Margaret G. Holt

Longtime Durango resident Margaret G. Holt died Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, at Sunshine Gardens West. She was 97.

Mrs. Holt was born to Clarence Allen and Myrtle Frances (Gilmer) Guinn on Sept. 3, 1915, in Childress County, Texas. Her ancestors were from pioneer Texas families. Mrs. Holt grew up on what had been part of the XIT Ranch, once the largest fenced spread in the world, her family said.

“She especially enjoyed recalling stories of her parents’ generosity to friends and neighbors during the Depression years, and vividly remembered the first Dust Bowl storm that blew across their farm when she was a girl,” her family said.

Mrs. Holt attended schools in Friona, Texas, graduating from high school in 1933. During the Great Depression, she couldn’t afford to attend college, but she saved to attend beauty school in Amarillo, Texas.

After graduation, she managed a beauty shop in Muleshoe, Texas, where she met Arthur W. (“Bits”) Holt. The couple married Dec. 11, 1937, in Muleshoe.

The Holts and their three young daughters moved to Durango in 1947, when Mr. Holt and his brother Gale Holt purchased the Highland Motel and Service Station.

Mrs. Holt was an “elegant, gracious and multitalented woman,” her family said. She was an expert seamstress who added designer touches to the clothes she made.

An excellent and creative cook, Mrs. Holt once designed a birthday cake to look like an open diary for her daughter Ann Gross.

“In beautiful icing script she wrote, “Dear Diary, Today I am eleven years old,” her family said.

Mrs. Holt was a perennial room mother at her daughters’ schools and taught Sunday school classes at First Baptist Church of Durango. She was a member of the Durango Sewing Club, later “The Club,” that spanned six decades, and she was an active member and president of PEO Chapter BR.

After Mr. Holt’s retirement in 1975, the couple moved to Brownwood, Texas, and then to Farmington before returning to Durango in 1995.

Mrs. Holt was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Arthur W. Holt.

She is survived by her daughters Kay Baker and Susan Reese, both of Durango, and Ann Gross of Camino, Calif.; six grandsons; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Hospice of Mercy, 1 Mercado St., Suite 270, Durango, CO 81301.