Graveside services for former area resident and current Page, Ariz. resident, Willa-Don Holmes will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, at Cortez Cemetery. Reverend Leigh Waggoner will officiate. A reception will follow the service at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.
Willa-Don Watson was born in Cortez on April 25, 1936, to Willie-Don "Bill" Watson and Claire J. (Winship) Watson. She passed away on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at Page Hospital at the age of 76.
Willa-Don grew up in Cortez where she attended school from kindergarten through high school. She graduated from Montezuma County High School in 1954 as Valedictorian of her class, not because she was any smarter than anyone else, but because she studied harder. Willa-Don attended Colorado Women's College from 1954 to 1956; she obtained an Associates Arts degree. Willa-Don attended the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1956-1957.
Willa-Don married Robert Dale Holmes on Sept. 8, 1957, in Cortez. She worked for Montezuma Dolores Title Company, Valley Produce (which she and Dale owned with the Alvin Springmeyers), and Western Beverage, all businesses that were located in Cortez. In 1963 Jack Hawkins sent Dale and Willa-Don to Blanding, Utah to manage radio station KUTA which they, with the Calvin Blacks, eventually purchased. Dale and Willa-Don lived in Blanding for 12 years, making many friends and fond memories.
In 1972 the Holmes, along with the Paul Blacks, Calvin Blacks, and Phil Actons, bought a silent radio station in Page, Ariz. with the call letters KPGE. The group re-licensed it and put it back on the air in 1973. Dale and Willa-Don moved to Page in 1975 to manage KPGE after KUTA had been sold. Page was her home since that time and she had many fun times and made many wonderful memories. KPGE was sold in 1980 and the couple enjoyed retirement for about two months. Willa-Don went to work for the Don Bostons at Boston's True Value Hardware in August of 1980 and retired from there March 31, 2003.
No children were born to Dale and Willa-Don but a number of small dogs were loved and cared for by them: Mischief, Fuzzy "Fang", Little Red, Bouncer and Sebastian.
Willa-Don was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Claire Watson; and by her husband, Dale Holmes.
Memorial contributions may be made in Willa-Don Holmes' name to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741 or to Page Food Bank, P.O. Box 4745, Page, AZ 86040.
Services are under the direction of Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to www.ertelfuneralhome.com and click on the obituary section.