Zola Bronson Holden was born in Monticello, UT on February 25, 1921 to Fletcher and Eva Dorothy Bronson. Her siblings were Cleone, Warren, LaRae and Grant.
She died peacefully of complications of aging and Alzheimer’s on March 3, 2008. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all had the privilege of saying goodbye before she passed.
Growing up in Monticello was a dream come true. Even though the family struggled financially, they lived richly.
The family home was small: living room, kitchen, and one bedroom. There was no indoor plumbing or electricity. A wind charger powered a light bulb for a few minutes if the wind was blowing. There was a large front porch where the family gathered every night to sing. They could be heard all over town because there were no cars or other noises.
The home was the last house on the west side of Monticello, and a long way from town. Zola and sisters walked to town for functions and were scared silly coming home after dark. But then they would turn around and go again the next night.
Zola’s young life involved helping in the family garden, washing clothes on a scrubbing board, feeding chickens, gathering eggs, milking cows (which had to be taken to and from pasture every day in the area where Carol and Jimmie Forrest live now). They raised pigs, lambs and horses.
They worked hard and played hard. Riding horses and spending time in nature influenced her entire life. Zola and her friends would take horses and camp on the mountain for days. Her great love of nature was passed to her children. She loved working in her garden and orchard and going out “into the hills.”
She attended school in Monticello and graduated from Monticello High School in 1939. Great friendships she grew over those years lasted a lifetime. After high school she attended LDS Business College. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Monticello girls packed up and headed home.
She worked at the Highland Café as a waitress, where she met Robert Ace Holden. After a courtship, Ace was drafted and stationed in California. Zola, LaRae Robson, Donna Christensen and Collin Loveridge took the train to California, where Zola and Ace and Donna and Collin Loveridge were married on May 15, 1943.
While Ace was training in the army, Zola worked as a “Rosie the riveter”. When he was shipped overseas, Zola returned to Monticello.
After the war, they made their life in Monticello. They were involved in the community and everything that went on. They built a home (with the help of some paid labor) and later remodeled it to make it larger. They had a fabulous garden and orchard. Zola spent hours tending both and canning the produce.
They helped build and operate the ski lift and loved to ski. She was supportive of community and school activities. Zola was a great daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.
She always opened her home to everyone. People loved her because of her great sense of humor, good nature, warmth and love. Zola was involved in church activities as a primary teacher, Relief Society secretary, visiting teacher, and more.
She developed Alzheimer’s about 1994. When she couldn’t be alone anymore, she lived with daughters Ann in Kaysville and Marian in Park City for several years. She spent her last years at the Wentworth Assisted Care Facility in Oakley, UT.
She is preceded in death by parents Fletcher and Eva Bronson; husband Robert Asa Holden; brother Warren; sister Cleone; and grandson Robert Holden.
She is survived by her children: Marian Rockwood (Park City); Curtis Holden (Monticello); and Ann Reece (Layton); sister LaRae Robson; brother Grant Bronson; nieces, nephews, 8 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
Even though those who loved her are glad for release from pain and suffering, she leaves a huge hole in our lives and will be greatly missed.
After the funeral on Friday, March 7, before going to the cemetery, the funeral procession went up the mountain road for one last ride.