Beth Lucile (Williams) Holdeman
Beth Lucile (Williams) Holdeman was born July 4, 1923, in Gratiot County, Michigan, to Iam Marion and Bessie Joy (Wonnacott) Williams. She died at her home on Feb. 24, 2018, at the age of 94 years. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 2, 2018 at the Woodland Mennonite Church in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, with interment in the Mountain View Mennonite Cemetery.
Mom’s childhood was spent in various towns in central Michigan where her father had meat markets during the difficult depression years. Her family moved often; on average of once a year during her growing up years. The hard times, and a house fire when she was 8 years old, helped shape her character.
After her graduation when she was 18, she was invited to a revival service at Newark Mennonite Church. She was convicted of her lost state and gave her heart to God accepting Jesus’ redemption. This changed the direction of her life completely. She was baptized into the church on Feb. 7, 1942, by Minister Reuben Koehn. She was faithful to these vows until death.
She married our father, Laurence Holdeman, on March 16, 1947. Mom was Dad’s darling throughout their 62 years of life together. They made their home near Harrison, Mich., where six daughters and four sons were born to them. Mom was totally devoted to her family.
Life during the Harrison years was challenging financially but as children we were not so aware of that. Employment opportunity brought the family to a dairy farm near Ithaca, Mich. Next the pioneer spirit took us to Fort Vermilion, Alberta, to a log cabin at the end of a northern winter. It was Mom’s idea to take a milk cow to the North with us and Dad agreed to this on condition that she would tow the stock trailer; which she did. She rose to the challenge of feeding her family and making a home in the midst of beautiful but rough surroundings. In fact, she had to choose between two log cabins; one we would live in and the other for the cow.
The family had spent 6 months in Idaho prior to crossing into Canada. Idaho called to us and we moved back there in 1971. The mountains and beauty of the area spoke to Mom and she felt at home. She delighted in gardening, flowers, growing fruits and food preserving.
Prayer was central to her life and she read the Bible to us as children, even making the travels of the Israelites a story we could follow. She entertained us with stories of her childhood and spent much time talking with us. We feel rich to have had a mother like her. We believe the effect of her prayers will endure.
It was particularly difficult for Mom that within one year she lost five close family members: her husband, second-born daughter, Grace, two brothers, and one sister-in-law.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Joy Friesen, Fort Vermilion, Alberta; Faith and Leonard Isaac, Kleefeld, Manitoba; John and Elizabeth, Dan and Gloria, David and LeAnn, Bonners Ferry, Idaho; Rebecca and John Condon, Portland, Ore.; Nathan, Barron, Wisconsin; Rachel and Priscilla, Bonners Ferry, Idaho; son-in-law, Bill Dirks, Bonners Ferry, Idaho; 30 grandchildren, and 84 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild; one brother, Hobart (Bud) Williams, Sheridan, Mich.; one brother-in-law, Ben and Lois Holdeman, Dumas, Ark.; sisters-in-law, Hazel Holdeman, Buhl, Idaho; Rosalee Holdeman, Ithaca, Mich.; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, one daughter, Grace; one son-in-law, Johnny Friesen; one daughter-in-law, Lana; four brothers and one sister.