Esther Elizabeth Robie Holden

Published 1:10 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ROANOKE—Esther Elizabeth Robie Holden died Wednesday, September 28, after complications from a hip injury.

She passed into the loving arms of Jesus, her savior, surrounded by the love of her family.

She was predeceased by her family members including her mother and father, sister Helen Coleman and brother Merle Robie.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Norman B Holden Sr., and their four children Dr. Norman Holden Jr. (Meredith ) of Mechanicsville, Va., Linda Holden Chitwood (Lannie) of Ivor,Va., Bob Holden(June) of Montvale,Va., and Judy Holden West (Rusty) of Gloucester Va.; nine grandchildren, Nora Holden Bryant (Mark) of Troutville, Chris and Kent Holden of Mechanicsville, Mark Chitwood (Jerry-Ann) of Wakefield, Alison Chitwood Peters (Dan) of Hollywood, Md., Stephen and Matt Holden of Roanoke, Mandy and Thomas West of Gloucester; and eight great-grandchildren as well as her special friends Shirley Hudgins and neighbor, May Crutchfield Edwards.

Mom touched almost everyone she knew.

She retired from Catawba hospital where she served as a patient advocate and social worker.

She did many volunteer services including serving as president of the Northside High PTA for 7 consecutive years. Her last volunteer work was as a swimming instructor for those afflicted with arthritis.

She was her class valedictorian at the prestigious Pinkerton Academy in New Hampshire, which she graduated from at the age of 16 in 1942. Astronaut Alan Shepard graduated from Pinkerton, and his sister was a classmate of Esther’s.

She served as many women did helping her country in the great war in the manufacture of needed supplies. Mom and Dad married in December 1946 and wove their lives together while being blessed with 4 children.

Mom was extremely adaptive and improvisational, overcoming problems was her great skill. She was an avid camper who took their four children camping all over the United States, but mostly at Philpot Lake. She was also a Girl Scout Leader and she excelled at many things.

Her loss is felt by many.

Visitation will be at Oakey’s North Chapel on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Burial will be at Tombstone Cemetery at 11 a.m. Friday and a memorial celebration of her incredible life will be at 2 p.m. on Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church at 4040 Williamson Road in Roanoke with the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Lane officiating.

Friends are invited to visit and share their memories with the family. In lieu of flowers, as mom was such an advocate of education, donations may be made to the educational institution of your choice or to the Keeton Endowment Scholarship fund in care of Trinity Lutheran Church.

The family wishes to especially thank Mom and Dad’s close neighborhood friends on Ardmore Drive and the employees of South Roanoke Nursing Home who gave such loving and dutiful care for mom.