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Tuesday July 23, 2024
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Ethel Mae Stewart Holyoak

Ethel Mae Stewart was born In Grants, New Mexico on September 4th or 5th 1935. The date discrepancy was because the nurse considered it the previous day until sunrise. Since Ethel was born in the early morning, the nurse entered the birth date as the 4th but it was actually the 5th. Ethel was the second child born to Harry Randall Stewart and Veta Irene Rice. She is the last surviving sibling of: Harry Joe Stewart, Jean Koonce, Donald Stewart, and Gloria Cornwell.

Ethel Holyoak was released from her mortal sojourn in the early morning hours of June 19, 2024 in Kingman, Arizona at the home of Arnold and Margaret Holyoak. At 88, she was ready for the next phase of life and to be reunited with her husband, parents, siblings, daughter Rhonda, and two grandchildren, Rockton and Haley, who were waiting for her.

Ethel was named for her grandmothers:  Clemmie Ethel White and Wanda Mae Stewart. Her father worked for the Santa Fe Railroad and she grew up in the railroad towns of Dalies, New Laguna and Grants, New Mexico and Ashfork and Winslow, Arizona. During her High School years, she traveled 10 miles from Dalies to Los Lunas, New Mexico. She met Grant Holyoak, who also worked for the Santa Fe Railroad, in the Dalies Depot on Christmas Day 1953 and they married September 1st, 1954 in Geronimo, AZ at his parent’s home.

They also lived in railroad towns including Grants and Gallup New Mexico, and Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Holbrook, with the last 57 years in Kingman, Arizona. Grant and Ethel had seven children together: Anita (Lance) Gavin, Leon (Robyn), Marlene (Ray) Stringer, Marti (Ron) McDaniel, Rhonda, Travis (Jenise), and Hyton.

One of the most important events of Ethel’s life was baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints on September 8, 1954. Her testimony of the good news of Jesus Christ was a focal point in her life. She was particularly interested in the composition of the Trinity and revelation and guidance from prophets. She treasured the 15+ years she spent serving in the Las Vegas temple. The 2 hour drive each way each week was miniscule compared to her devotion and dedication.

Another main activity for Ethel was attending the significant events in the lives of her posterity. With 23 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren (and a great-great grandchild due in July), she attended many birthdays, baby blessings, baptisms, missionary farewells, graduations, and weddings. She said her family was important to her and being with them for these special occasions made her happy. She had a superb memory regarding dates and linking new birthdays to those of ancestors.

Ethel was a snappy dresser. She had collections of jewelry that she coordinated meticulously with her outfits. She especially loved turquoise, silver, and coral. She said it wasn’t to impress others; dressing up just made her happy.  Ethel also enjoyed sewing, shopping, and reading Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour books. In her 60’s, she played catcher on the City League family softball team.

Services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 13985 W. US Highway 70, Ft. Thomas, AZ 85536 Viewing will be at 8:30 am, with services at 9:00 am. Directly after the services, she will be laid to rest at the Emery Cemetery on Emery Cemetery Rd. near Geronimo, AZ.

Arrangements were handled by Sutton Memorial Funeral Home.

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