A generous and selfless caregiver, with a genuine love for her family and a natural musical talent, Ronda Joy Holloway leaves behind a lasting legacy. Though she endured a great deal of discomfort in her own life, she looked to the love she shared with her family and friends to seek the goodness each day offered. She was a loving wife, a caring mother, and a cherished grandmother, and we will miss her dearly.
In 1964, the world was creating a remarkable place in the history books of the future. The nation was slowly gathering their emotions from the presidential assassination of John F. Kennedy while placing their renewed faith in President Lyndon B. Johnson. The world famous band, The Beatles, appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and literally rocked the country. During this year of many historic moments, on December 21, Ronald E. and Jacqueline L. (Magers) Neeley welcomed their precious daughter, Ronda Joy.
Though she was born in Marion, Indiana, she lived in Warsaw during her childhood years. Growing up, Ronda and her brothers and sisters shared many happy times and a few tears together (which have been forgiven and forgotten by now). Her parents had a passion for instilling the love of music in their children. Her whole family sang and played for their local church, Warsaw Wesleyan Church.
As Ronda matured, she continued to explore music. She played the trombone in the Warsaw High School Marching Band, and she also played the piano. Eventually, she graduated with the class of 1982. Following graduation, she attended Grace College and became a Registered Nurse in 1987.
Even before becoming a nurse, Ronda was known for taking care of others. She put her natural abilities and her trained nursing skills to use for so many people in need. In her career, she worked at KCH, Warsaw, Milford Nursing Home, Woodlawn Hospital, Rochester, Duke Hospital, Peru and the Juvenile Children’s Hospital, Logansport. For so many years, Ronda found the greatest fulfillment in ministering to those who needed her nursing skills. Throughout the years, several of her family members benefitted from her abilities as well.
Ronda was fortunate enough to find love in her lifetime. For twenty-seven years, she was married to Steven R. Holloway. The two met on a blind date. Before too long, the happy couple welcomed children into their lives. Danica and Andrew completed their family and helped create many memories as they grew up. Her children always looked forward to her delicious meals and her mouthwatering baked treats – especially during the holidays. One particular instance stands out above all the rest to magnify just how good her cooking skills really were: Once, when Andy was a small boy, he happened to find a pumpkin pie resting on the kitchen table. Noticing that there was not another soul anywhere around, he smartly sat his body right down in front of that pie and ate the whole thing. Andy does not regret that – even to this day!
At that same kitchen table, the family shared some great moments together. Many card and table games were enjoyed throughout the years. The competition was always high during these games, and once they grew so raucous the neighbors grew concerned. In all their fun and a bit of loud screaming, the police were knocking on their front door to make sure everything was okay. From that day on, the competition grew more fierce! When the Holloway family wanted a vacation from home, they went camping at Forrest Ridge Campground. They would spend their days fishing and cooking out while visiting with other camping family and friends. Ronda loved to watch Andy wrestle, and once they even went on a family vacation to attend the State Final Wrestling Tournament.
As her children matured to find lives and love of their own, she and Steve had a little more time on their hands. Ronda used some of her free time to create amazing blankets and gifts with her talent of crocheting. She leaves those behind as artifacts of her love. Though she naturally fell into the caretaker role in her life, she faced many years of poor health in adulthood. During the most difficult times, she would find peace in music and would read to escape out of her world of pain and discomfort.
She found great joy in watching as she was blessed with the gift of grandchildren. Miriam and Elliot held a special place in their grandmother’s heart. She had already grown her heart even larger to make room for the third precious grandchild on the way. Her heart was big, and her love was such a comfort to all of us.
We are sad to have to say goodbye, as Ronda Joy Holloway passed away in her home surrounded by the spirit of her family’s love at 9:25 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, 2017, in Athens, rural Rochester. She was 52 years old, and she left this life far too soon. We will hold our memories of Ronda close to our hearts, and we will never forget her.
She is survived by her loving husband of 27 years, Steven R. Holloway, Rochester; daughter, Danica N. (Steven) Henry, Las Vegas, Nev.; son Andrew S. (Jackie) Holloway, Rochester; mother, Jacqueline Neeley, Warsaw; brothers, Steve (Melanie) Neeley, Fort Wayne, Mark Neeley, Warsaw and Christopher (Robin) Neeley, South Whitley; sister, Shelley (Gary) Kunkle, North Webster and 2 grandchildren, Miriam and Elliot and a grandson on the way. She is preceded in death by her father, Ronald E. Neeley.
Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 4 from 2-4 and 6-8 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 5 at 10 a.m. at the funeral home.
Committal services and burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, Warsaw. Memorial gifts may be given in Mrs. Holloway’s memory to Cancer Services of NE Indiana.