Obituary of Peter Holiman
Peter Holiman, 63, of Lake Villa, passed away peacefully at his home on September 3rd, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Peter was born on January 11, 1960, in Ukraine to Sophia and Vladimir, two devout Baptists, during a time when their faith represented less than 1% of the USSR population. His paternal grandfather, Vasiliy Holiman, tragically perished in the Holodomor, a man-made genocide that claimed the lives of many Ukrainian people. His maternal grandfather was taken by the NKVD to the gulags due to his faith and was never seen again. This faith, tested in the fires of persecution of his forefathers became Peter’s when he was 26 years old, and he joined the underground church.
Through a miraculous turn of events, The First Baptist Church in Bowling Green, KY, sponsored Peter and his family to come to the United States. However, during the immigration process, his father, Vladimir Holiman, passed away. In 1990, Peter, along with his wife and 3 children, immigrated to the US and settled in Bowling Green, KY.
He initially began his journey in the US by working as a cement laborer, earning a modest $3.75 per hour to support his family. Over the years, he moved his family to California, where he pursued a degree in refrigeration, heating, and cooling. His unwavering faith in God guided every aspect of his life. Each morning, Peter would gather his family to read the Bible and pray, concluding with the Lord's Prayer in unison.
Despite being a foreigner in a new land, God's presence remained a constant in his life. A calling from God prompted Peter to uproot his family and move across the country to the Midwest, despite having no home or job lined up. Upon arriving in Minnesota, Peter prayed and, guided by faith, opened up the yellow pages and reached out to the Kapilov family from a payphone, asking if they could host his family of five, soon to be six, while he searched for a home and employment. God touched the hearts of the Kapilovs, and for 4 months, the Holiman family found shelter with them. God answered Peter's prayers by providing a home and a job in a land blessed with hills, woods, and rivers in Taylors Falls, MN.
Despite holding only an associate degree, God blessed Peter with an engineering job, specializing in thermodynamics, a difficult discipline, but one that engaged his brilliant mind. Simultaneously, he pursued a real estate career, and opened his own business, FrostCo Air, focusing on heating and refrigeration for supplementary income. When it was time to move once more, God again provided him with a home and job opportunity in Illinois.
Beyond his professional life, Peter used his brilliant mind and a foundation of faith to raise his family and put his craftsmanship to use, repairing and building everything in his home. He constructed an attic for additional storage and built a sauna in Minnesota. In Illinois, he expanded his basement to create rooms for his children, handcrafting beds for each of them and built out a new sauna.
As in all aspects of life, Peter approached parenting with the same dedication he applied to everything else, grounded in scripture, which he memorized and quoted daily. His verse for his fatherly duties came from Deuteronomy 6:6-8 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” Every Shabbat he would take anointing oil and bless each child with the Aaronic Benediction from Numbers 6:24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
He instilled a deep love for God in all of his children. Peter was a constant servant, whether at church, at home, at work, or on the road. His beautiful tenor voice graced the church choir, and he diligently studied the Bible, often sharing his discoveries with his family and delivering sermons at the church. Even as his children grew up and started their own families, Peter, like Job, prayed for each one daily, seeking their well-being, peace, and prosperity.
Peter had an open mind and possessed the remarkable ability to make friends from all walks of life, regardless of race or region. He fished with Chinese, learned how to pick the best ingredients and recipe for a salsa from Mexicans and Plov from the Azerbaijanis. He worshiped with messianic Jews whom he loved so much and he would weep while listening to a rightly preached sermon by African Americans who were very dear to his heart. After learning their heartrending history, he said, “I will apologize to every Black person I see for what has been done to them.” He passed on this legacy to his children.
After over 20 years, Peter became a U.S. citizen, deeply cherishing his adopted country and contributing to its well-being through serving the disenfranchised, voting, engaging in debates on important issues, and proudly displaying a large American flag and always speaking blessings over it. He epitomized the American dream, embracing a land where his Christian faith was not only welcomed but celebrated.
Peter was a man constantly on the move, offering kindness and assistance to those he encountered. He generously bought sandwiches for homeless individuals and was ever-ready to lend a helping hand.
Peter had a passion for technology, spending time outdoors, carpentry, and working with his hands. His unwavering devotion to his faith led him to attend church services regularly. He loved to cook and enjoyed fishing with his kids, grandkids and friends. Peter's heart was filled with love for God, his family, and his country, and he will be deeply missed.
Peter is survived by his loving wife, Zhanna; his cherished nine children (from his former marriage with Natalia), Julia, Maria (Vadim), Kristina (David), David (Angelina), Elijah (Samantha), Sarah, Ruth (Yaroslav), Gabriel, and Rachel (fiancé Alex); his adored grandchildren, Lahyida, Theo, Anna, Michael, Johnny, Stephan, and Levi; his dear sister, Zoya Vlasenko; and his cousin, Larissa Donskikh.
Visitation for Peter will be held from 4:00 – 8:00 pm on Tuesday, September 12th, at McMurrough Funeral Chapel, 101 Park Pl, Libertyville. Funeral services for Peter will be held on September 13th at 10:00 am at The Chapel, 1200 American Way, Libertyville. Interment will follow at Willow Lawn Memorial Park, 24090 N US Hwy 45, Vernon Hills. Flowers would be greatly appreciated by the family. For further funeral information, please contact (847) 362-2626.
Peter's legacy of faith, love, and service will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Peter Holiman, please visit Tribute Store