Thursday, March 05, 2009
“Salt of the Earth” is what comes to mind when one thinks of Robert “Bob” Holloway. He was a straight-shooter who never minced words. He loved cars, racing and was known by his CB handle “Handyman”. He was a family man who dearly loved spending time with his grandchildren, no matter how far away they lived.
Born in Jasper, Alabama on August 8, 1941 to Marion Homer and Winnie Lee (Roberts) Williams, Bob was the seventh of eight children. Marion and Winnie worked hard to raise Bob along with his siblings, Lucille, Cloa, JL, Estell, Jeraldine, Mildred, and Linda. Marion worked to support the family, while Winnie stayed home to care for the children and run the household. The early years of Bob’s childhood were good years for raising a family. Even though there was a scarcity of goods, everyone worked together to support the war effort during WWII. When Bob was thirteen, the family moved to Elkhart, Indiana where he attended Samuel Strong Elementary School and later Roosevelt Jr. High School. When Bob wasn’t in school, he could be found with his buddy, Jerry Becker. Bob and Jerry would buy a dollar’s worth of gas and go cruising along main street looking for fun. At this time, Bob also played a mean game of pool and bowled on several leagues.
After high school, Bob joined the United States Army and began serving his country on April 26, 1960. He was trained as a Field Communications Crewman, commonly known as a radio operator. Bob spent a portion of his enlistment time in Korea. He earned his high school equivalency while in the Army and was honorably discharged on April 25, 1963. Even though he was a radio operator, his stories later in life were all about the driving he did for his Commanding Officer.
After his military service, Bob met a pretty young lady named Geraldine Alwine. After a time of dating, the two fell in love and were married on January 20, 1964. Over the years they brought five beautiful children into the world: Lee, Bert, Deb, Bobbie and Rob. Bob supported the family by working in the manufactured housing industry while Geraldine took care of the children. When they could, Bob and Geraldine packed up the kids and headed out to their favorite camping grounds. Here they could relax and spend cherished time together as a family. Thursday nights were a special family time, with pizza and a game of basketball afterward.
Later in life, Bob had a second chance at love when a lady named Sharon caught his eye at one of the local racing car concession stands. They started dating and were married on July 28, 1995 in the courthouse in Goshen, Indiana. On their honeymoon they took a cruise to the Bahamas, went to Disney and nearly froze to death while visiting Daytona Beach! Their good friends from Hoosier Transport, Rick Ikert and his companion, went along. Bob and Sharon spent a lot of time traveling together with Sharon’s three children, Jason, James and Tara, also Bob’s granddaughter, Jackie, whom he raised. They were huge fans of amusement parks and took the kids to Cedar Point, Six Flags, Michigan’s Adventure and Disneyland and other amusement parks..
Bob was not the kind of person to sit still and he never actually retired. He had worked in the housing industry for over forty years and the last thirteen years of his life he worked as an independent driver for Classic Transport. His job was to shuttle finished RV’s from the manufacturer to the shipping lot. Prior to the shuttling, he had hauled the finished units across the United States to different dealerships. He had racked up well over a million miles behind the wheel! Bob also kept busy working at home and maintaining his trucks. His two trucks have half a million miles each and still run today because of Bob’s dedication and hard work - He was known for being a master of “hillbilly” rigging, adding toggle switches to fix any kind of wiring problem in his trucks. Although Bob was quite the skilled craftsman, no project was complete without a bandaid – no matter how simple the project, Bob always ended up with some cut, scrape or puncture, often not even noticing it until someone pointed it out.
Bob had a life-long friend named Roy Arnold Sr., whom he had met through his friend, Harold Arnold. Bob and Roy spent many happy hours together, going to races, playing cards, and camping, where they would pass the “cough syrup” and shoot the bull. The two were inseparable and even their extended families joined in the fun.
In his spare time, Bob passionately watched NASCAR, cheering for his favorite driver, Dale Earnhardt Sr. He loved a good game of Bingo or Euchure and collected eagles and Zippo lighters. Bob also enjoyed working with his hands, fixing anything and everything around the house. Later, when Bob became a grandpa, he was just as passionate about his grandchildren. His grandchildren meant the world to him and he would travel any distance to be with them and make them smile.
Bob Holloway was a one-of-a-kind individual. He was a master when it came to fixing trucks, and he was passionate about racing. He was a man who meant what he said and said what he meant. Most of all he was passionate about his family; taking care of his mother, raising his grandchildren and bringing joy to his family and friends. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Bob Holloway, age 67, died suddenly in Elkhart, Indiana on February 1st, 2009. Bob’s family includes his wife: Sharon Holloway; children: Leona (Brian) VanBuskirk of Cromwell, Indiana. Roberta Holloway, Deborah Holloway, Bobbie Jo (Ralph) Holloway, Robert (Sherry) Wilson Holloway Jr., Jacklyne (Sean) Holloway-Harris, all of Elkhart, Jason White of North Carolina, James White of Elkhart, Tara (Steve) Dunklee of Michigan; sisters: Linda Miley, Jeraline (Eric) Merril, Cloa Holaway, Estell Gay, and Lucille Sims; brother: J.L. Williams; as well as nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren