at age 96.

Elaine Holstein was the last parent alive of the four May 4 victims killed in 1970.

Her son, Jeffrey Miller, was captured in John Filo’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photo with Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over his body face down on the pavement — symbolizing the horror of what happened on Kent State’s campus May 4, 1970. For Holstein, this picture depicts the last few seconds of her son’s life.  

Reporter for Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Steve North, said she told him she woke up as herself the morning of May 4 and went to sleep that night a completely different person.

Holstein involved herself with the Kent State May 4 Visitors Center and attended the events. Before her death, Holstein and her other son Russell worked with the  visitors center on Jeffrey Miller’s exhibit. A poem Miller wrote hangs in a gallery in the center. Holstein planned to attend the anniversary event this past May, but she was diagnosed with terminal cancer prior to the event.

Elaine Holstein’s memorial service will be held in June in New York.

Madison Baughman is the diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected].