A familiar face in downtown Bashaw will be missed. Longtime business owner Jeanette Holt died on Canada Day.
She was 96.
Family and friends packed the Bashaw Community Centre last Friday to remember Holt, who died in Camrose after a long and eventful life. She worked regularly in Holt’s hardware and general store, which she managed.
Holt was even “on the job” just days before she died.
“This will be a big loss to the community, the passing of an icon,” said Bashaw Mayor Penny Shantz. “One of the greatest memories of Jeannette Holt is that she always had a smile on her face, no matter what the situation was.”
Holt was long known as a dedicated worker.
“I didn’t know her too well, but she certainly was from the old school in that she had a job to do and she did it,” Shantz said. “She was an asset to the community.”
Holt might be formally remembered for her commitment to her business and community, with talk of a Bashaw and District Chamber of Commerce award in commemoration of her service.
“We may consider some kind of annual award in her memory,” said chamber president Ron Shantz, who heard the suggestion from a chamber member.
“She was a remarkable lady and she could fi x anything.”
Others gave similar accolades to Holt.
“She was an inspiration to the community,” said former Bashaw mayor Darcy Bachman.
“She went to work every day and she knew everyone. She was faithful to her job and she took pride in her business.”
Holt was born Oct. 3, 1916, in Dinant and moved to Bashaw in 1936. She married Norman Holt in 1938.
Holt was an avid softball player. She was offered a position with Chicago Wrigleys women’s team in 1942. At the time, it was reputed to be the best female club in North America.
Holt turned down the offer because she was committed to her family and wanted to support them.
Holt’s many mourners include son Jim, six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
After Friday’s service, the burial was in the Bashaw Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made to the Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Canadian Diabetes Association.