OBITUARY

Holly Ann Stoneman-Green

December 7, 1962January 9, 2021

On January 9th, 2021, the world suddenly lost an enlightened, amazing, kind, wise, talented, gentle, faithful, spiritual, loving, creative, funny, loud, brilliant, great cook, beautiful woman, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. Holly Stoneman-Green lived the past 58 years on her own terms until her generous heart gave out way too soon. Born on December 7, 1962, Holly grew up in Grandville, Michigan. She was an active and inquisitive child, always getting into mischief, and so smart, she started kindergarten at the age of four. Her love of water, especially romping in enormous waves in the Great Lakes, is legendary. Holly graduated with the Class of 1980 from Grandville High School and then earned an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts from Grand Rapids Junior College, now known as Grand Rapids Community College. During her culinary career, she worked at the Grand Villa, then spent 25 years professionally cooking in restaurants in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Holly held many positions at Amway such as Sous Chef in the 1913 Room for several years, banquets, buffets for grand parties, and room service. During her 35 years at Amway, and after an injury prevented her from being on her feet, Holly spent 10 years as a Hospitality Assistant in the parking department. During those 10 years, Holly earned her Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) title, sharing friendly guidance and her hometown pride with city visitors from her well-decorated booth.

A magnificent and creative cook, she loved cooking for her family, from grand traditional holiday meals and birthday specials to experimenting with ethnic dishes using her "wall of flavor" spices that she ground and mixed herself. Cooking “is what I do,” she’d say. She posted her culinary creations on social media, as well as smart, humorous, and often irreverent commentary on a variety of topics that gained her an enthusiastic following.

Holly loved laughing with family and friends, hanging with her girls, activities with Hailey, watching birds, taking trips to the U.P. (land of her people), mystical things and magic, all things Star Trek, texting to the sisters’ thread, all creatures great and small, and music. The love of music meant a house full of instruments: guitar, ukulele, banjo, bongos, steel drums, thumb harp. Her artistic flair extended to numerous crafts and hobbies that she excelled at: painting, crafting, basket making, napkin folding, table decorating, knitting, wood burning, and making Christmas ornaments. But it was during the high holiday of Halloween that she tapped all her creative talents, at once producing incredible costumes, fantastic makeup, magically conjured foods, and fantastic contest-winning pumpkin carvings.

Holly’s spiritual quest included devoted service to others as a parishioner of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. There, she contributed time and talent to feeding the homeless through the church’s Breakfast Café and knitting them hats. She was especially proud to complete a four-year program in Theological Education from the University of the South, School of Theology also known as Education for Ministry (EfM). She understood what it meant to be a real Christian, going beyond traditional religion to explore and respect alternative views and cultures, accompanied by an eclectic reading list.

Her proudest legacy and the loves of her life are her surviving daughters Samantha, Natalie, Robin, and Aimee. They share her belief in just causes, helping others, devotion to family and home, boisterous humor, and the delight of finding new passions to follow. Much-loved granddaughter, Hailey, gave her heart-filled joy, the next generation to benefit from her culinary and crafting skills. Sisters Heidi Stoneman, Carol Stoneman Dibble (Len), and Julie Stoneman (Paul Jurczak) ache at the loss of their treasured #4 (the fun one), as does her soul sister, best friend of 40 years, and keeper of truly great stories, Amy Babins and her family. Nephew, Christopher Dibble, his wife Sarah, and grandniece Ruby captured her heart. Holly leaves behinds cousins, tousins, countless friends and co-workers with whom she laughed, loved, and enjoyed adventures large and small. Her parents Fernley (Stoney) and Edna Mae (Heidi) Stoneman preceded her in death, as did Tressa (Gussie) Groendyke, Holly’s dearest caretaker and teacher of the heart, and many animal friends. The family plans a Celebration of Life in the future, as they know there will be a long line who wish to pay tribute to a remarkable woman. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Food or Education Ministries at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mental Illness Research Association, and Love, Inc. A GoFundMe account has been established for support and continuing education for her family (https://www.gofundme.com/f/education-for-holly-stoneman-greens-children?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1)

Services

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Memories

Holly Ann Stoneman-Green

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Rachel Simons

January 17, 2021

It was always a treat to work with Holly, to talk about anything and everything and watch her absolutely light up talking about her family, her friends, her faith, favorite shows, and what the girls wanted to do for Halloween. She truly was a beautiful soul that we would all do good to learn from.

Deidre Piechocki

January 14, 2021

I first met Holly when we joined a Bible study for mothers at St Marks. There we bonded over the texts and our children, Aimee and Declan, who were the same age. Holly was always quick with wit or a smile and had an uncanny ability to make anyone laugh. I will miss her greatly. The world has lost a truly tremendous person.

Gordon Cheyne

January 14, 2021

I loved Holly. Her father delivered my brother and myself in the 1950's. We grew up together. I had the privilege of working with her at both the Grandvilla and the Grand Plaza Hotel. Just messaged her last week. She was really intelligent and wickedly hilarious. I also knew her mother. She was a hoot! I'll never forget you Holly.

Kimberly Heibel

January 14, 2021

I've known Holly since working at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel from 1981-1989 and then at St. Marks Episc. Church. We spoke often about the people we knew from the hotel and the good old days. We greeted each other every Sunday at service and at coffee hour. My deepest sympathies on her passing. She will be remembered. Kimberly J. Heibel

Carmela McIntire

January 14, 2021

Dear Green-Stoneman Family,
My deep sympathy for your tremendous loss. As a fairly recent member of St. Mark's, I never had the chance to get to know Holly well, but we had several wonderful, memorable conversations--and her intellectual curiosity and humor and generosity and loving nature were instantly obvious. When we re-gather at St. Mark's, we will celebrate her life, of course, but we will all feel her absence for a long time.

With love and sympathy, Carmela

Aleta Wells

January 12, 2021

So sorry for the loss of your Mom. Know that she is in the arms of Jesus. May she Rest In Peace and light perpetual shine upon her.
With Sincere Sympathy
Aleta Wells
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Member

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY