Florella Coleen Hanes Bixby Holiday, Mother, Mum, Mom went to sleep for a little while on January 23, 2021 at the age of 69, until the time of the earthly resurrection.
Florella was the youngest daughter of Claude and Leah Schoonover Hanes. She was born June 24, 1951 at her parents' home in Presho, delivered by Dr. Harry Williams. Back then the Doctor, from Elkland PA, would come to your house.
She attended the Lindley-Presho School as a child, Painted Post High School, Northside Blodgett and West High School. Many of her classmates wrote in her yearbook, “Stay as sweet as you are” and she did.
Florella was a simple girl who enjoyed camping with her family and her mom and BFF’s Don and Mercedes Graham at Letchworth State Park.
A country girl at heart, Florella liked country music, her cowboy boots and living in the woods but she was also known for dressing up and wearing pretty hats. She was a stay-at-home mom with her 3 boys and tried to make their home a place to have fun. She would often teach that money isn’t everything, based on Eccl. 7:12, but wisdom is the prime thing.
She enjoyed board games, playing cards, Yahtzee, watching game shows, bowling, dancing, scrapbooking, crosswords, sudoku and cryptograms. She cherished the times spent with her mom playing dominos, croquet, shuffleboard and going on walks. Her mom would always accompany her and Jim on their camping trips, vacations and conventions.
Florella married her high school sweetheart, James Bixby on July 1, 1967 on her parent’s front yard. She had turned 16 just a week earlier. In February of 1968 Jim was inducted into the Army and went to Fort Dix in New Jersey for basic training. She and her father-in-law Carl were able to take the bus to see him graduate. Jim was then sent to Vietnam to the Long Binh Army base. So, at that time Florella went back to West High and finished 11th grade. She was 1 of 5 girls who were married in her class. She later got her GED. After Jim’s return, they were sent to Fort Stewart, Georgia. There they lived off base in Garden City, GA. It was there that their first son, James Jr. was born in 1970. After returning to New York in 1971, Florella and Jim had 2 more great sons, Corey and Brett Bixby. She was super proud of her sons and all they had accomplished in life and the kind of people they are.
Florella was a very spiritual person, spending years studying the Bible and doing extensive research on events and people of the Bible. She and her husband Jim were baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1973.
Over the years she became a caretaker of family members. Her maternal grandfather and her father-in-law passed away while living at their home.
Florella also co-owned a cleaning business for several years with her husband Jim. There she oversaw the weekly cleaning of 20 apartments in Gang Mills. After that contract ended, she continued to clean apartments and residential homes. She did seasonal work at the Bon-Ton and Bed and Bath at the Arnot Mall. In 2010 she also worked for the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2008, Florella married Wallace Holiday. Much to her delight, and deservingly so, they were able to purchase the Hanes Homestead in Presho where she was born, grew up, married and raised her children. After retirement, she and Wally enjoyed the quiet country lifestyle. Since they both enjoyed cooking, meals were a special time. She and Wally enjoyed driving their tequila, sunrise pearl Dodge truck which they were able to purchase because of the money left by Wally’s Aunt Marion.
In 2018, Florella was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. She braved it well, with strength and her faith and learned a great deal about herself and those around her because of this set back.
Florella will be deeply missed by her family; Wallace Holiday, Jim Bixby Sr. (Susan Vanzile), Jim Bixby Jr., Corey (Maria) Bixby, Brett Bixby (Tiffany Bowes), Lynda Bixby and the Oakley family; by her grandchildren Rennik, Raine and Kalyssa Bixby. Others left to cherish her memories are her Brother-in-loves Robert (Phyllis) Bixby, Joseph Bixby and her brother-in-loves David Bixby’s children Kristine and Rebekah Smith; by her sister-in-love Julia Bronson (Loren DeCamp), by several nieces and nephews; by aunt and uncle Edward and Nancy Palmer; by her name's sake Florella Gable, and by the Main family; by her sisters Alberta (Elwin) Burdick and Claudienne (Henry) Stebbins. By step-children, Timmy (Arlina) Holiday, Patrick (Debbie) Holiday and their children Morgan and Kendra, Katrina (Mark) Daw, James Holiday and his children John and Jacklynn; step grandchildren Ashley, Peter, Joseph Sylvester; by Justin Schoener (Mckayla) and their children Keeli, Justin Jr., Willow, Harper and Colt.
Hopefully, God willing, all of you will be there to welcome me back!
Florella was predeceased by a very special granddaughter, Kiyara Skye Bixby, by her parents Claude age 60, her mother Leah age 90, by maternal grandparents Robert and Alice Schoonover, by paternal grandparents Forrest and Martha Hanes; by uncle and aunt Ed and Doris Fox, by her sister Dorothy and her husband Francis Quackenbush and their son Ray; by in laws, Carl and Pauline Bixby, Mary and Clarence Palmer, Stanley and Elinor Holiday, by brother-in-Love’s David Bixby, Michael Dykes and David Bronson; by stepson Wallace Holiday.
Hopefully, God willing, I will be there waiting for your return!
Florella’s legacy is etched in the hearts and minds of her family and others and of course her God Jehovah.
Remember me and smile.
Many thanks to Dr. Gosain and the wonderful staff at the Corning Cancer Center and Dr. Lowery from Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA for their care, kindness and expertise in surgery.
At Florella’s request there will be no services. Her care has been entrusted to Acly-Stover Funeral Home. Burial will be in Presho Cemetery, Lindley, NY. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Florella’s name to CareFirst in Corning, a not-for-profit community organization or by volunteering at CareFirst or the Cancer Center to help others who may need assistance.
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