Lee Holland, matriarch of one of Vernon’s well-known hockey families, was also a fantastic baker. Holland died Friday, Nov. 8, at age 87. (Bowers family photo)

Lee Holland, matriarch of one of Vernon’s well-known hockey families, was also a fantastic baker. Holland died Friday, Nov. 8, at age 87. (Bowers family photo)

Well-known Okanagan hockey mom passes

Two of Vernon’s Lee Holland’s sons work for NHL organizations: Ken in Edmonton, Dennis with Dallas

Fantastic baker. Green-thumb goddess. Grandma on the go. Hockey mom extraordinaire.

Tributes are pouring in for the matriarch of one of Vernon’s best-known hockey families.

Adeline Victoria Holland – who went by Lee or Lena – died Friday at age 87.

Her late husband, Rienie, a fixture in the scorekeeper’s box at the old Vernon Civic Arena during Vernon Lakers’ games, was the founder of the annual Coca Cola Classic Vernon Winter Carnival Pee Wee Hockey Tournament, and a volunteer award is presented in his name at each tournament.

READ MORE: Mustangs roll into semifinal

Her oldest son, Ken, is the general manager of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, and youngest son Dennis is an NHL scout for the Dallas Stars.

READ MORE: Red Wings’ Holland happy at home

“Our mom was a pretty special lady,” said middle child Diane Bowers who, like her parents, spent many hours at the Civic Arena helping out or watching her brothers’ play. “Her health had really declined so we’re happy she is at peace now and pain-free.”

Born on March 21, 1932 at Mabel Lake, Holland met her future husband at a baseball field by the lake. They married June 20, 1953, and lived in Golden at a logging camp after they got married, where Holland worked as a cook and Rienie was a logger. When Rienie got a job with BC Hydro, the couple moved to Vernon.

Predominantly a stay-at-home mom, Holland was a cook at the Vernon Army Camp in the summer months. She also volunteered at and helped run the Civic Arena concession for the City of Vernon, worked for a jewelry store and picked apples at local farms.

“At home, she was an amazing baker and cook, and a fantastic gardener,” said Holland’s granddaughter, Karlee Bowers, one of Holland’s eight grandchildren as well as five great-grandkids (two more on the way in 2020). “Grandma literally never sat down. She was always on the go, trying to get more food for others or cleaning something.

“Often at dinner, she would say to us ‘do you need anything?’ And we’d say ‘we just need you to sit down.’”

It wasn’t only the grandkids who lived for Holland’s baking, including her legendary cinnamon buns, brownies, pies and cinnamon bread – Karlee Bowers called Holland “the absolute best hostess, and you literally couldn’t walk into her house without her offering some food she had made” – but her kids’ friends as well.

Troy Mick, longtime best friend of Dennis Holland – the pair starred in Vernon Minor Hockey together and with the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winter Hawks – said his heart was broken over the death of a woman he called “a second mom.”

“Heaven gained a beautiful soul,” said Mick. “Words cannot describe how important of a role model she was to me growing up. She was just an amazing human being. She was always driving Dennis and I to all of the sports we played and made the best damn cookies ever. I thank her for the unconditional love she gave me always.”

Karlee Bowers said that even though she and her sister never lived in the same city as their beloved grandmother, Holland had a special way of building a solid and supportive relationship with them.

“She called us all the time, sent us letters and cards and gift cards for every occasion,” said Karlee. “Grandma had such a fantastic sense of humour, she was always up for a good laugh.”

A funeral date for Holland has not been finalized but it will likely be at the end of the coming week at Vernon’s Bethel Funeral Chapel.


@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
COVID slows in Revelstoke to 2 new cases

Data is from Jan. 17 to 23

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Beard Growing Contests were popular in Revelstoke as far back as the first Golden Spike Days Celebration in July of 1944. In this staged publicity photo, local barber Clarence Sheedy is seen with contestants Toby Belinski, two unknown men, Elio Pradolini, possibly Nelson Huckle, and Al McAskill. (Revelstoke Museum and Archives photo 348)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Jan. 28

A look at local history as recorded by the newspaper

A moose and her calf attempting to cross the Jordan River June 22, 2020, as seen from the Jordan River trail. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Letter: One year later Jordan River area still at risk

A Revelstoke company is one year in to their two year temporary permit for exploration in the area

Kevin Dorrius, general manager at Community Futures Revelstoke, presents Revelstoke local Jane McNab with the Volunteer of the Year Award for Revelstoke. (Submitted)
Community Futures planning September conference

Final decisions will be made in July depending on the state of the pandemic and vaccinations

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

Most Read