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October 7, 1943 ~ February 8, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Sharon Golaway, of Berryville, Arkansas graduated to heaven February 8, 2024. She was born Sharon Louise Higgins in Russellville, Arkansas on October 7, 1943 to Walter J. and Ella E. (Rough) Higgins. Sharon was the youngest of seventeen children. She married Lee Golaway on February 25, 1966 and would have celebrated 57 years together later this month. They have one son, Mark.
To say that Sharon was a skilled pianist would be an atrocious understatement. She was gifted by God with a musical ability that words are inadequate to describe. She was an accomplished soloist, accompanist, and teacher who could transpose keys as she sight read a new piece of music, or play along to a new tune you sung, whistled, or hummed to her. She was classically trained and discerning ears could hear licks borrowed from Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and more as she played and arranged hymns, choruses, southern gospel, or popular tunes. She was proficient in all styles of music. When Sharon sat at a piano, she disappeared as the instrument came to life sharing love, joy and faith. For her, music was worship, and she gave her all to worship her King with every note.
Sharon began her career as a church pianist at the age of eight, and she was still playing for the glory of Christ just weeks before her death. Her ministry reached across denominational lines. She was pianist for the Melodyaires Quartet in San Diego, California and La Mesa First Assembly Choir where she was featured on several albums. She recorded three albums of hymns and worship songs and brought life to three albums of composer Jeanie Mitchum’s works. Sharon taught countless children and adults piano lessons and accompanied music students in their college juries. She also accompanied many soloists, duets, trios, quartets, chorales, choirs, and instrumental groups including the Men’s and Women’s Choruses of Bella Vista, Arkansas. She played for any event from birthdays to bar mitzvahs to weddings to funerals when she was invited.
Beyond her abilities as a musician, she was a beautiful person and a faithful friend. Sharon had the wonderful ability to ask just the right question and genuinely wanted to hear the answer. She made you feel comfortable just as you were and many people found themselves sharing deeply hidden portions of their heart, hopes and fears with her. When you talked with her you would suddenly realize she had you lost in a monologue as she sat gently smiling you into continuing. There are people all across this great nation who call her “Mom” or “Grandma” and consider themselves her family, though they share no blood relation. She was caring and always expressed hope that all things would work together for good.
Sharon was preceded by her parents, fourteen of her siblings, and two unborn children. Her survivors include her husband, Lee Golaway, of the home; her son and daughter-in-law Mark and Miki Golaway, also of Berryville, AR; her grandchild Petra and wife Ania Golaway of Graham, WA; her sister Martha and husband Joe Webber of Siloam Springs, AR; her brother Samuel and wife Dr. Judy Higgins of Springfield, MO; her Sister-in-law Linda Reeves of La Mesa, CA; and many sibling spouses, nieces, nephews, and friends.
A celebration of her life will be held at First Christian Church, 763 Passion Play Road, Eureka Springs, Arkansas at 11 am on Saturday, March 16, 2024, officiated by Reverend Dr. Mark E. Golaway. A private interment will be held at Fayetteville National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor may be given to First Christian Church’s Household of Faith, 763 Passion Place Road, Eureka Springs, AR 72632 or Barnabas Place Ministries, 3807 Highway 23 S., Eureka Springs, AR 72632.