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Survivor Stories / Tributes

Joan Holden

Personal Description:


Joan Linda Holden, nee Entenok, age 55, entered into eternal life and peace on July 4th, 2009. Dearest wife of Steve; beloved mother of Michael and Ryan; cherished sister of the late Michael, Janice Dahl, and Marilyn Entenok. Beloved daughter of the late Michael and Stella, daughter-in-law of Stuart and Barbi Holden. Born in Cleveland, OH; resided in Deerfield, IL, Hudson, OH and Edwards, CO.

Personal Description:

Joan was a truly special person with an incomparable love of life and people. Her infectious smile and sparkling personality were hard to resist and attracted a legion of life long friends. Joan chose to face the final weeks of her valiant struggle with her family and dear friends at her side. Devoted to family, loving to friends, and true to her Catholic faith, Joan’s spirit will always remain young, beautiful, and full of life and laughter to all who knew her.

Last updated on: 07/07/2009


Joan we will miss you dearly. Always one to light up a room with laughter, discussion and a story. The Hudson neighborhood wasn’t the same since you moved…and you’ll be remembered here always. Love you!

Carrie Gynn – 07/07/2009

Dear Joan, You burst into my life when we were young mothers, dependent on each other for support, advice, freedom. Corporate wives…gypsy lives. Identical houses…happy spouses. I learned a few things about life from you. Where I was reserved and cautious, you were loud, irreverent, boisterous, howling, energetic, frank and totally “out there”. You were the life of the party…or the gourmet dinner club..always opinionated, always interested, ever observant. You loved the men in your life…big and little. At the same time you could be vulnerable, empathetic, thoughtful. I have a “welcome” sign over my door…a gift from you long ago. There it shall remain…a reminder of your warm and welcoming smile. Love Always, Donna

Donna Van Zile – 07/08/2009

You will always be in my heart and a day won’t go by where I don’t think of you. I will always remember your smiling face at Ryan’s wedding when you were dancing. Now you are dancing up in heaven. Tim and the boys will miss you tremendously as well and we will always cherish the time we had together as a family. Even though you had a short life on earth, I want to thank you for bringing joy to our lives. In Christ, Pattie

Pattie Entenok – 07/08/2009

I met you 20 some years ago when my boys decided to use your driveway for their bicycles, and you’ve been in my life ever since. You moved and wrote always letting me know where you were moving next. Then finally back to Illinois where we connected again, and have been good friends ever since. You were a great support to me when Phil was sick and have stuck by me through my tough times. Whenever you came to town, you always made a point of us getting together. I looked forward to our visits so much. Lastly I remember just last August in Colorado you telling about this little hike we were taking and you looking down, at my sister and I huffing and puffing, smiling at us having such a hard time making it up the mountain. Little did we know a few months later you would be going through the toughest climb of them all. You were such a smile in my life, I’m going to miss you and that zest for life, and your wonderful laugh and smile, and our great political discussions!
Thank you for being my friend and support.
Always in my heart,
Love, Barb

Barb Cacioppo – 07/08/2009

Joan, Even though we shared only a short time as neighbors and friends in Colorado, you are unforgettable…Every moment you spent in this world you lived completely and without reservation. You had loads of love to spare and luckily, it blessed us all. Maybe every color is deeper, every taste and sound sweeter, because of the light you left behind. Perhaps the snow is brighter, the sky a more perfect shade of blue because your spirit makes it so. Even now, you have left your footprints trailing through our hearts, and set an amazing path for all of us to follow. Love, Karen

Karen Shaw – 07/08/2009

My Dear Aunt – you may be gone but you will never be forgotten. I know you are in a better place. You are free of pain. You are laughing. You are free. Thank you for being a part of my life. I will always remember the good times, especially when we would laugh until we cried! You will always be in my heart.

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know that they are happy.

Author Unknown

Kristine Entenok-Conrad – 07/08/2009

This was written June 27,2009 and the time never seemed right to read it to her. I know she will hear it now.

This is written to Joan with love.
Good bye my friend. It is time for us to let go. The memories of our friendship will carry me forward,your laugh, your smile and your jokes.
I wish you warmth and light.
I wish you peace and serenity.
Friendship is strange, it ebbs,it flows, it wanes and it burns bright.
How sad for me to not have you as part of my life. How happy for me that I had you as part of my life.
We shared so many things, the stories and laughs. A very rainy Devils Lake trip, a trip to Prague with an unschedule stop in London, that we made “lemonade out of lemons”. Many shopping trips, well actually I shopped and you looked. Summerfest, Blues Fest and our frienshipfest.
I am full of love and sadness. Friendships remain even if our friend is no longer with us. They remain in our hearts, in our memories and the smiles of our children.
My heart is heavy because I won’t be able to talk to you. I know that I will hear from you in music, what I read and in my prayers. At the same time my heart is full because I truly believe that where you will soon be(now are)is wonderful.
Your pain, suffering, and sadness will be gone. Your light however, will not.
Whenever I tell a story, I will think of you because I will never know the date, time or who was there. You always knew and I always asked you “and what time did that happen?”

You were always so open and willing to share and were always so interested in what was going on with me.
You took chances by putting yourself out there in life. Balloons in your shirt on New Year’s eve, Karaoke at a Holy Crosse event and too many to mention. You spoke your mind and didn’t back down on your beliefs. I applaud you my friend, you were courageous in life and at the end.
I am so happy that I was able to be with you, and share some of my life with you,
Almost 17 years ago you gave me 2 champagne glasses. I still have one. I will keep it in your honor and I will raise a toast to you, my dear friend. May you be happy and free as you were on this earth. I know that we will all feel your spirit and love as we move forward.
Good bye for now.

Terri – 07/08/2009

You always seemed more of a big sister to me than an aunt. I have so many vivid, happy memories of growing up being with you: Christmas shopping, listening to “cool” music in the car and singing along, dancing in the house to “Boogie Shoes”, dressing up in Stell’s clothes and wigs… I learned early on not to care how loud I laughed! After you started your new married life and moved away, it was always a joyous occasion when “Joani’s coming home!” and it was always a tearful event when you left again. I remember one specific time when you were going back to Chicago with Baby Michael; it was summertime and warm and I stood in Stell’s driveway waving goodbye as you pulled away in the car and I tried not to cry until you couldn’t see me anymore. I am grateful, though, for all the generous travel opportunities you afforded to me over the years by being able to visit your many wonderful homes around the country. I have seen and learned and experienced many interesting and important things thanks to you with your fearless spirit. I will miss you dearly and you will live on in my heart and mind, always young, always beautiful, and always laughing. Nobody’s gonna get ANY rest in Heaven now!

Tracy Cucuzza – 07/09/2009

Joan, Your picture simply says it all. You were a beautiful person with a beautiful spirit and now are a beautiful soul. The many lives you have touched will forever be blessed by just having known you. I feel fortunate to have been just one of the many. You will be dearly missed, but will always live on in our hearts. Thanks for the memories!!

Julie Kodatsky – 07/10/2009

Joan, The memories are many. Living across the street from you in Hudson, Christmas caroling after having your chili and cornbread, being a second mother to my little Lexi. I have lost a dear friend and you will be missed. I am so glad we kept in touch after we both moved away. Good bye my dear friend, some day we will all meet again.

Mary Bolen – 07/12/2009

Joan, thanks so much for all your support last year. Only you could have made my first treatment seem – almost – fun. :-) I’m sorry we didn’t make it to our NY girls night out in Nov. Let’s just consider it postponed….until we meet again….Love, Cindy

Cindy Preytis – 07/15/2009

Steve and Family, I want offer my profound condolences to all of you and it is obvious by the amount of people responding what a wonderfull person Joan was.

Jerry Sude – 07/28/2009

Joan, always ready with a joke, always so vivacious and fun. You fought the good fight like a lioness. We clashed on our political views and sometimes you would get so frustrated with me and me with you, being just as opinionated, but always friends. What other newlywed bride would invite her husband’s buddy to come home with them after the wedding reception and then rib me about it for the next twenty odd years? I have to laugh as I think about that now. I know you brightened Steve’s life and you were the best mother a mother could be to Mike and Ryan. I know all who knew you miss you now. You brightened so many lives. You brightened my life. In a spiritual sense, I feel like you are still with us. I will always do my best to hold onto your courage, sense of humor and zest for life. Those things are your gift to the world and they will live on through all who knew you. I know you will be watching over us and encouraging us to live life to its fullest, as you did.

Guy Magnuson – 07/30/2009

Heck of a job there, it ablsouetly helps me out.

Emberlynn Emberlynn – 07/13/2011