Queenstowner Mike Holloway’s love for life and “glass full to the top” approach was remembered at a packed funeral today (Friday).
Friends and the large family of the longtime Queenstown lawyer and businessman – who died after a heart attack last Saturday – filled the City Impact Church at Frankton for the service.
Lifelong friend John Ennis, who first met Holloway at school, says he made a big impact on so many lives, including his own.
Ennis recalled arriving at Dunedin’s then-St Paul’s school from Auckland, not knowing anyone and feeling a tad lost when Holloway approached him to say hi.
“It was the start of a great friendship. He was always friendly, gregarious, comical and sometimes outrageous.”
Ennis recalled him as a high achiever and major reader who knew so many big words it seemed at times as if there wasn’t a word in the dictionary he wasn’t on top of.
Holloway also played rugby at school, rowed and even sang in a band for a while before studying law at Otago University.
Ennis noted Holloway packed in enough for two lifetimes and loved adventures like cross-country skiing, sailing, tramping and white-water rafting.
“He became a dad at 19 – and it’s fair to say the future of the human race was assured by the time he was 36,”
Ennis noted to much laughter, in reference to the nine children Holloway fathered during his lifetime.
Holloway met his third wife Queenstowner Jenni McBride on a boating trip and they married 10 years ago.
“He loved you with such a passion it would never have been on his radar that he would leave you so early,” Ennis said.
His offspring recalled an adventurous, fun-filled father, with one daughter saying that between the kids they’d been lost in the mountains, lost on drives, gone camping without the tent pegs and been “left to play in an old abandoned Dunedin cheese factory while he went rowing for the day”.
“When you think of someone as a glass half-empty or a glass half-full I would say Dad was a glass full to the top guy – and he’d want to dive on in and swim naked.
“You were a force of nature….”
Holloway, 62, was buried in one of the sailing boats he loved so much.
The well-regarded local spent 25 years working in law, finishing as partner at HM Associates before going onto develop a software system for legal firms called ActionStep with business partner Ted Jordan.
His heart attack was suffered while driving alone near the Shotover Delta Road last Saturday during a gravel-loading trip.