Audrey Holts was the first lady on my mother’s adoptive family’s side given the right to vote. Holts was born in Perham, Maine in April of 1893 to her parents, Charles and Greta Dickson, and had only one sister whose name was Gertrude Dickson. As a child and into her adolescent life she worked on a potato farm and served as a cook to all of the farmhands. She eventually got married to her husband, Ashley Holts, and later had two daughters, Maxine and Natalie Holts. Mrs. Holts only received a six grade education, but was, “one of the smartest people I knew” said my grandma, Linda Ropes, (daughter of Natalie). In her spare time Mrs. Holts enjoyed sewing, baking, knitting and writing poetry, as well as competing in roller derby events.
Mrs. Holts’ favorite television show was “The Lawrence Welk Show” where the host, Lawrence Welk, would provide a variety of entertainment, but was most known for the music. She was always up for an adventure, especially if it involved driving. She was also an animal lover. There was always an animal in Mrs. Holts’ house. Linda vividly remembers Buttons and Smokey, the dogs, which were two of the many pets Mrs. Holts owned. She attended church every Sunday and had a full house after church when she hosted her annual Sunday dinner. “She couldn't carry a note in a bucket, but was always the loudest in church,” Linda states.
After many years in Maine, Mrs. Holts and her family moved to Bardsdale, California where Mrs. Holts created a wonderful life for her and her family. Soon after, Mrs. Holts lost her husband, Ashley, in 1937 in the oil fields. After the horrific loss of her beautiful husband, Mrs. Holts fell into a deep state of depression and refused to leave her room for an entire year, but recovered and reverted back to being her normal loving, strong and independent self. Many years later, Mrs. Holts fell victim and died from a broken heart in 1977 due to the tragic loss of her daughter, Natalie, to cancer.
My grandma will always cherish the accordion which Holts purchased for her during her trip to Spain and lived to hear her play it. She will also remembers her jet black hair which turned completely grey after the loss of her husband.