John Marion Holloway, 94, completed his earthly race on October 3, 2020 at approximately 8:30 am, in Waco, Texas at Hillcrest Scott & White Baylor Hospital. He was born June 22, 1926 in Roane, Texas to Arthur Burton Holloway and Lula Pearl Reagan. He lived in Roane until entering military service in the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division, the “Angels Division”, and served in the Pacific theater in the Philippines and Japan during WWII. He attained the rank of Sergeant. He was on a troop transport ship headed for the invasion of Japan when an atomic bomb dropped on each of two Japanese cities.
Mr. Holloway was married 72 years to Ruby Jewell Aven of Roane, TX, who preceded him in death on July 5, 2015. She finished her race just two doors down the hall from his room. He is survived by; one daughter Barbara Smith and husband Robert Pat; two sons Ricky Holloway and wife Patti, and Jon Holloway and wife Melanie; five grandchildren Tiffany Hansen Raye and husband Tommy, Mark Batte and wife Khris, Lauren Cathey and husband Billy Joe, Scott Holloway and wife K.K., and Brooke Holloway; great grandchildren Josh Hansen and wife Faith, Jordan Hansen and wife Destini, Taylor Plattor and husband Dustin, Hunter Batte and wife Lynze, Landon Batte, Dillon Morales, Chance Cathey, Caitland Cathey, Coker Holloway, Hunt Holloway, Pep Holloway and Aven Holloway; great-great grandchildren Rhylan and Hannah Hansen, and Sawyer and Knox Hansen and Kase Plattor. He is also survived by sister Sue Clark (the only “store bought” kid in the bunch according to her dad, Burton) and husband John; sister in laws, Donna Aven, Lynn Aven, and; nieces Susan Clark, Janet Clark Marek and husband John, Patty Reeves and her husband Richard, Jan Auerbach, and Lyn Auerbach Webster, Betty Roberts and husband Bob, Gina Chandler, Gayla Gober and husband Gary, Karen Ewing and husband Greg, Jerry Aven, Donna Holloway; nephews Larry Sims and wife Angel, Burt Holloway, Kenny Auerbach, Obie Lockhart and wife Joyce, Joey Lockhart and wife Susan, Tim Aven; and numerous great nieces and nephews.
Mr. Holloway is preceded in death by his wife and parents; his sisters Gladys Sims and her husband Kyle, Marzie Auerbach and husband Don; brothers Morris and his wife Lucille, Reagan and his wife Blanch, Bryan and his wife Kay; sister in laws: Hazel Lockhart Ragland, Helen Featherston and husband Earnest, brother in laws; Leon Aven, Billy Aven, Arlee Lockhart and nephews; Jerry Holloway, Larry Auerbach and Jackie Aven; great nephews Alan and Arby Sims; great nephew Bret Chandler.
A graveside service will be held for Mr. Holloway Thursday October 8, 2020, 1 PM at Resthaven Memorial Corsicana, Texas 75110. He will be laid to rest next to the love of his life, Ruby Jewell.
Those serving as honorary pallbearers include Mark Batte, Scott Holloway, Josh Hansen, Jordan Hansen, Tommy Ray, Billy Cathey, Larry Sims and David Brubaker.
Mr. Holloway’s life revolved around his family. He loved spending time with Ruby Jewell, with his children and many grandchildren. He was baptized and a member of the Roane Baptist Church where he met mother at an ice cream social. Lucky for all of us.
He was a dedicated dad that spent long hours working to provide for his family. He was a quiet, soft spoken gentleman whose word was his bond. If you ever shook his hand, his huge hand engulfed yours and he looked you straight in the eyes with a smile on his face and a firm grip that left you assured you just met a special guy that could be trusted. He was not a big talker. Never had anything bad to say about anyone. He loved all his family, not just his children. No, he was not perfect either. He loved the Father in Heaven, His Son, and their creation where he loved to spend his spare time. He was not much of a joiner or a socialite. He said he felt closer to God at the lake or in the mountains rather than anywhere else he could think of. We think he saw himself as a cross between Bing Crosby and Tarzan. He had a good voice and was quiet a body builder in his youth by applying his mail order Charles Atlas lessons. We are not the only ones that thought he sounded like Bing. Here is a short paragraph of a document his sister Gladys, the family historian, wrote about the Holloway family and their love of music:
“Burton (John’s dad) always read a lot when time permitted, mostly in the winter when the fields didn't have to be worked. He loved music and used to attend shaped-note singings regularly. He bought a player piano, at Pearl's (John’s mother) insistence, so that the children could learn music. Gladys, Marzie, and Susie played the piano, Reagan the mandolin, Morris the violin, John the guitar (and sang just like Bing Crosby), and Bryan ??”.
One of his favorite songs was “Big Bad John” by Jimmy Dean. When it came on the radio, he would always turn the volume up a bit. It is how he saw himself, not the “bad” part, but the willingness to help others in need. He loved music ranging from Mantovani to Jimmy Dean. He loved to listen and laugh with Jerry Clower (Knock’m Out John) and Justin Wilson.
At age 17, he married mother on her 16th birthday, they spent the first few months of marriage living with his parents working the farm. The first job we remember daddy talking about having, outside of farming, is with the Collin Street Bakery, the fruitcake company, in Corsicana, TX which is thriving today. He joined the U.S. Army, 11th Airborne Division, in 1945. His three brothers were in the service, so he decided to get involved. Upon returning to Navarro County, TX he and mother moved to Orange, TX where he worked in the shipyards mothballing Navy ships returning from the War. In the late 40’s he worked in Corsicana, TX for the Quality Bakers of American cooperative, makers of Sunbeam Bread, in Corsicana, TX. He transferred from Corsicana to Mexia, TX with Quality Bakers of America, in 1952. At the age of 30 John started his career with Nabisco Brands, as the sales representative with the largest route in Central Texas. He won numerous sales awards throughout his years with Nabisco. He was responsible for putting smiles on the faces of a lot of kids. Several of our cousins said, “Yea, those cookies your dad would bring us were the first store bought cookies we ever ate”. He retired in the late 80s when mother decided to get into the motel/restaurant business. At the same time, he and mother became Direct Distributors of Amway products. In 2003 the earned the level of Director with Prepaid Legal, Inc. After mother retired, they had the time of their lives traveling in their motorhome with several friends from Mexia that had motorhomes. They traveled the Western U.S.A. all the way to Alaska. If there were mountains, they had to go see them. Daddy mentioned many times that he sure was glad they got the motorhome and got to travel. In addition to the motorhome, they visited places from Europe to Hawaii. They loved adventures. They loved each other. That makes for a great life.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to all the physicians, nurses, nurses aids, chaplains, and staff of Hillcrest Hospital in Waco, Texas for their compassion and wonderful care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the First Baptist Church Memorial Fund, 500 E. Carthage, Mexia, Texas 76667.
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