Harrison E. Holycross
September 24, 1937 ~ September 22, 2014
If your perception is keen, as you live your dash (the time between your birth and death), you will note that most people fall into two categories - the givers and the takers. Our Father was a giver. Harrison E. Holycross, age 76, was called to his heavenly home on Monday, September 22nd by his Lord and Savior, whom he faithfully served.
As he stated many times, “I have been raising kids since I was 15.” He gave to his family all of his honorable life. Harry and Flo also unselfishly took on the spiritual, physical and financial responsibilities of parenting children who were not their own. He was the true Patriarch of the Holycross Clan. Our hard work ethic is a Holycross trait, of which we are proud.
Harrison E. Holycross was born the second of six children to the union of Marshall A. Holycross and Nina (Feece) Holycross in South Bend, Indiana on September 24th, 1937. His childhood, and that of his siblings, was not an easy life. They endured poverty and hardships, but through the love of their mother, Nina, all six grew to be loving and responsible adults.
Harrison truly was our “Guardian-Redeemer”. This is a Hebrew term for the relative who was obligated to “redeem a relative who was in serious difficulty.” He wore this mantle proudly. He started financially supporting his siblings and parents at the age of 15. He became a father figure to them at the age of 18. In 1957, to provide for his family, he enlisted in the Army and received an honorable medical discharge after two years.
On December 18th, 1958, after begging his younger sister JoAnn to introduce him, he met his true love - Flora Robinson. Pursuing her was foremost in his mind, and she finally allowed him to catch her. They were wed on June 24th, 1961. Their love was deep and an example of a Christ-like marriage to all who knew them. Their union was blessed by two children who survive: Melissa R. Holycross, RN (companion Dennis Elmerick) of South Bend and Micah A. Holycross (wife Kasia) of Chicago, IL. He was also blessed with grandchildren ~ Jacob M.J.H. Holycross of Dekalb, IL and Josiah D. E. Holycross of South Bend. He also is survived by his oldest-younger sister JoAnn Foriz (widow of John Foriz) of North Liberty, Indiana, Linda Burns (widow of Michael Burns) of Cookeville, Tennessee and Kathaleen Holycross-Wing (widow of Derle Wing) of North Liberty, Indiana. Many loving nieces, nephews and close church friends have showered him in his last days with an overwhelming outpouring of love. He will be missed by a special family friend, Henry Brown, and his Florida companions/euchre teammates, Glenn Boudreau, Denise Boudreau-Moulds, Ann Niemier-Karwoski, Donna Boudreau-Borlik and their families. Harrison was predeceased by his parents, his younger brother Raymond, older brother Marshall and his wife Kay, and by his loving and faithful wife Flora.
On December 18th, 2007, Flora received the diagnosis of terminal skin cancer, which had moved to her lungs. Even though she did not pass until May 2008, Harrison often stated God gave her to me on December 18th and took her away on December 18th. He held her hand and her heart as she battled the pain of cancer that ravaged her body. On her final day, he asked her to save a place for him in heaven and she stated, “I will, I’m fine.” She also was a giver, expressing through her pain, that she hated what her illness was doing to him the most. He chose not to date after her death stating, “Once you have had filet mignon, why settle for hamburger.” Harry’s sense of humor and smile were wicked good. There is no passage in the bible truly dedicated to the attributes of a loving husband, other than “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.” Harrison lived his life as an example of this standard. No better example of pure love can one find.
Harrison “retired” from General Sheet Metal after 34 combined years of service. He also worked at Avis Rent-A-Car “running circles” around the younger employees, earning him the nickname of “Hurry.” Harry filled his final days again “feeding kids” by volunteering at the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. This past spring, he was given the unexpected honor of being nominated the first “Volunteer of the Year.” Harrison also enjoyed 30 years as an ACC usher at Notre Dame. Many of those years were spent working alongside his older brother Marshall. Our unique last name was often the topic of conversation with patrons who passed through Gate 9. They were always greeted by that infectious smile. The Notre Dame women’s basketball games highlighted his days ushering. You could often hear him state, “They play better ball than the men, because they play as a team.” The Dallas Cowboys also brought joy to his life ~ win or lose. In December 2011, his son Micah fulfilled a lifelong dream by accompanying him to his first and only Cowboys game in Dallas.
Upon arrival to his final home, we know our father was greeted by his Heavenly Father with the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.“ Pops, yours was a dash lived well!
On Thursday, September 25th, visitation will be held from 4:00 - 8:00 pm in the Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend. His “Home-Going Celebration” will be on Friday, September 26th at 1:00 pm at Redeemer Missionary Church, 2313 Solomon Street, South Bend, officiated by Rev. Karl Yoder and Rev. Ryan Yazel. Military graveside services will be held at Riverview Cemetery immediately following.
Donations made in Harry’s name may be given to the Salvation Army, 303 Chapin Street, South Bend, IN 46601, Keller Park Missionary Church Vacation Bible School, 1003 W. Bryan Street, South Bend, IN 46616 or to the Northern Indiana Food Bank, 702 Chapin Street, South Bend, IN 46601. Online condolences may be left for the Holycross family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
Our Father insisted we share his favorite bible verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”