Cover photo for Barbara Janet Holland's Obituary
Barbara Janet Holland Profile Photo

Barbara Janet Holland

December 26, 1960 — July 10, 2023

Roseville, California

Barbara Janet Holland

Flowers for Barb's Celebration of Life can be sent to Rock Harbor Church at 3500 Sunset Blvd, Rocklin, Ca on Saturday between 9:00 am - Noon or on Sunday,

Flowers for Barb's family can be sent to 3881 S. Holly St, Loomis, Ca, 95650.

Mike would love for any contributions to be made in Barb's honor to the Rock Harbor Church "Joseph Fund".  This fund is reserved for helping families in times of need and crisis, as they have done for our family in this time. Please select "Joseph Fund" when you donate.

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Barbara Janet Holland (Kriss-Wright)

Barbara, beloved wife of Michael, and mother of Brittney and Benjamin, unexpectedly passed away on July 10, 2023 in her home.  Barbara was born in Pasadena California on December 26, 1960, and her late brother William was born in 1956.

Her mother Janet was an elementary school teacher, a talented and gifted educator, and a school administrator for the Walnut School District, who instilled in Barb her love of the sea with frequent trips to the California beaches and Hawaii.  Janet joyously played piano and the organ for her church congregation in Diamond Bar, California; and Barbara followed in her mother’s footsteps by playing piano for her church family in a number of congregations in California and Washington. 

Barb went to St. Lucy’s all-girl high school, attended Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC), and then graduated from California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California with a business degree, with a focus on Human Resources.  She worked for a number of companies and industries in Human Resources, and poured all of her love for people into her roles.  Whether she was working in health-care billing, helping former employees through hard times, fighting for current employees’ rights and resources, or traveling across the world to ensure international employees were being treated with the utmost respect, her love shone through.  She ended her career with an intentional “step down” in roles when she moved back to California.  She would comment that she might miss the money, but she’d miss being a grandma more.

In October 1984 Barb married Micheal Carl Holland, her best friend’s cute brother, who she met when she was 4 years old, and had a crush on her whole life.  She famously asked him (as their families were on a road trip together, and as she laid across several kids laps in the back of a VW bug) if he had ever kissed a girl… she was 7 and he panicked.  She would spend the next ten years impressing Mike with her fishing knowledge, making Mike jealous, and making him think that finally asking her to the prom was his idea. She knew at 19 she would marry him because he felt like home to her, which became the same advice she eventually gave to her daughter. 

Barb had an incredible work ethic.  She spent so much of her time volunteering for various organizations, the first being the church.  She played in worship teams, sang in choirs, played way too hard at her daughter’s youth group, helped guide leadership teams, taught children’s Sunday school, sewed costumes for children’s holiday productions, and would hop in wherever there was a need, including ironing curtains when her current church Rock Harbor was a new church plant, or jumping in and helping with the audio-visual teams after covid. 

The second area she spent time volunteering in was youth sports.  She started volunteering in Valley Springs, Ca where her son played baseball and daughter did gymnastics.  She began as a baseball scorekeeper, ran the snack shack, and then became a player’s agent for the league, which all helped her to later volunteer on the board of the youth baseball league in Rocklin, Ca.  During her son’s wrestling seasons, she would run tournaments, specializing in brackets and administration, but could also be found screaming her lungs out from the corner of his mat during his matches.  While Ben played football, she could be found in a number of roles, but her favorite year, was the season when her son played, her husband coached, her daughter was volunteering, and she was announcing the games from the booth.  Barb also volunteered with her daughter’s gymnastics tournaments, choir trips, and musical development.  If her kids were involved, she was too!

She once taught a 7th grade Core Class (English, History, Social Studies) for one year at Toyon Middle School, and it was one of her proudest years.  She was given all of the “hard kids” and took it upon herself to love and challenge them so strongly.  She famously brought all of her floral 80’s dress belts to class to help the saggy-pants problem, and told the class she’d race them for it.  When they were confused, she simply said, “I’ll race you… across the black-top… if I win, you wear the belts and pull up your pants.  If you win, your pants get to sag.”  They took her on her bet every week for different causes, and she won every time.  They loved having a teacher who could speak their language and see their heart.

Her career was packed full with people who were better for her work.  She was always yearning to be better, learn more, and work harder, and had an inspiring effect on so many she worked with.  She eventually would work for non-profit international-development companies, that lead her to her travels to India and Africa, and working with teams in Mexico and China.  She loved other cultures, and being a part of the bigger world.  She once shocked a team in India, when some people started playing volleyball, and this crazy American woman just jumped right in and kept up with the guys.  Her heart was her heart, no matter who, what, or where she worked.

Barb deeply cared for her family, and carried many through hardship, loss, and celebrated our successes. Her friends and family appreciated her warmth and compassion, and her spirit of fun. She always treated others the way she wanted to be treated, and just wanted people to feel blessed around her.  She would often host dinners, parties, and get-togethers and would be found making some sneaky margaritas, making food, and making sure people were having a blast.  She was a person you could always count on, and someone you could always talk to about anything. She was a good listener and would give sound advice to all who asked.  She was also known for adopting sons and daughters throughout her adult-children’s lives.  She was coined “Mama Holland" by some of Brittney’s closest friends, and “My other mom” from men who served in the military with her son.  Her command was, “If they can’t go home, they’d better be here”, and there was no arguing.  She would even drive onto base, do their shopping, and pick them up if they needed the ride… everyone was Barb’s family.

Barb’s foundation came from the Bible.  When her mother died when Barb was in high school, she began to reject the faith she was raised with; but one day as she drove she looked over and saw her mom in the seat next to her.  Her mom simply told her “God is real.  He’s real.  It’s all real”, and then the vision was gone.  From that moment on, she never questioned her faith again, but instead worked intently to prove, learn, and live into it with her eyes wide open for what God held for her.  She challenged religion, challenged her faith against other faiths, and would challenge others who would spread an unloving message about the Christ they were speaking about. She would eventually have a second “birth in her faith” when she began to understand God in an even more intimate way, full of personal moments, personal spirituality, and seeing everyone in God’s eyes - just beautiful little children.  This passion for scripture, yearning to get closer to God, and passion for people to feel her same love would never cease.   It is what eventually prepared her soul for the utmost joy and hope to finally join her mom, brother, grandparents, guardian, and countless others who left this world before her.

She was preceded in death by her mother Janet and brother William, and is survived by her husband of 38 years Micheal, her two children Brittney and Ben; her grandchildren Charlotte (8) Beckham (7), Josephine (6), and Liberty (2); her son-in-law Kevin and daughter-in-law Kate. Barb beautifully blended kindness combined with a strong will, tenacious character, and brave heart. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her, but she has given us many fond memories, and her gifts of love and compassion will stay with us always.

 -Written with joy by her brother-in-law, Steven Holland and her daughter, Brittney Land

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Flowers for Barb's Celebration of Life can be sent to Rock Harbor Church at 3500 Sunset Blvd, Rocklin, Ca on Saturday between 9:00 am - Noon or on Sunday,

Flowers for Barb's family can be sent to 3881 S. Holly St, Loomis, Ca, 95650.

Mike would love for any contributions to be made in Barb's honor to the Rock Harbor Church "Joseph Fund".  This fund is reserved for helping families in times of need and crisis, as they have done for our family in this time.

To order memorial trees in memory of Barbara Janet Holland, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, July 16, 2023

2:30 - 5:00 pm (Pacific time)

Rock Harbor Covenant Church

3500 Sunset Blvd, Rocklin, CA 95677


Click to watch

Please wear your brightest colors, most traditional ethnic wear, or whatever makes you think of Barb.

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