Holly Marie Blackwood, age 41, passed away peacefully Sunday evening February 21st 2021 with her husband Michael and her step daughter Isabelle by her side after a long courageous battle with brain cancer.
Holly (formerly Sweeney) was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska on July 1, 1979 to Brian and Rojean (Berry) Sweeney. Holly was part of a ‘Double Delight’ surprise with twin sister, Heather.
Holly attended preschool at Wee Wisdom, grade school at Longfellow Elementary, and Bluffs Middle School in Scottsbluff, NE. She graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 1998. In December of 2001 she graduated with distinction from Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE with a degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for a number of years, she went back to school to complete a Master’s Degree from Regis University in Denver.
She began her teaching career in Lake Havasu, Arizona where she taught for six years. She then moved to Colorado and taught at Centennial Elementary in Loveland, CO for twelve years.
During that time Holly impacted the lives of hundreds of students with genuine love and kindness. Her fellow teachers described her as “an exceptional example of a teacher who taught life lessons as well as the curriculum”. She was “encouraging and inspirational”. She “knew true teamwork and led by example”. Holly was “loyal, kind, and compassionate”. She “faced difficult situations with courage”. She “faced the bumps in the road with perseverance”. Holly stayed positive and “had the Lord as her guiding light”. Holly had a passion for teaching and a genuine concern for all of her students.
On September 20, 2014 Holly married Michael “Mike” Andrew Blackwood in an outdoor ceremony at Estes Park, CO. She became stepmom to Isabelle “Izzy” Kathleen Blackwood. She was the perfect union to both Mike and Izzy. She was a positive role model and mother figure for Izzy. Mike and Holly shared a uniquely special relationship. The three of them loved every moment of life together.
Holly possessed a combination of beauty, grace, love, kindness and extreme humility that was incredibly rare. She was selfless. She had a gentle spirit. She was genuine in every way.
The simplest pleasures brought great joy to Holly. She was always up for camping, hiking, playing games, pickleball, taste-testing food and drink, walking with friends, watching the musical “Annie” (again), listening to classic female country artists on vinyl, or just sitting down to chat over a glass of wine or coffee. Holly was an intently good-listener. Perhaps that is why she had so many good friends and made those that were blessed enough to be in her life feel special.
The only thing more important to Holly than spending time with family was her Faith. Holly came to know the Lord early in life but grew in her faith year by year. Near the end of her life her primary focus was on spreading God’s love and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
She is survived by her husband Michael Blackwood. Her step daughter Isabelle Blackwood. Her parents: Brian and Rojean Sweeney. Her three siblings: Chad Sweeney (brother) and wife Allison, Heather (sister) and husband Carl Stortz, Lisa (sister) and husband Adam Freeburg. Nephews: Weston and Brendan Sweeney, August Stortz. Nieces: Reese Sweeney, Jazzlyn and Katelyn Freeburg, Ellinor Stortz. Inlaws: Albert and Delena Blackwood. Holly is preceded in death by her grandparents, Kenneth and Nelda Sweeney, and Clayton and Nettie Berry.
Life Celebration Memorial Services are Saturday, February 27th, 1:00 pm at Mountain View Community Church, 328 Remington St. Fort Collins, CO 80524