Passed Away On: October 04, 2022
On Tuesday, October 4th, 2022, Betty Jeanne Holt passed away peacefully in her Hollister home at the age of 97.
Betty Jeanne was born in Modesto, CA on January 15th, 1925, to her parents James and Mildred Phillips. She and her three siblings (Jim, Bob and Joanne) grew up on a fruit ranch that her father managed near Waterford, CA. During the Depression, the family moved to Hollister, CA (1932) where her father James worked for Peter and Lillian Swanson (her mother Mildred’s parents) until they purchased the Isabel Caldera ranch below Tres Pinos, CA in 1935. The four Phillips children attended Southside School and San Benito High School. Betty Jeanne then went on to attend Hollister Junior College. After graduating, she worked in the San Benito High School office for 6 years and conveniently drove the Southside School bus to and from work.
Betty Jeanne married an Air Force friend of her brother Jim in 1951. For the next 30 years she travelled around the world as an Air Force wife. She missed her parents and many Erickson-Swanson-Foster gatherings during those years and returned to Hollister to settle in 1986. She then continued traveling the world with many friends that she met throughout the years. Betty Jeanne was an avid gardener throughout her life and won many awards for the “Yard of the Week” on Air Force bases as well as awards at the San Benito County Fair for her amazing Peppermint Rose (her favorite) as well as other plants and flowers.
Betty Jeanne was active in many organizations. The first group she joined on her return to Hollister was the Hazel Hawkins Hospital Auxiliary. She enjoyed volunteering in many of their activities and made puppets and bears for hospitalized children for almost 20 years. She served as President of the Women’s Club of Hollister, then after stepping down continued to be active in all their projects. Betty Jeanne also belonged to the Native Daughters of the Golden West in San Juan Bautista, Parlor #179.
Betty Jeanne was always the first to volunteer and always said yes to whomever needed help. Her smile was contagious, and she had a way of brightening any room with conversation. After meeting Betty Jeanne for the first time, you would feel as if you had known her all your life. She loved meeting new people as well as meeting up with old Hollister friends. She took many trips with her friend Helen with the highlight a trip to Australia. She was loved by all that knew her as a caring, generous, and loving soul.
Betty Jeanne travelled up until the age of 94 when she flew to Durham, NC to attend her grandson’s wedding, after which she was lovingly cared for by a group of amazing caregivers (Selina, Briana, Catalina, Patty, Alma, Aina, Kelly, Weng and her Angels In-Home Care staff).
Betty Jeanne is preceded in death by her parents James and Mildred Phillips, her brother Jim and Bob Phillips, and her sister Joanne Erickson and her brother-in-law Steve Erickson. She is survived by her three children Robert Holt (Sheila), Jeanne Liem (Ronco), and Janet Kimball (Guy). She is also survived by her grandchildren Kristjun Holt, Jeremy Liem (Erin), Joshua Liem (Selina), Marieke Liem, Ryan Kimball (Linda), Shawn Kimball, Corey Kimball (Abby) and Justin Kimball; and great grandchildren Elise (Marieke), Ryder, Jayce, Livvy (Ryan & Linda), Sophia (Jeremy & Erin), Harper (Corey & Abby) as well as many cousins, nieces, and a nephew.
In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to Hazel Hawkins Hospital Auxiliary, 911 Sunset Drive, Hollister, CA, 95023, Women’s Club of Hollister, P.O. Box 818, Hollister, CA, 95024, Native Daughters of the Golden West, San Juan Bautista Parlor #179, 203 Fourth St, San Juan Bautista, CA, 95045, or to your favorite charity.