Gay Delores Holten

On the Water

Gay Delores (Griffin Hoisington Bostwick) Holten

July 16, 1931 – April 6, 2019

 

image of Gay Holton

Gay Holten

Gay´s many surnames in themselves tell a story of a life not so easy and direct in its course, events which left their mark on her in so many ways.

Gay loved being on the water, and hers was a life in Bingen on the Columbia River, in a houseboat on Lake Union, on the shores of Lake Stevens, boating in Puget Sound on the “Nereid” and finally living on board the “Good News” for 8 years, in the woods of Darrington near the Sauk and the Stillaguamish Rivers, in a trailer beside a never-to-be-built house with an amazing view of Lake Roosevelt and finally in a duplex not far from the Snohomish River. Most of Gay’s life was spent caring for, and carrying others, as a daughter and a sister, as a wife and a mother. Perhaps she loved the water, where she could float in times of pain or dance on the waves in times of happiness, because it carried her?

After one year at Willamette College she ran out of money and left for Seattle with her girlfriend Faye, landing her first job in banking. Here she met a handsome and charming young man from Ballard, Dean Alan Bostwick. In 1952 she took a bus trip to San Antonio, Texas, and, wearing a smart navy suit with white polka dots, she married her “Dino”. No one could dance swing like Dean and Gay. No one. In 1953 she became a mother and so followed some 25 years of caring for the four that made her often threaten “to tear her hair out”.

Gay

Gay was active in Everett Jaycee Wives and together with Betty McIntosh started the first pre-school in Everett up at Forest Park. She was a Sunday School teacher at the First Presbyterian Church in Everett and a highly respected member of the banking community in Everett, Lake Stevens and Snohomish for many years. At the same time Gay drove to countless ballet classes, spent long nights sewing satin, sequins and tulle dancing costumes, sat on hard baseball bleachers and hosted countless baseball parties and drove to innumerable piano lessons and painting lessons. She put up with a house full of dollhouses and lego, sewed exquisite dresses, skirts, and suit jackets, even pajamas, for her active foursome, listened to hours of Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady, and closed her eyes to “pre-engineer” jerry-rigged boat theft alarms, keggers and evasive denials of grassy car tires. She took us camping, even 7 months pregnant when all she could fit into were Dean´s paratrooper pants. And every single night four dirty but contented children were bathed in a galvanized tub in a canvas tent and put to bed clean, with a treasure trove of happy memories to revisit the rest of our lives. She courageously functioned far outside her comfort zone on family snow skiing vacations. She let one of us read Margaret Mead at the age of 12, and opened eight small wondering eyes to history, literature, music and the ballet. She never once told us that we couldn´t achieve our dreams.

In 1977 she married her second husband and true partner Melvin Chester (Chet) Holten, only to immediately have to carry him/care for him through a bout of cancer. Happily, Chet and Gay proceeded to enjoy 22 years of boat-life, rock-hunting, and snow-birding together. We missed her carrying/caring but saw her happiness. In Chet she had found someone who truly wanted to be with her, only her, all the time and everywhere.

After Chet passed away, all four wild children now adults, she travelled to Norway, Machu Pichu (a life-long dream), the Mediterranean, the Galapagos and Alaska. With the help of HSN Home shopping network she sparkled, glittered and was the cutest dressed Grandma around. In the wake of countless family cats and dogs, she chose, named and totally and irreversibly spoiled her first ever “all by herself” dog, Keshi. She could be trusted to bring Grandma Orlena’s delicious three-day buns to every family event.

Gay loved deeply, though sometimes neither clearly nor directly, but she loved us all, her brothers and her sister, her nieces and nephews, and as different as we all are, her children, her grand-children and her great-grandchildren.

Gay is survived by her brothers Robert Hoisington and David Hoisington, her sister Martha Lehnert, her four “that kept her pretty busy” Lisa Gay Bostwick, Claire Allyn Kline, Ross Wayne Bostwick and James Dean Bostwick, five grandchildren Kyrre, Trygve (Mathilde) and Helge Bostwick Bjerck, Janna (Kline) Rinker (Chuck) and Jordan Kline (Adriana) and 4 great-grandchildren, Lina and Joey Rinker and Enir and Aila Lovise Bersvendsen Bjerck and nieces and nephews.

Gay helped us all get where we are today in so many ways. “You always have options” was her encouraging comment of choice. We miss having someone on our side, someone with faith in us, and we forever thank her for the fact that we are four and learned how to work hard and shoulder responsibility. She always said, “if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well”.

Gay is free and at peace now, surely on the water, the softest of all things yet the most powerful, the shimmering, beautiful blue water.

 

6 Responses to “Gay Delores Holten”

  • Dawn M. Steinruck says:

    Oh, Lisa! I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your mother. What an amazing woman she was. I was honored to have you think of me and send me her tribute. I loved reading every word
    and learning all about this incredible woman, your mom. It is so wonderful that you, your siblings, children, and grandchildren had your wonderful time here at Lake Stevens with her last summer. What priceless memories you made. I am so glad that I was able to re-meet her and share in some of her family’s special moments at the lake. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Dawn

  • Rod Brooks says:

    Lisa, Claire, Ross, and Jim –
    First and foremost please know that I am thinking of you as you remember your mother and all the memories of her that only you know and love. I’m very sorry to hear of her passing and pray that you are at peace knowing that she is free.

    I enjoyed reading On The Water and remembering talking with your mom when I visited your home on Lake Stevens. She always seemed to be smiling and was generous with her compliments… even when she had to look hard to create one.

    You are in my thoughts this morning.

    Rod

  • Janice Mehringer says:

    What a beautiful and loving tribute to her life!

  • Hein says:

    My condolances for the sad loss of “Grandma”. I find comfort in abundant happy memories through many years. The exitement of the exotic things in the yearly Christmas packages – and our immediate preparation French Toast and “Mapeline” – the dried-out bread was suddenly turned into a recourse we cherished. I still enjoy Chinese meals prepared in the wok she once sent us, and return thankful thoughts. When she (and Chet) was in Norway, we visited Florø, and my Dad said that he was happy to meet Lisa’s ancestors (she laughed about that). Grandma certainly made a difference in the world to many, and I wish her the very best in her eternal life in times to come.
    Best, Hein

  • Hein B. Bjerck says:

    I am truly sorry for the loss of Grandma – my deepest condolences to her nearest family. I find comfort in many happy memories through many years. The Christmas packages, Mapeline immediately turned our dried out bread into a cherished resource! I still prepare Chinese in the wok she once sent. She (and Chet) was in Norway, and my Dad said that it was “nice to meet Lisa’s ancestors” (she laughed about that). Grandma certainly made a difference in the world to many, and I wish a peaceful time for her in the eternity to come…
    Best,
    Hein

  • Hein Bjartmann Bjerck says:

    I am truly sorry for the loss of Grandma – my deepest condolences to her nearest family. I find comfort in many happy memories through many years. The Christmas packages, “Mapeline” immediately turned our dried out bread into a cherished resource! I still prepare Chinese food in the wok she once sent. She (and Chet) came to Norway, we went to Florø, and my Dad said that it was “nice to meet Lisa’s ancestors” (she laughed about that). Grandma certainly made a difference in the world to many, and I wish a peaceful time for her in the eternity to come…
    Best,
    Hein

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