Caryn Lynn Holloway
February 27, 1966 – January 29, 2020
Caryn Lynn (Miller, Garnaat--foster family) Holloway, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, formerly of Lowell and Alto, age 53, went home to be with the Lord and with loved ones who have gone on before. God tenderly called Caryn’s name early Wednesday morning, and she answered. It was the time determined by God to give her rest from her many physical trials and emotional pains. It was an unexpected, sudden death of natural causes.
The Celebration of Life service for Caryn will take place on Saturday afternoon, February 15th, 2020, at Calvary Church, in the Chapel. Come in the front entrance “C” (follow the covered walkway), 707 East Beltline NE, Grand Rapids, MI.
1 p.m. Visitation, Chapel
2 p.m. Celebration of Life Service, Chapel
3 p.m. Coffee and cookies, Teen Room
The family requests people wear something in a shade of purple, her favorite color, in honor of Caryn. It can be a lapel flower, piece of jewelry, or whatever idea you might have.
In memory of Caryn, donations may be given to:
The Humane Society of West Michigan http://www.hswestmi.org/
Women at Risk (WAR) Women At Risk International™ https://warinternational.org/. Please also visit their boutique on 44th St. in Grand Rapids, MI.
Your favorite charity.
Or, to help defray final expenses, to: Jon Holloway, C/O Reyers North Valley Chapel, 2815 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505.
Flowers may be delivered to the chapel at Calvary Church, front entrance “C” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2020.
THREE YEARS AGO, CARYN wrote a message to share upon her death. Some of the information has been updated for clarity and to reflect current people and animals:
“I married Jon Clyde Holloway, the Love of my Life. I was the youngest of eight children, and was preceded in death by my brother and best friend, Calvin Delbert Miller. I love you, Calvin. Also, sisters Charlene Miller and Colleen Burgess, and brother Cecil Miller.”
She was also preceded in death by her late mother-in-law, Anna Worst.
She is survived by husband, Jon Holloway, and her sisters: “Cheyenne ‘Jo’ (Don) Brower, Catherine Randall (of Cheboygan, MI), Charlotte Miller (unknown location), and many nieces and nephews.”
“Also, I was preceded in death by both parents*, who never cared a bit, which is why I now mention my Real Family, Ken and Cathy Garnaat, since I was 15 years old:
“Going to my forever and happy family that I Love Dearly, who showed me a new life, a Godly life, and that my Heavenly Father Loved me more than anyone could ever Love someone. I want to apologize for all the problems I gave you, I Love each and every one, thank you for saving my life, twice! [see Caryn’s Angel story, below]. “Dad, Ken, and Mom, Cathy Garnaat of Alto, MI; Brother Brad (Tanya) Garnaat of Alto, Sister Cheryl (Ken) Bell of Cedar Springs, Brother Rich (Mindi) Garnaat of Alto, Sister Laura Garnaat of Rockford, and many nieces and nephews that I truly adored; Brandon Garnaat, Brooklyn (Tanner) Micklatcher, Trent and Jared Garnaat, Toby Wilkerson, Lexi Bell, Grace, Faith, Creed, Jace, Jude, Rye, Zeal and Will Garnaat!”
“I am thankful for a wonderful and Loving Husband, Jon, who stuck with me for better or for worse, for richer or for ‘poorer’, through thick and thin until Death did we part, which God always saw us through, no matter what the problem. You were my soulmate and together we may not have raised children together, but we saved many dogs and cats over our 27 years together--a total of 8 dogs, 20 Cats; plus all the animals I have placed in forever homes. We have Loved our Animals, to the point of treating them as children: They were and are spoiled! I Loved each and every one of them: Sunshine 14, Taffy 15, Bandit 8, Pepper 12, Mokie 18, Thunder 15, Diamond 11, Maisy, Spice 10, Isis, Lexy-Pooh 9, Jimmy James 12, Harley Boy 8, C.J. 15, Sasha Lynn 9, Jenny Lynn, Pumkin, Baby-D, Dusty, Zeus, Faith, Angel, Sylvester, Gracy, Apollo and Oreo. We loved them as our children. Jon Loved me no matter how many times I brought animals home. He would just say, “Is it a cat or a dog?” You can imagine how surprised he was when I told him I rescued a horse, Sonata : ). Thank you for putting up with all my emergencies.” She is also survived by, and wrote: “And to Tricia and her husband Robert Howat, and Anthony and David Burgess, I Love you All.”
“I will miss the ones I leave behind, but I am looking forward to seeing the ones who have gone on before me.”
=^.^= €"();:::;~ (Caryn’s signature animal)
EVEN THOUGH CARYN did not experience loving parents for her childhood years, she somehow had a great capacity to love much. We will miss her overriding love of animals, her quick laugh and jokes, her joy at coming to family parties, her love of giving presents expressing her love, her many phone calls (especially for birthdays), her appreciation for any attention or favors, the tender love expressed in her face when she grinned slightly and tipped her head to the side and looked softly into our eyes, her ever-present kisses, hugs and final “I love you” words at every parting and at the end of every phone call and text session. Thank you, God, for giving us Caryn to show us how precious love really is.
CARYN WAS ABLE TO FIND NEW LIFE in Jesus Christ when she asked him to forgive her sins and become her Savior, when she was 15, which changed her life and eternal destination forever. She told everyone she could about her salvation in a story she wrote called, “This Handcrafted Angel is for You”, which she generously handed out to numerous family, friends, medical personnel and strangers along with beautifully handcrafted, beaded angels which she made:
THIS HANDCRAFTED ANGEL IS FOR YOU! By Caryn Lynn Holloway
When I was 15, I started going to AWANA Club with my niece and nephew at The First Baptist Church of Alto, MI. My AWANA leader was Cathy Garnaat, whom I liked immediately! She was so different from my parents who were drunk all the time and very abusive. She had something about her that I wanted. As the weeks went on, I learned even more about this Savior that she kept telling us about; how God had sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins, and through His blood we could be washed clean and with our repentance, we would go to heaven when we died:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (Based on KJV)
“…all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23 NIV
“…the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. NKJV
So she prayed with me, and on March 17th that year, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and all I had to do was to say, "Thank you, Jesus for dying for me and taking away my sins, and I am sorry for them. Please forgive me and come into my heart and live.”
And just as Christ is taking us in as His own children, Cathy and her husband, Ken, eventually took me in as their own child and saved my life here on earth. She became not only my spiritual Mother but my real Mother and my "Angel" that God had sent me to take care of me.
It has been 35 years since that day and we are still a very close family. They are still my "Angels" so that's why I'm giving you this little angel, today, praying that God would come into your life like he did mine, and bring you a special Angel, too. May God Bless you and keep you safe.
If YOU would like to know more or have someone to pray with, please contact me [Current contact person (616) 460-7893. Please leave a message for a return call]
Love in Christ,
Caryn =^.^= €"();:::;~
©Copyright 2016 by Caryn Lynn Holloway. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share this story in its entirety with copyright credits to Caryn Lynn Holloway.
CARYN WAS VERY CREATIVE. She sewed many quilts in her life to give away and sell. She made enormous amounts of beaded jewelry (calling herself her foster mother’s “Personal Jeweler”), and gave people many bracelets, earrings, angels and candles, etc. She sang, played the clarinet and gave beginner piano lessons. She painted many, many oil and acrylic paintings for gifts and for her own keepsakes of her animals. She adored “Bob Ross”, the gentle TV painter and teacher. She loved to decorate her “nest” with many beloved pictures and collections, including those of cats, dogs and Noah’s Arks.
CARYN LOVED HER FAMILY AND HER ANIMALS very deeply and grieved for many years over their deaths. She wrote many poems and some songs, which reveal much about her inner self, both emotionally and spiritually:
I CRIED FOR YOU, TODAY By Caryn Lynn Holloway I cried for you, today, as I looked at those bright green eyes. You were so tiny, and so afraid you must be, and all alone. I picked you up and held you close to me, your tiny little body relaxed and I could feel your heartbeat close to mine. From that day on we were inseparable, you slept on my pillow from that night on, your cheek pressed against mine. You were there to comfort me if I awoke from a bad dream, or just couldn't sleep. As I watched you settle in, and grow close to Sonshine and Taffy, you learned to trust and love, your loyalty grew towards your brothers and sisters and to us. As you grew through the years, you became larger than most cats. You were a big boy at 30lb but gentle as a lamb, and twice as sensitive, and you took care of all the new babies I brought home and you showered them with all the love and kindness you were taught, and became everyone's comforter. When Sonshine became ill you stuck close to him trying to comfort him in any way you could right up to the end. I cried for you today, as I watched you search for him everywhere especially in the last place you had seen him. I could see the sadness in your eyes. While still being close to Taffy, you still searched for him for months, and just when I thought you were starting to do better, your heart was broken once again when Taffy passed away. I cried for you today, and I couldn't do anything to help you, only to be there for you, but even though you were hurting you still took care of everyone else, you played with Maisy, and watched over Spice and Isis and baby Lexy and you tried to take care of Mokie but he was too much of a loner, so you were content just to care for everyone else and especially me when I was sad or crying, which seemed to be a lot. You were always there for me.
By the time Harley came along, you literally became his mother, since he was so small he still wanted to nurse and you gracefully and humbly let him, even if it was only for comforting purpose which he did up till he was a year old. By that time, we had just moved into our first home. It took awhile but everyone eventually settled in and began to venture into other rooms. You were all so happy you had windows to look out and stairs to run up and down and dry floors with carpeting and a front porch to be on when it was nice out, and still I brought home more babies. Toby was first and even though he was 17 you made him feel welcome, then came Baby-D. He loves to play with you and Punpkin and Jenny, whom we had adopted the year before from Pet Supplies-Plus. Then shortly after that came Dusty and he learned from you and Jenny and all he wanted to do was play. You were like a kitten again with him, seeing him run up and down the stairs, through the living room and dining room, around the table and back again. I've never seen him run so fast. It filled my heart with such joy, that I cried for you today, it was like that for a couple of years and then came Faith and a week later came Angel and Sylvester and, of course, Jimmy was the first one to greet them. I'm sure it was tough on them all, because this was Faith's third home in a short amount of time and she was very scared and timid. It took a few weeks for her to come around with Jimmy's help. Everything was great for the next year and then you started to slow down and you were losing weight. I just thought it was because you were running and playing so much but something was wrong. You seem different, somehow, so I took you to the vet and they said it was something to do with your diet, so we changed your food, but that wasn't it because you continued to lose weight and you had a few accidents and I didn't understand why a couple of months went by and you lost so much weight that you started to look like a skeleton so I took you back to the vet and this time they did a blood test and they said it was your thyroid so I asked if the medicine she gave him would make him well again so he would gain weight again and she said it should, so once again I cried for you today because I was so relieved that you would be alright--my sweet, gentle, baby boy. But a couple of weeks went by and still you grew thinner and started having accidents all the time and you would always look at me as if to say, "I'm sorry, Mom, I didn't mean to do that but I couldn't help it." It was then that I realized I was going to lose you and my heart started to break and I started to fall apart. How was I going to make it without you, because you were always there for me when I was sad or hurting, and on my pillow when I slept. How am I to deal with this? I noticed that the other cats had started being mean to you, and you withdrew into yourself and with Toby having accidents as well, we made your final appointment with the vet. I felt sick and my heart was heavy. I felt numb but still I knew what we had to do so you would not suffer. It was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do. They called us and as they prepared to put you to sleep, Jon held Toby who was first, and he purred the entire time right up till the end. He was a good, brave boy. And then it was your turn. I held you so close that it felt like our hearts beat as one and as you collapsed in my arms and your heart stopped beating, it took a piece of mine went with you. I didn't want to let you go. So we took you home and prepared you and Toby to bury you. My body went through the motions but part of my heart was gone and it was time to let you go but my heart just wouldn't let you go, just yet. As the day went on, I knew I had to say goodbye so I hold you in my heart forever my heart my sweet baby boy Kitty. I cried for you today! I love you, Jimmy.
©Copyright 2017 by Caryn Lynn Holloway. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share this writing in its entirety with copyright credits to Caryn Lynn Holloway.
YOU WERE THERE FOR ME By Caryn Lynn Holloway January 2015 You were there for me, When I was lonely, and needed a friend to talk to; You were the child I did not have, Yet, you called me “Mama”.
You were there for me, When I cried myself to sleep, You were strong and bold, Yet, you were soft and sweet.
You were there for me, When I needed a snuggle, or a shoulder to cry on, You always knew When I needed someone to lean on.
You were there for me, When I could not think, and withdrew within myself; You always knew how to draw me out And comfort me.
You were there for me, Throughout the years, As a true and faithful friend In which I loved And trusted.
We needed each other, We rescued each other. You were there for me.
©Copyright 2015 by Caryn Lynn Holloway. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share this writing in its entirety with copyright credits to Caryn Lynn Holloway.
CARYN’S FAVORITE VERSES “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 KJV “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 KJV “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 CARYN’S TWO FAVORITE SONGS: THANK YOU FOR GIVING TO THE LORD www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lVzeS5i8WQ Ray Boltz I dreamed I went to heaven You were there with me We walked along the streets of gold Beside the crystal sea We heard the angels singing Then someone called your name You turned and saw a young man He was smiling as he came
He said friend, you may not know me now, But then he said but wait You used to teach my Sunday school When I was only eight Every week you would say a prayer Before the class would start One morning when you said that prayer I asked Jesus in my heart
Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave
Then another man stood before you, And said remember the time A missionary came to your church, His pictures made you cry You didn't have much money, But you gave it anyway Jesus took the gift you gave, And that's why I'm here today
Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave
One by one they came, As far as the eye could see, Each one somehow touched By your generosity Little things that you had done, sacrifices made Unnoticed on the earth, heaven now proclaims And I know up in heaven That you're not supposed to cry But I was almost sure There were tears in your eyes As Jesus took your hand And you stood before the Lord And He said my child look around you For great is your reward Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that was changed Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave I am so glad you gave I am so glad you gave.
Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Raymond H. Boltz Thank You For Giving To The Lord lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group I CAN ONLY IMAGINE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lrrq_opng MercyMe I can only imagine what it will be like When I walk, by your side I can only imagine what my eyes will see When you face is before me I can only imagine I can only imagine
Surrounded by Your glory, What will my heart feel Will I dance for you Jesus, Or in awe of You be still Will I stand in your presence, Or to my knees will I fall Will I sing hallelujah Will I be able to speak at all I can only imagine I can only imagine
I can only imagine when that day comes When I find myself standing in the Son I can only imagine when all I would do is forever Forever worship You I can only imagine I can only imagine
Surrounded by Your glory, What will my heart feel Will I dance for You, Jesus, Or in awe of you be still Will I stand in your presence, Or to my knees will I fall Will I sing hallelujah Will I be able to speak at all I can only imagine I can only imagine I can only imagine when all I will do Is forever, forever worship You I can only imagine
Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Bart Marshall Millard I Can Only Imagine (iTunes Originals) lyrics © Essential Music Publishing *note: Calvin D. and Betty L. Miller
- Memorial Visitation Saturday, February 15, 2020
- Celebration of Life Saturday, February 15, 2020
Caryn Lynn Holloway
February 11, 2020
As children we spent a good deal of time together. We would even spend the night with each other. We would cuddle up at night, and talk about what we were going through, and our hopes for the future. No matter what she was ALWAYS there for me. I will never forget our friendship. Caryn was one of the most genuine, gentle, precious, loving people I know! She’ll be greatly missed. I LOVE YOU CARYN!