Hundreds gather to remember music teacher

A line of people a block long wait to get inside the Brewery Arts Center for the memorial service of Larry Holloway Sunday. Photo by Brian Corley

A line of people a block long wait to get inside the Brewery Arts Center for the memorial service of Larry Holloway Sunday. Photo by Brian Corley

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Hundreds of people lined up along King Street to remember 23-year Carson City music teacher Larry Holloway at the Brewery Arts Center's Performance Hall Sunday afternoon. The service stretched into the evening after more than 50 people climbed up to the pulpit to offer remembrances and stories of "Mr. Holloway."

He was remembered by family members, fellow teachers and former students, some of whom he inspired to become teachers.

Grief and laughter overflowed as "Mr. H." was described as "the best teacher in the world," "rad," "a big beefy man starting to go bald," "an incredible youth sports coach," "like a Swiss Army knife -- he could fix anything," a guy who could "really hog a copy machine" and as a "friend" by many people Sunday.

After everyone crowded into the old St. Teresa's church, filling every pew and standing in the back, the celebration of life began at 3 p.m. with the song "What a Wonderful World" performed by Holloway family friends Ryan Rothchild and Shirley Bierman.

Then another family friend, the Rev. Stan Pesis of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, opened the floor up to people to remember Holloway.

Teresa Ardinger, a junior at Carson High School, where Holloway was band director when he fell ill, remembered him for his "really nice smile." He was also remembered for fixing a student's French horn, for laughing "when they stuck Joanna in the tuba case," and for encouraging students to stick with the band when they felt like quitting.

"He wasn't like any other teacher or old person you wouldn't want to be around," a former student said with a laugh.

Holloway's younger sister, Diane, remembered him in a way many people didn't -- as "Larry the boy." She recalled how he would care for her and would let her bite him without biting back.

"He lied about his age when he was 12 so he could get a job," she said. "I think he did it for two reasons: To get his own money and to get out of doing the dishes."

Carson High School Principal Glen Adair remembered how Holloway turned around the "absolutely chaotic" high school band. He recalled wondering, "Can this gentle soul calm this mob? And the answer was yes!" He described how once Holloway had taken the helm, they "all of a sudden became this marvelous band."

Holloway began teaching music in Carson City nearly 23 years ago at Bordewich-Bray and Fritsch elementary schools before moving to the middle school level. He spent much of his career at Eagle Valley Middle School before becoming Carson High School's band director in 2000.

Holloway was born March 7, 1950, in Sioux City, Iowa, to Douglas and Constance Holloway. He received his bachelor's degree in music education from the University of South Dakota in Vermilion. He taught for eight years in South Dakota before moving to Carson City. He and his wife, Judy, have two sons Bryan and Jon.

Gov. Kenny Guinn declared a Larry Holloway Day last year.

You Can Help

Donations in Larry Holloway's memory may be made to the Carson High School Band, P.O. Box 603, Carson City, NV 89702; or to the Brewery Arts Center at 449 W. King St.


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