Marie Holmes

Marie LaVerne Holmes, 101 of Ontario, Oregon passed away October 9, 2017 at her home at Brookdale Senior Living Facility. Marie was born June 4, 1916 in Sylvan Grove, Kansas, the oldest of five children born to Vernon and Ola Kressley. She spent her early years in Kansas where the family farmed. Marie was very close to her father and over the years she recounted with great fondness time spent with him brushing his hair and sharing stories, you could see the fond memories in her eyes. He passed away when Marie was sixteen and it was a difficult and trying time for her.
Several years later the family moved to Portland, but Marie stayed in Kansas and began what would be a lifetime of hard work. Sometime between 1938 and 1940 Marie moved to the Nyssa, Oregon area where her family had settled. She told stories of her early life in Nyssa where she rented a room at the Western Hotel, and cleaned houses for a living.
In early 1942 she met Roy Holmes, a local farmer. She said the first time she saw that tall guy in a cowboy hat and those gorgeous blue eyes, she fell in love. They were married June 11, 1942 in Reno, Nevada. Roy and Marie began many years of farming together, she worked beside him long day after long day, they farmed several different places and in 1948 they purchased the farm on Janeta Avenue, which would be their last and final farm and home.
Marie and Roy spent many good times with friends from the Owyhee Riding Club, riding in the beautiful Owyhee’s or enjoying picnics at the park below Owyhee Dam. Horses were always a part of their lives and they had a special team ‘Pat and Mike’ that pulled both buggy and sleigh, many people will remember their participation in local parades and events with the team. Nieces and Nephews remember the fun sleigh rides around the yard and up the lane.
Although Roy and Marie didn’t have children of their own, many kids in the Nyssa area remember the popcorn balls at Halloween and no one will forget “Santa” and the bells that were heard during the Christmas season.
In 1947 Marie became a member of the Golden Rule Chapter of Eastern Star, she held the office of secretary for over 25 years. The chapter presented her with a life time membership at her 100th birthday party. Marie had many fond memories of her years with the chapter, and the friends she made during those many years were very dear and special to her.
In 1976 Roy and Marie decided that they had spent enough years farming and they were going to travel a little. They had their farm sale and purchased a small motor home. After a couple of trips, they realized that home was really the best place on earth and where they wanted to be, and they spent the next 29 years gardening and maintaining the ‘Holmes Ranch’ in pristine condition. Roy passed away in October 2005 and Marie had to adjust to her life and their farm without her partner of 63 years.
In early 2013 at almost 97 years old, she decided she was tired of maintaining the ‘Holmes Ranch’ and wasn’t sure if she would be able to mow her lawn when summer came, she decided it was time to let someone else take care of her and all the daily chores of life. She moved to Meadowbrook Assisted living in Ontario. It took her awhile to adjust to having someone ‘take care of her’ in a place where she was supposed to relax and socialize with no lawn to mow.
The staff enjoyed her spirit and spunk. It was during this time that I had some of my favorite conversations with her, a woman who spent 101 years, 5 months and 5 days of living life. The experiences of watching the changes that come with those years – 17 different Presidents, postage stamps from .02 to .49 cents and .25 for a ten-pound bag of potatoes, only a few of the many changes she saw, but through all of those changing times she remained the hard working, strong willed women she was born to be. I am blessed to have been able to call her Auntie she was a gift to both me and my family and she will be missed. A very special thank you to the staff at Meadowbrook and Heart ‘n Home Hospice, we are grateful for your kindness and wonderful care of Auntie, you are amazing people and I hope you know how much you have been appreciated during the last couple of years, thank you for loving her.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Roy Holmes, brothers Bill Kressley and Wayne Kressley, sisters Donna Butler and Alta Fehlman, six sisters-in-law and nine brothers-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Larry and Sharon Holeman, two grandsons, Bob and Doug Holeman and their families, sisters Bonnie Holmes and Lynn Musick and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held November 4, 2017 at 11:00 am Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario Oregon.

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