A wise old coal miner once said:
“Roses are red
Violets are blue …”
On one of the bluest, brightest, most colorful days of the year, Kenneth John “Hiram” Haladej Holliday, 73, of Indiana, died in his home surrounded by his beloved family on Monday, July 15, 2019. It was befitting for Hiram to pass away on such a clear and beautiful day, given his vibrant, joyful and spirited personality.
Born Sept. 8, 1945, in Cleveland, Ohio, he was a son of Stephen Holliday and Suzanna (Marusa) Holliday. He was the husband of Judith A. (DiAntonio) Holliday, whom he married April 25, 1981. From a prior marriage, he had two daughters. With Judy, he had three more daughters and a son. All six children have loved growing together as a family with their parents.
Hiram graduated from Indiana High School in 1963, where he developed his well-known love for music by playing trumpet in the marching band. He spent 34 years working as a proud union coal miner before retiring in December 2002. Between his work in the coal mines and his devout faith as a Byzantine Catholic, Hiram found great inspiration for the folk artwork he painted in his spare time. Dozens of pieces of his artwork can be found lining the walls of his home and in the homes of many of his friends and family.
When he wasn’t painting, gardening or making wine in the basement, he loved taking his “Majestic” van up to the “big waters” (Yellow Creek) to meditate, pray and appreciate nature. And when he wasn’t at the big waters, he was socializing with his cronies on the bench in front of the old Indiana courthouse. And when he wasn’t doing that, he was doing what everyone knew him for best — making music and bringing endless song, dance and joy to Indiana County.
Hiram can be remembered for so many of his wonderful qualities and talents, but spending time with his family and friends is what Hiram loved most. It meant everything to him for his family to gather together for holidays, birthdays, weddings, school concerts and plays, football games, art shows, graduations, other family events, or just a weenie roast in the backyard on a summer night with the doo-wop CD playing and family laughing and talking together.
One thing Hiram really loved to do was write “Roses are Red” poems for his family for all of life’s milestones. He had a certain flair with language that we can only try to recreate to honor and celebrate his humor, life and spirit.
So, a wise old coal miner once said:
“Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I hates to left,
But I gots to went.”
In addition to his wife of 38 years, he is survived by his children: Lisa Hunter (Bryan), Indiana; Tonya Weller (Christian), Homer City; Stephanie Holliday Zorabedian (John), Somerville, Mass.; Stephen Holliday (fiancee, Veronica Poole), Indiana; Susan Holliday, Los Angeles, Calif.; and Natalia Holliday, Pittsburgh. His three surviving grandchildren are: Raylee and Hanna Weller and Benjamin Zorabedian. He is also survived by his brother, Gerald Holliday (Karen), Indiana, and by his many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, god children and friends.
Friends will be received Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Rairigh-Bence Funeral Home of Indiana, where a Parastas service will begin at 3 p.m., at the beginning of the visitation hours. A Panachida service will be held at 9:15 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, followed by Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Homer City, with the Rev. Wesley M. Mash celebrant. Burial will be held at a later date at St. Bernard Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at: www.rbfh.net. Memorial donations may be made to: Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Church – Homer City, and/or VNA Hospice of Indiana County.