Obituary: Mildred Mary Crooks Holmes (Dec. 11, 1918 – August 9, 2012)

By Submitted November 15, 2012 05:25 pm

Born Dec. 11, 1918, in Oconto Falls, Wisc., died peacefully August 9, 2012, in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, where her daughter, Catherine “Kayla” Holmes, lovingly cared for her the last two years of her life. She is also survived by three sons and their wives, Scott (Esther) Holmes of Trinidad, Calif.; Lawrence (Bronia) Holmes of Danville, Calif., and James (Lynn) of Crescent City. She will be dearly missed by her family, including grandchildren: Scott (Lisa) Holmes of Greenville, Mich.; Jennifer (Brian) Cilker of Los Altos, Calif.; David (Stephanie) Holmes of Eureka, Calif.; Elisabeth (Patrick) Fetty of Monroe, Wash.; Mark Holmes and Tiffany Keller of Alameda, Calif.; Isabelle (Roger) Fraissard of Tignes, France, and Mark (Chica) Lewandowski of Danville, Calif.; great-grandchildren  Abby, Mark, Alicynne, Erica, Margo, Anastasia, Sarah, Tyler, Isaac, Andrew, Jacqueline, Jonah, Joshua, Noah, Susanna, Sophia, Bina, Mika, Luka, Ayla, Gloria, Justine; great-great-grandchildren: Xavian, Blaise and Lillian and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert Crooks and Catherine Zoeller Crooks; brothers Milton and Willis; sisters Blanche Spaulding and Beverly Annotti, and husband of 53 years, Lester T. Holmes (1908-1991).

Mildred’s family moved to Tacoma, Wash., during the Depression, where she met and fell in love with her handsome young pilot from Tonasket. He owned an airplane and a logging truck but no automobile! They married Valentine’s Day, 1937. She followed him to Southern Calif., when he became a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps. After the war they began a lumber business and settled in Arcata, Calif., in 1947 with their four children. She delighted in attending Humboldt State College along with her children in 1958–1959. They later moved to Scotts Valley, Calif., where Mildred and Les owned and operated Holmes Lumber Co. She was a devout Christian, active in her church as a Sunday School teacher curriculum writer, Bible Study leader, missions supervisor and board member. She was very involved with the Kilimanjaro Orphanage center in Tanzania, Africa. With her great energy and creative abilities, she planned and designed her own home in Scotts Valley in addition to two other homes. She served her community on the Planning Commission and non-profit organizations. A lifelong learner, she traveled, read, sponsored a Christian radio station and attended city council meetings. She and her daughter, Kayla, studied painting under Louise Cunningham (1881–1993) of Felton, Calif. The Holmes’ home in Scotts Valley was the setting of grand Thanksgiving dinners complete with skits and readings. 

Mildred’s greatest delight was her family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She knew exactly what would please each one and was the perfect gift-giver. Her great-grandchildren affectionately called her “Wow Nana.” Her hospitality, words of encouragement and daily prayers will be profoundly missed by her family and all who knew her.

Private services have been held. She is interred by her husband in Santa Cruz Memorial Park.

    — Submitted by Family