Thursday, April 25, 2024

Sally Holt

| December 13, 2020 1:00 AM

After a long decline, Sally Holt went to join her Lord on Dec. 1, 2020.

Sally was born in her grandparents’ house in Worley, Idaho, on Jan. 19, 1935. She graduated from Worley High School in 1952 and attended the University of Idaho, where she studied journalism.

Sally met Gerald Holt and they married on Valentine’s Day in 1954. Their first son, Michael, was born in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., where Gerald served his term of enlistment. A gifted typist, Sally worked as the post commander's secretary and is credited in the family for keeping Jerry stateside (Jerry was an indifferent soldier, but Sally was a brilliant secretary). After Gerald’s term of enlistment was served, they returned to the farm in Fairfield, Wash., where their sons Kevin, Christopher and Randy were born.

In 1967 Sally and Jerry embarked on what she called their “grand adventure,” leaving their home in Fairfield to teach school in a two-room schoolhouse in Kirby, Mont. They went on to teach in Decker and Saltese, Mont., before eventually returning to Worley, where Jerry finished out his teaching career. Sally was a professional woman ahead of her time and never gave up on her educational goals, juggling work, kids and husband through many years of night school prior to earning her degree from Whitworth College for library science.

Sally spent most of her life in Worley where her grandparents had settled. Her great-grandfather, John Smith, arrived in Vancouver, Wash., in 1847 as a cabin boy on a steamship, and came east to Idaho as pack master with Col Wright. John’s son, James, would be one of the first to homestead on the Coeur d’Alene reservation, north of Worley. His daughter, Kathryn, started working at her aunt’s hotel when she was 14, and went on to work as an insurance agent in Rockford for many years.

Sally’s great-grandfather, Geo Dyer, served in the OR Vol Rifles in 1847-55. Her grandfather, Hollis Dyer, lived and worked in Pine City, Wash., where he met and married Lilah France. Hollis moved the family several times, ascending the Lewiston grade by covered wagon and Model-T, before settling in Worley, where he operated the dry goods store. His son, Lloyd Dyer, having walked up the grade, vowed to never move again and remained in Worley, working at times as a bartender at Leo’s, as mayor of Worley, and as postmaster. Sally, in turn, worked as the Worley city clerk, the Worley School secretary, and finally retired as the Lakeside Middle School assistant librarian.

Sally was active in her community, teaching Sunday school when her children were young and volunteering for everything from the annual Worley Grange Halloween party to the Worley All-School Reunion. She was a writer, and in her retirement she wrote for the North-Palouse Journal and was active in her senior writing group for many years, where she made many long-standing friendships.

Sally was active in the effort to save the Worley School from demolition, and when that endeavor failed, she became one of the founding members and a board member of the Worley Historical Society. One of her last projects was to help curate a cookbook for the Worley Historical Society.

Sally was a gift to children and dogs, and over the years she spoiled several of each. While she would often mutter that she'd always wanted a girl, "but not when I was 50," she nevertheless threw herself into helping her son, Kevin, to raise her only grandchild, Angelique. Many former Worley students remember “Miss Sally,” who always had a smile and a hug for them.

A great cook, Sally will be remembered fondly by both her own children and their friends for legendary, endless batches of tacos that filled the house on Fridays with extra “sons,” and became a must-take dish to fraternity rush parties each summer. We were blessed to have her with us long enough for her to spoil her great-granddaughters, passing on her love of books and snuggles.

Sally was blessed to be able to stay in her own home until the end, with her sons keeping a careful eye on her. She was grateful for the help of her friends and her nurses who checked in on her and made sure she had everything she and Curley needed.

Sally is survived by her “kids,” Kevin, Chris, Randy, Angie, Matt, Katy, Mina and Curley and her son by proxy, William Mellick. She was predeceased by her son, Michael, as well as her husband, mother, father and more beloved dogs than we can list here.

While we’ll miss her terribly and we’re sad to see her go, we know she’s been waiting a long time to see Mikey again, and that he has missed her as well. She will be buried in Fairfield Cemetery next to her son, in a private family interment. A celebration will follow in the summer when it is safe for friends to gather.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Worley Historical Society or the Kootenai County Humane Society. Worley Historical Society, 28825 S. Cave Bay Road, Worley, ID, 83876.