Reba May HolmesJune 9, 1930 ~ October 13, 2017 (age 87)
Reba May Holmes was born June 9, 1930 to John Wesley Davis and Blanche Edna Berry Davis in Garden City, Kansas. She was the first child of the young couple, with five siblings to follow: Marie, Norman, twins Jean and Dean, and Judy. The family made their home north of Lakin, Kansas where J.W. farmed near his brother, Kenneth. Reba went to a country school near the family’s farm until the family moved in 1941 to a farm 22 miles north of Arriba. She attended Sunny Slope School until she reached high school, and then stayed with a family in Arriba during the week to attend high school there. She graduated from Arriba High School in 1948.
She met Gilbert E. Holmes from Leoti, Kansas when he came to help Leo Harkness farm, a newly acquired farm near the Davis farm. Gilbert and Reba were married on May 15, 1949 at the Bethel Church. They made their home 20 miles north of Arriba for many years. On November 27, 1950, Reba and Gilbert welcomed their first child, Wesley Orin; Brenda Sue was born on August 29, 1953; Janice Ruth was born June 27, 1958; Thomas Lynn was born January 23, 1960; Phyllis June was born May 1, 1963; and Delores Kay was born October 28, 1966.
The family lived on the farm and acquired it from Leo in 1972. Raising children, wheat, cattle, and chickens took up much of their time. Reba helped Gilbert farm by driving the wheat truck during harvest, and cooking meals for the crew. She especially knew how to put on a spread; a real country-style, home-cooked meal using frozen and canned goods from her large garden and maybe a couple fried chickens from her flock, or beef they had raised.
Reba was a skilled seamstress and sewed many of her children’s clothes, numerous wedding dresses, curtains, draperies, Barbie doll clothes, socks, vests, and many other items. She was instrumental in the Bethel Women’s Fellowship as they sewed quilts, nursery items, and repaired coats, etc. as mission projects. Reba devoted many years to the Heartland 4-H Club teaching sewing, cooking, child care, home furnishings, and other projects. She served as the general leader for over 20 years.
Gilbert and Reba were the coordinators for the Bethel roller skating rink and many Friday nights were enjoyed at the rink. The couple belonged to the Bethel Church and served in many capacities throughout the years. Reba especially enjoyed the special “Valentine’s” and “New Year’s Eve” parties and the many potluck dinners. The Bethel congregation were thought of as extended family.
Reba was always fashion minded and throughout the years sold Fashion Frocks, Mary Kay, and Reba’s own creations called, “Elegant Accessories.” She enjoyed craft fairs and selling her sewn items. She served as classroom mother for many school parties and was a proud sports fan of the Arriba Aces; and later in life, the Flagler Panthers and Colby Eagles. Reba also enjoyed babysitting her grandchildren and made sure they had “dress-up clothes” to play with and Schwan’s ice cream bars. She often found excuses to go to Limon, because they and the grandkids liked Wendy’s.
In 2002, Reba moved from the Arriba community to Aurora, Colorado, and more specifically the Heritage Eagle Bend community. She loved the area, the people and the city. She became involved in the Heritage Eagle Bend Church, in the Red Hatters society, and enjoyed water aerobics often. Reba loved going to the district community meetings at Heritage Eagle Bend and insisted on bringing the desserts for all to enjoy. She lived at her home in Aurora until the time of her death on October 13, 2017.
Reba was preceded in death by her sons, Wesley “Butch” and Thomas; husband, Gilbert Holmes; her father and mother, John W. and Blanche Davis; siblings, Marie, Norman, and Dean. She leaves behind her sisters, Jean (Duane Weatherly) and Judy Andrews; her daughters and their families, Brenda (Steve Traxler), Janice (Ed B. Schifferns), Phyllis (Joe Warsinske) and Delores (Jon Olson). Grandchildren: Alan Traxler (Chris) and Lindsey Traxler; Kari (John Michal), Krista (Matt Gibson), and Mindy (Curt Dutro); Danielle (Victor Cuello), Matthew Olson (Gena), Michael Olson, Josh Cox (Sarah) and Kyle Cox. Great-grandchildren include: Zela and Aiden Traxler, Veronica Bailey and baby, Emily Forristall, twins Adrienne and Hannah Bailey, Cutter and Daniel Forristall; Davis, Lewis, and Alexis Michal, Thomas and baby Gibson, Beau Dutro; Savannah Cuello; Wesley and Wyatt Cox.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Bethel Church, Community Building Fund, #62919 Hwy. 63, Arriba, Colorado 80804.