Gilbert Kenney Holloway Sr.
The journey began on the plains of eastern Colorado in the town of Calhan. It would take him to the mountains, then to the wheat fields and oil fields of Kansas and back to the Elk Mountain range of Western Colorado, a place that he was always meant to be. Gilbert Kenney Holloway Sr. was born on Jan. 2nd, 1917, in Calhan, CO, to Simon K. Holloway and Louise (Ward) Holloway. He had already been given to the care of his maternal grandfather, Charles Ward and step-grandmother, Isabel, when his mother passed away. Gilbert was only three when he was separated from his three siblings. The Ward homestead was a tough place to live in the ’20s and ’30s, no siblings to play with, only jackrabbits and rattlesnakes. A one-room schoolhouse where friends were made and lessons were learned. Integrity, courtesy and honesty were among those lessons.
In 1934 he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps and was sent to a camp in the upper Woody Creek Valley of Western Colorado. He was only there for a few months, just long enough for the cool mountain air and majestic, cathedral peaks to grab hold of him and let him know where he should be.
But first he had to detour to Kansas. He wanted to see his father and become familiar with his brother, Louis. So there he was in southeastern Kansas among the oil fields that were pushing up through the golden strands of wheat. He met Irene, a young beauty that would entice him to finish high school. Through marriage in 1938 they formed a partnership that would last 78 years, and a whole lot of lovin’ that would grow 8 children. After a variety of jobs and 15 years with Boeing Aircraft, Gilbert and Irene agreed it was time to leave the farm and experience a new adventure in Colorado.
They moved their family in June of 1959 to the top of Mill St. in Aspen, Colorado, and became lodge keepers at the Snow Chase Lodge. Irene ran the lodge, and Gilbert got a job as an assistant to the city inspector and began working on obtaining his license to become an electrician. He successfully completed his apprenticeship and tests, which would lead him into his new business.
Holly’s Electric started as a small operation that might fix household appliances, but soon grew to encompass the electrification of all expansions of the Mountain Chalet, Mountain Chalet in Snowmass, The Hillside Lodge, The Limelight, The Boomerang Lodge, and many homes, both new construction and remodel, not only in Aspen, but up and down the valley. He helped build and completed the electrical work for the First Baptist Church, now Crossroads, and wired the Prince of Peace Chapel west of town. One of his last major projects was the Wildwood School where his great-grandson James would attend.
A small area of land up Woody Creek would bring him back close to his first experience with the mountains of western Colorado. Gilbert and Irene have lived out their years modestly among the mountains, observing the changes to their quiet, ski town. Viewing the absurd while maintaining a simple Christian life without passing judgment.
Holly was a member of Gideon’s International for 70 years. He started the Alpine Camp of Gideon’s. He was also a member of the Aspen Lion’s Club. He served on the Aspen Fire Board for 20 years.
Holly, or Gilbert, or Daddy, or Grandpa, whichever is appropriate for you, ended his earthly journey on Saturday, June 11th, 2016, and has begun his heavenly journey to the house his heavenly father has prepared for him. He joins his parents and his siblings, Carolyn Kerr, Louis Holloway and Ellen Ingram, who have gone before him.
He also joins his eldest children, Louise Smith and Kenney Holloway, and grandson, Rory Holloway. The partnership He and Irene started so long ago, leaves a legacy on this earth of children, Charlie Holloway, Jim and Joyce Holloway, Roy and Jan Holloway, Bob and Becky Holloway, Charlotte and Ronald Anderson, and David and Bailey Holloway to keep Irene company. Holly and Irene also had 24 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at Crossroads Church in Aspen on Friday, June 17th, at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Gideons International, Alpine Camp, 49 Pinon Drive, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601; Friends for Life, P.O. Box 4035, Aspen CO 81612; HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley, 1901 Grand Ave., Ste. 206, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.
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