Milton (Milt) Holloway
Jan. 2, 1937 – Oct. 8, 2021
Milt Holloway died at his Sonoma home on Friday, Oct. 8, of complications from Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) a rare bone-marrow disease. He was 84.
His wish was that his last days be spent in the only home he shared with his beloved wife and soul mate Bette Benaski Holloway. They were married 46 years.
Milt was born at home in 1937 in Willow Springs, Missouri. In 1941 he and his family were headed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for his father’s new job in the shipyards. After the bombing of the harbor they were diverted to the shipyards in Bellingham , Washington.
After the war, he and his mother came to Sausalito, and later moved to San Rafael where he graduated from San Rafael High School. In 1955 Milt joined the Navy and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton and worked on the flight deck crew. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1957 and joined the Naval Reserve. In 1959 he married his high school sweetheart Judy. The couple had two children , Mike and Pam.
During the early 1960s Milt was recalled to active duty with the Navy in the Pacific. Returning to the states in 1962 he became a firefighter with the San Rafael Fire Department. He loved his job and made many life-long friends. He considered his co-workers part of his family and could always be counted on to help his firemen brothers with their home improvement projects. He relished the potluck parties and fellowship that followed.
Years after his divorce, Milt met the love of his life Bette, and in 1975 they married and moved to Sonoma. The property had been Hurley’s turkey breeding farm and hatchery, with a small house, a barn and numerous outbuildings. Over the next 45 years he and Bette transformed the neglected land, dilapidated buildings and farm into their piece of paradise. In 2013 the Holloways received an Award of Merit from the Sonoma League For Historic Preservation for being stewards of the land.
Among other things Milt loved music, traveling and motorcycles. He rode Harleys, BMWs and Triumphs. As a member of the BSA Owners Club he also rode his vintage BSA and Royal Enfield bikes. Milt and Bette visited numerous states to attend jazz and blues festivals; traveled to Europe for a riverboat cruise; and went to New Zealand for a motorcycle tour and rally. Other road trips took them to the New Orleans Jazz Festival and Canada and Mexico.
In Sonoma, Milt hosted a popular radio program called Moon Valley Mix on KSVY FM. He played jazz, rock, country, big band/swing, classical and blues from his vast, eclectic collection of hundreds of albums and CDs. His show lasted for eight years.
A man of many talents, not only did he custom paint his Harley Sportster, he also painted bikes for some of his many friends. After he stopped riding he continued his hobby of restoring and repairing motorcycles.
In the early 2000s, after Milt and Bette were victims of a horrific hit-and-run collision in West Sonoma County – and after their long recoveries – they decided to expand the size of their small house. Milt designed their dream kitchen himself and when he took his plans to a draftsman he was offered a job based on the plans.
Milt was a gentle, kind and compassionate man who enjoyed sharing his knowledge, teaching family and friends and helping people. In retirement he volunteered with FISH (Friends in Sonoma Helping) and Meals on Wheels. He was also very active in the Druid Order #113 in Novato, an organization based on ethics, respect and service to local communities and people in need.
Milt is survived by his wife Bette, son Michael Holloway and daughter Pam Baird; grandsons Alex (Paige), Tom and Andrew Baird; his brother-in-law Randy Stoops, sister-in-law Marilyn Stoops; nephews Chris and Jason Stoops and Charles Holloway (Sherry).
Bette wants to thank By the Bay Health, home care nurse Heather McCabe; Hospice nurse Molly Weiner; and Sonoma Valley Hospital wound care nurse Joe Cornen for their expertise and compassionate care.
Cremation will be handled by the Neptune Society. Donations can be made to: FISH, P.O. Box 507, Sonoma CA 95476; Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 622, Sonoma CA 95476; or By the Bay Health Hospice Care, 355 West Napa St., Suite B, Sonoma CA 95476; or a charity of your choice.
A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Milt’s life will be held in the spring, his favorite of the four seasons.
(To place a Life Tribute in the Novato Advance or any other Marinscope newspaper, contact Publisher Sherman R. Frederick at email@example.com.)