Barbara Lou "Lou" Holck

Barbara “Lou” Holck passed away in her home on July 14. She was 86 years old. Lou was born in Chicago, IL, to George and Rose Meredith, and was the youngest of five daughters.

Lou attended DePauw University, where she was active in Alpha Phi Sorority. She graduated in 1954 from Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago. While in nursing school, Lou met Donald Holck, who was attending the University of Illinois Chicago, College of Dentistry. Lou and Don were engaged in 1955 after their graduations and before Don left Chicago to join the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. The couple married in September 1956. Upon Don’s discharge from the service, he and Lou relocated to Northern California. At Alameda-Highland Hospital, inner-city Oakland, CA, Don completed his Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program and Lou (now a Registered Nurse) worked as an OR nurse. When Don finished his residency, the couple decided it was time to find a community to call home.

Don and Lou ultimately chose Santa Cruz where Don opened his private practice in 1961. Lou did not return to the OR, however she stayed by Don’s side and helped him establish his new practice. Once they started their family, Lou dedicated herself to being a loving and  ever-present mother to her two daughters.

Lou found great joy in family, friendships and philanthropy. She volunteered for Heartscan, a low-cost mobile medical checkup service that was recognized to have been well ahead of its time at inception in 1972 in Santa Cruz. Her membership and involvement in Daisy, the PEO sisterhood and church were a priority as well as a source of fulfillment and peace. Lou made wonderful friends in a neighborhood and coastal community that she resided in for nearly 60 years. Lou loved to entertain and made each occasion she hosted special. Her many talents as a seamstress, knitter, painter and visually impaired textile weaver were also shared with friends and family, and remain cherished family heirlooms. Lou was an adventurous traveler enjoying hiking and camping in the high Sierras, and exploring Europe, Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and South Pacific Islands, and Asia. As a Habitat for Humanity volunteer she traveled to Guatemala to take part in building houses. Lou also enjoyed tennis, golf and cross country skiing. She even learned to fly a small plane before handing over the pilot’s seat to Don. She loved life and what it had to offer. Lou was selfless and focused on the positive. She viewed the glass half-full and abundant with opportunities.

Lou was an amazing woman and mother. As a figure of strength and composure, she instilled love, compassion, grace, optimism and tenacity in her daughters. Lou was truly the “rock” of her family.

Lou is survived by her daughters Carolyn Holck and Laura Holck; and three grandchildren: Andrew Brown, Anne Layon and Nick Layon; two living sisters, Jane and Gretchen; many nieces and nephews; and countless friends. She is predeceased by her husband Don. She will be greatly missed.

Per Lou’s wishes, there will be no memorial service. Her ashes will be interred at Miramar National Cemetery, in San Diego, alongside those of Don.