Kay Donna Holt, 82, passed away March 12, 2016. She was born July 15, 1933, in Grand Junction, Colo., to Russel and Velma Kuhlman.
Kay was raised in Rangely, Colo., part of a family of early pioneers of the West. She rode her horse to school and accompanied her brothers on hunting trips in the mountains.
After killing her first deer, she cried and gave up hunting to become a lifelong animal advocate (excluding snakes).
Kay was spunky and kept up with her brothers, but she was all-girl, too. Among other accomplishments, she was Homecoming queen, head cheerleader, March of Dimes queen, and the Rangely Rodeo queen. She treated everyone with kindness and respect, and was known for that throughout her life.
After attending Mesa College for a year, she married her first husband, Louis Swenson, and began the adventurous, and sometimes difficult, life of a military wife. She raised two daughters in numerous states and cared for her children alone when her husband was deployed to Vietnam twice. She was thrilled with the opportunity to live in Germany for three years.
A devoted mother, gracious hostess and meticulous homemaker, she fit in a good share of fun and adventure whether it was skiing in the Alps or touring Europe in a Volkswagen Beetle.
Kay married her second husband, Roscoe Holt, in 1971, and, shortly after, they were deployed to Japan. New adventures included sumo wrestling matches, Kabuki theater and traditional tearoom dinners with dignitaries of the Port of Yokohama. A great challenge was learning to use chopsticks, but, with typical determination, she mastered them.
Kay battled ovarian cancer 25 years ago and, against all odds, was cured. Shortly after her health difficulties, she and her husband travelled in an RV for a year, visiting far-flung friends and family, and seeing America the Beautiful in almost every state. They finally settled down in the Hill Country of Texas, where Kay became the “first lady” as Roscoe became the mayor of Highland Haven, a community she dearly loved and missed.
When her beloved husband died in 2007, she moved to Woodstock, Ga., to be close to her daughter, Kim, and son-in-law, Doug. She grieved the death of her daughter, Lisa, in 2010, but was comforted by the presence of her grandson, Devin, who was close by in Atlanta, and her granddaughter, Anna, who married Robert, and the happy result was great-grandchild Emilia. Kay lived these final years cherishing time with her family and enjoying the simple life—reading, football, learning new technology, loving on her Pug, Katie, and being enthralled by her great-granddaughter.
Kay is survived by: daughter Kim Pennington and her husband, Douglas, of Marietta, Ga.; grandchildren Anna Ray and her husband, Robert, of Marietta, Ga., and Devin Thomas of Hayward, Calif.; brother Larry Kuhlman and his wife, Fareda, of Grand Junction, Colo.; and greatgrandchild, Emilia Ray. Mrs. Holt is preceded in death by: her husband, Roscoe Holt; daughter Lisa Thomas; brother Rex Kuhlman; her parents, Rusty and Velma Kuhlman; and two cousins, Sally Wilson and Nancy Sullivan of Meeker.
A visitation was held March 20, 2016, from 4-6 p.m. at Lakeside Funeral Home in Woodstock, Ga. A service and burial will take place in Texas at a later date.
The family requests memorial donations to Kay’s favorite charities, Feed the Children, The ASPCA, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and Disabled American Veterans.
Lakeside Funeral Home, 121 Claremore Drive, Woodstock, Ga. 30188, phone 770-293-2757, is honored to help the family with the arrangements.
Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at www.lakesidefuneralhomega.com.