It is with deep sorrow and much love that the family of Jacqueline Rose Holt (Nee LaLande) announce her passing on Sunday January 3rd, at the age of 85.
Jacqueline will be lovingly & eternally remembered by her devoted children: Theodore Thomas Jr.; Kevin Timothy (Felicia); Jerry Elgin (Arlee); and Lisa Holt; Her beloved grandchildren, Theodore III (Ann); Shaletta (Ariel); Jessica (Andrew); Jacqueline; Taryn; Tyler; Morgan, Tanner; Madison; and Jerry, Jr.; and her sweet great-grandchildren Xorah; and Sydney; and loving sister Barbara Colon; as well as numerous family members and friends.
Jacqueline was predeceased by her most treasured Grandmother, Emma Allison Lalande, Grandfather Albert LaLande, mother Mildred Lalande, father James Whitney, and many other treasured Aunts & Uncles from Mobile, Alabama.
Jacqueline Rose was born in New York City on March 6th, 1935, to Mildred LaLande. Life was difficult for this single mom and her baby daughter until one of Mildred’s sisters visited and suggested that Jacqueline should be raised with family “down the bay” in Mobile. So at the very tender age of two, Jacqueline was carried to Mobile where she would live with her grandparents Albert & Emma LaLande, being raised in what was then a very traditional Creole upbringing.
Jacqueline loved Mobile and grew up surrounded by many cousins, aunts & uncles, under the watchful eye of a close-knit Creole community during the unique era of 1940s Mobile. Jacqueline enjoyed telling stories of weekly walks to a local store with her Grandfather in an area where colored water fountains were the norm, of visits to picturesque Mon Luis Island on hot summer days to enjoy the thrill of floating in an inner tube with friends & cousins and of delicious meals of fresh seafood, Gumbos, perfectly fried fish and other specialties which any traditional Creole household enjoyed.
Although a quiet child Jacqueline enjoyed the excitement of skating down the street with cousins Joyce & Noonie, and at the same time developed a lifelong love of literature which she passed on to her family. Most importantly were the memories of the love and guidance given to the young Jacqueline by her Grandmother, Emma. In spite of the knowledge that her birth was non-standard for the time, there was a love and a life which shaped Jacqueline with a firm belief in the Catholic Church, the importance of having her own family, and the strength to never give up. Hers was a spirit of love, a softness of demeanor and a core of steel.
Graduating from St. Peter Claver Elementary in Mobile, Jacqueline was thrilled to attend her first year of high school at Immaculate Heart of Mary High School in Mobile. The following year, at her mother’s wish and most reluctantly she returned to New York City. Jacqueline always remembered what a change this was to her life, and how much she missed the warmth of her Grandmother, the friendship of her cousins family and so much more.
This is the time where Jacqueline honed the concept of “if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger” and she set about making the best of leaving the home and Grandmother who had formed her. Living in Harlem with her Mother’s & sister, Jacqueline settled in making new friends and doing quite well in school. Jacqueline was proud to say she was graduated from New York’s St. Catharine Academy for Young Ladies in 1953 and began working soon afterwards.
In 1954 while on a blind date Jacqueline met her future husband, Mr. Theodore “Ted” Thomas Holt originally of Indiana. Ted was serving in the U.S. Air Force so the Korean war interrupted their burgeoning relationship. As soon as he returned Ted looked up the beautiful young woman who had captured his heart and they resumed their friendship, dated, and fell in love. Before long the only man she ever loved was down on one knee asking the blushing Jacqueline to be his bride. Ted & Jacqueline were married in the Church of St. Catherine in Washington Heights New York on September 19th,1956.
Jacqueline had visited Los Angeles in her late teens and loved the weather, the palm trees and the openness of the city. Hence a couple of years after wedding, Ted, Jacqueline and their first son Ted Jr. packed up their car made the drive from New York to Los Angles, California where they made their home. The happy couple soon set about expanding their family over the next 7 years and were blessed with 3 more children, Kevin, Jerry and Lisa.
As fate would have it Jacqueline ended up raising her four beloved children on her own, guided by the Catholic faith and bestowing on them the gifts of love, gratitude and commitment to family. Raising three boys into young men and one daughter into a young woman was no mean feat, but Jacqueline did it, always with infinite love, eternal grace and the patience of a saint! Even after working long hours, this amazing mother always made every attempt to attend sporting events, plays, performances, school concerts, and of course parent school nights. Summers were spent taking her young family to the beach with home cooked meals (washed down with grape Kool Aid), or days spent watching her children as they played at a local park. Birthday were made ever so special as her small family gathered around the kitchen table for birthday cake and thoughtful gifts while the Birthday Song was sung. For every season and at all times she provided a home filled with love for her small family.
Jacqueline had the unique gift of accepting, and supporting others in need, with one of her many favorite sayings being “there but for the grace of God go I.” More than one young person in need felt her love given with a warm meal, a gentle touch, a listening ear or a safe place to lay their head. It was in her nature to cheer for what she called the “underdog” and so her home was open to those friends of her children in need when their own homes were not.
Jacqueline was devoted to her children, and her grandchildren. She rarely missed a birthday, a special event or an opportunity to provide a timely hug. A truly humble soul, Jacqueline did not push herself on her family but was always there when needed. Jacqueline spent many hours and days over the years joyfully spending time with her 10 grandchildren, loving, spoiling and adoring them. Nights or weekends spent with this amazing grandmother were treasured. The months spent with her son Jerry and his wife Arlee along with their children in Chicago were especially memorable to her. Jacqueline was each of her children’s biggest cheerleader and focused her love, her life and her time on her children.
In her later years, with children grown and grandchildren older, Jacqueline devoted much of her time and love to the Catholic Church where she attended mass daily, taught catechism, was a lector and a Eucharistic Minister. Once again this amazingly humble lady impacted those around and made new friends who were drawn to her kindness. Her warm smile and dedication to the church made her welcome and she was valued wherever she went.
We are blessed to have had this kindest, strongest yet most humble of women among us. The world is a better place for her having spent 85 years here. Now God has called for this Angel on earth, and so Jacqueline Rose has gone to her eternal home, passing with the grace which she chose to live her life.
A Zoom Rosary will be held at 12:00PM on Sunday, the 17th of January, (https://zoom.us/ Meeting ID: 815 9271 5896 Passcode: 101030
A Funeral Mass & a Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date.
Memorial Donations may be made in Jacqueline Rose Holts name to The Humane Society.
(Protect Animals | Give a Gift - The Humane Society of the United States).