Obituary: Barbara Holden
February 27, 1930 – September 25, 2021
Barbara K. Holden, aged 91, passed away peacefully with her children at her side following a battle with ovarian cancer.
Barbara grew up in rural Ohio with her identical twin sister, Connie, and her older sister, Janet. She had degrees from Vassar College and the Cleveland Institute of Art. She met and married Stuart Holden from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1951. They moved to Great Britain where they lived for 7 years and had the first two of their three children, Steve and Sandy. Connie was born in Cleveland shortly after they returned from Great Britain. In 1961 they moved to live in India for three years. After that the family traveled widely and lived for extended periods in Spain, Switzerland, Germany and Mexico. Barb had strong interests in art and music throughout her life. She sang in groups as a member or as a soloist and taught art in schools, art centers and privately. She taught painting through the last week of her life. She was a painter, weaver, potter and creator of multiple art forms. After studying Botanical Arts in the Field Study Centers in England, she joined the American, Rocky Mountain and New England Societies of Botanical Art.
For 25 years, she and Stuart lived in Vail, CO in the winter and Chatham, MA in the summer. They loved the outdoors; in Vail, they were founding members of Vail Club 50 and led the cross-country and snow shoeing groups for many years. Barb was active with PEO, singing in the Dicken’s Carolers, the choir of the Presbyterian Church in Avon and in local art groups. In Chatham, MA, she was also a steward for Samuel Hawes Park and the Coastal Plains Ponds Habitat as a docent, photographer of animals and plants, and in clearing the ever-thriving poison ivy from the walking path. In 2014, four years after Stuart’s death, Barb moved to Eagle, CO to live full time and immediately immersed herself in the volunteer and art world. She joined the Vail Valley Art Guild and had several art showings. She practiced yoga and played Mahjong. She loved walking and gardening in the summer and enjoyed snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Barb was an inspiration for eating wholesomely (no sugar!), eating frugally (an enormous breakfast followed by much smaller or non-existent meals later) and exercising diligently and faithfully every day. She was loved and respected and left a mark on this world that was so much bigger than her petite frame.
Barbara leaves 3 children, Steve (Cindy), Sandy (Cindy) and Connie (Mark Miller); 5 grandchildren, Michael (Jessica Herrmann), Lexi, Ryan (Elizabeth), Kate (Jon Hollister) and Tori (Mike Wilcox) and 2 step-grandchildren Carson and Crosby Preytis; 7 great-grandchildren, Sophia, Bennett, Lucas, Clara, Jack, Ellie and Leo; her twin sister Connie, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held in Eagle in the future. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Parkinson’s foundation would be appreciated (Parkinson.org).