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

Flooding has become a reality for many communities in the Okanagan Valley as the region faces more extreme weather storms, blamed on the impact of climate change. (File photo)
Okanagan high target for spring flooding

Higher snowpack and mild winter precipitation levels raise concerns for Canada’s insurance industry

Penticton Real Canadian Superstore
New COVID case at Penticton Superstore

The last day the employee worked was Jan. 21

David Kassian and Zoe Kirk show off new signage that will be available to neighbourhoods in high wildlife corridors. (Zoe Kirk photos)
Bears and cougar warning boards created for Okanagan residents

RDOS and Penticton will have the signboards and posters available this spring

South Okanagan West Kooteney MP Richard Cannings celebrated Robbie Burns Night with some haggis and local whiskey while watching the Penticton Scottish Festival society's TV series. (contributed)
Cannings celebrates Robbie Burns night with haggis and Oliver-based whiskey

Penticton Scottish Festival hosted a Robbie Burns night on Shaw TV

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

Most Read