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Mabel Emma Holsted, 101,  formerly of Greenville, passed away Monday, July 6, 2020 at the home of her daughter, Dolores, near Delton.  The daughter of Frank W. & Marcia Elsie (Ferguson) Perkins, she was born on August 19, 1918 at the home of her Uncle Roy and Aunt Emma (a nurse) Ferguson in rural Remus, Michigan. Her father had one of the first cars in the area, a 1911 Ford Model T, which he used to bring her mother and her back home after she was born.

She grew up there on Wyman Rd., and attended the one-room Tinker School about ¼ mile away, and later, when the buses started running, she attended the Weidman High School in Weidman and completed the 11th grade.  She also attended the Forrest Hill Church of God nearby.  On June 17, 1939, she married Clarence Holsted. To this union were born five sons and two daughters.

She worked very hard all of her married life–in the home, and also  occasionally going out to work to help supplement the family income. Her older children remember not having electricity and seeing their mother do the family washing by hand using a wash board, and cooking on a wood cook stove.

She was talented musically, and taught her four oldest children to sing together in church and on the radio from a very young age.  She retired from Ore-Ida Foods in Greenville in 1983 after 19 ½ years.  After that she worked with Foster Grandparents and Eight Cap, and enjoyed making holiday decorations for the residents of Friendship House.  One of her proudest achievements was going back to high school and earning her high school diploma from Greenville High School in June, 1991 at the age of 73!

After her children were all gone from the home, she lived alone at her home in Greenville until she was 95, because she did not want to be a burden to her children. She even arranged and pre-paid for her own funeral, and bought her own gravestone and had it placed on her cemetery plot to spare her children when the time came.  She was a very giving and thoughtful person.

She loved her cats, and usually had 2 or 3 at a time. She enjoyed writing letters,  growing flowers, gardening, canning (even into her 80’s), and studying her Bible, but she especially enjoyed writing songs and singing them in church—even as late as age 85 or 90.

When she was 95, and she realized she could no longer care for herself, she agreed to go and live with her daughter, Dolores, and son-in-law,  James.  She never criticized, interfered, or complained.  She even took several trips with them to Missouri and Maryland—the latest ones in March and April of 2018 when she was 99!

She was preceded in death by Clarence in 1975, her half-sister, Lena Decker in 1980, her son-in-law, Arlin Frantz in 2013, and her son, Gary, in 2015.  Surviving are her sons, Ernie (Lorie) Holsted, Eugene (Nancy) Holsted, Larry (Dianne) Holsted, and Lyle (Louise) Holsted;  daughters, Gloria Frantz and Dolores (James) Morehouse;  six grandchildren: Sheryl (Eric) Smith, Chris (Carissa) Holsted, Char (Tim) Johnson, Jackie (Russell) Mosher, Gary Jr. (Eleena) Holsted, Eugene Jr. (Amy) Holsted; eleven great-grandchildren;  and four great- great grandchildren.

Due to the governor’s emergency orders and restrictions on public gatherings inside buildings, private funeral services will be held on Thursday at Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville.  However, relatives and friends are invited to join the family for graveside committal services at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at Forest Hill Cemetery near Weidman (just down the road from where Mabel grew up).  Pastor Robert Cairns will officiate.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Mabel’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

In the words of one of the songs she wrote and sang:  “When I come to the end of life’s long weary way, And the face of my Savior I see,  When I hear His sweet voice as He welcomes me home, What a wonderful day that will be!”

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638.


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2 Condolences

  1. Char Bathurst on July 7, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    I was one of Mabel’s teachers when she came back to school. She was a very kind, and caring person.

  2. Dan Crofoot on July 8, 2020 at 9:28 am

    This obituary is a wonderful memorial to Mabel. Thanking God for her testimony throughout her life. Sending my sympathy to the family. Looking forward to that glorious day of reunion in Heaven with our loved ones.

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