Janet Dale (Stookey) Holt, age 74, of Portage, Michigan, and formally of Battle Creek, Michigan, passed away on November 4, 2020, at home. While cancer ended Janet’s journey here on earth, she went peacefully to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Her family cherishes the memories of Janet’s faithful love for all, which was rooted in Jesus’ faithful love for her.
Janet was born July 6, 1946, in Battle Creek, Michigan, to the late A. Dale and Ellois Mae (Jones) Stookey. Janet attended Battle Creek Central High School, graduating in 1964. She has maintained many close relationships with her high school classmates over the years and always looked forward to attending her class reunions. After graduating from high school, she attended Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, graduating with an associate degree in 1966.
When Janet was 16 years old, she started working at the Sullivan’s Dairy Ice Cream Store in Battle Creek. While working at Sullivan’s, she met her future husband, Ryan Holt. They were united in holy matrimony on November 19, 1966. Janet and Ryan would have celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary this year.
After Ryan’s enlistment in the United States Air Force, Janet and Ryan moved to Wiesbaden, West Germany, where Ryan was stationed from 1966 to 1971. While in Wiesbaden, Janet worked in finance at American Express. After returning to the United States, they settled in Battle Creek for a short period time, but soon moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and later to Portage, Michigan, to be closer to Ryan’s place of employment. In 1974, Janet and Ryan moved to Marshall, Michigan and lived there for 23 years, before moving back to Portage, Michigan, in 1997, to be closer to their children.
Janet was a dedicated mother and loved raising her children, but best of all was her role as Bamma. With a passion for being creative, Janet found great joy in crafting, especially designing and constructing custom greeting cards for her friends and family; creating and collecting natural stone jewelry; and loved decorating her home for the different seasons and holidays of the year. As a University of Michigan football and basketball season ticket holder for many years, Janet spent her weekends in Ann Arbor and at numerous away games cheering for the Wolverines. Janet enjoyed the beauty of nature and had a special affinity for birds. She also enjoyed helping with various committees and groups and attending services at Portage Chapel Hill Church. As a result of her generous spirit and pleasant personality, Janet was loved by many and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with friends and family.
Janet is survived by her husband, Ryan; daughter, Haven (Abraham) Essenmacher, of Virginia Beach, VA; son, Brenton (Sheri Louk) Holt of Kalamazoo, MI; six grandchildren, Brooke Chapman, of Jackson, MI, Haleigh Chapman, of Virginia Beach, VA, Ashley Holt, of Kalamazoo, MI, Dugan Holt, of Kalamazoo, MI, Dawn Stafford of Kalamazoo, MI, and Krystal Louk of Portage, MI; one great grandchild Autumn Hammond of Portage, MI; sister and brother-in-law, Jeanne (Stookey) and Paul Kline, of Battle Creek, MI; sister-in-law, Karen Holt, of Portage, MI; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Janet’s family wishes to express their heartfelt thank you to all of the extremely supportive staff at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, for providing their exceptional help and assistance in caring for Janet during the past few months of her life.
Due to our current public health situation, a service and celebration of Janet’s life is being planned, to be held around her birthday in July 2021.
Janet has always professed her faith in Jesus Christ and was a dedicated and faithful member of her church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to Portage Chapel Hill Church, 7028 Oakland Drive, Portage, Michigan 49024.