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Dorothy Ann Holman dies at 89 

–Dorothy Ann (Keyser) Holman, 89, of Paso Robles passed away on September 16, 2018 in Sacramento, CA.

Dorothy was born on January 11, 1929 to Augustus and Margret Keyser in Creston California and into a pioneering family with a long and rich history.

Her great-great-grandfather was a Dr. Scott, who, after graduating from medical school in Scotland, migrated to America and became a practicing physician in Iowa. After retiring from his practice, he returned to Scotland where he died. Her great-grandfather, Johnston Scott, also of Iowa, was a farmer, mechanic, machinist and an engineer. Johnston Scott was one of the few early farmers in Wilson County who had a blacksmith and machine shop. Johnston also ran one of the first threshing machines in Kansas. In 1883 he migrated with his family to California, stopped for a time in Santa Cruz county, moved to San Luis Obispo County, finally locating at Creston in 1885 where he worked as machinist and engineer. Her great-grandmother was Elizabeth Brown, a native of Missouri and a granddaughter of a pioneer of that state who traced his ancestry back to Plymouth Rock and the landing of the Pilgrims.

Dorothy’s Grandmother, Mrs. Rosa E. Scott, had a first marriage to A. Keyser and was blessed with three children; Augustus, a mechanic and blacksmith; Elza, a blacksmith in Chino; and Oscar, who died at the age of seventeen.

Mrs. Keyser’s second marriage was to Jonathan Vinton Webster. Mr. Webster, along with Mr.’s Phillips, Cressy, Ambrose and Adams, bought the Huer-Huero ranch, which was subdivided to suit their needs as well as the wants of incoming settlers.

By Rosa Keyser’s marriage to Jonathan Webster she had one child, Jonathan Vinton Webster, Jr. who was only three at the time of his father’s death. Augustus Keyser quit school to work on and save the ranch. After her death in 1963 the Vinton, Jr sold the ranch and it became The Chandler Ranch.

After Augustus Jr. marriage to Margret Dresser, daughter of Frank and Sarah Ann Vincent Dresser (Sarah is buried in the Dresser Ranch Cemetery) he frequently had to move his growing family back to the ranch to work as needed. It was in that big white house that Dorothy was born.

Mom was the fourth child of six; Augustus, Jr. (Gus); Rosa; Earlyn; Elza (Bud) and Judy, who passed at 6 months. She always lamented that she was the last of her generation.

Mama met and subsequently married Ralph Harvey Holman, the love of her life, in September of 1947. They were best friends. Their motor home was always ready for the next great adventure, sometimes starting in the middle of the night when one or the other couldn’t sleep. Many times, I’d wake in the morning to find a pink box sitting on the counter. My girls would scream with joy and run for the door knowing Papa and Nanny were there and brought donuts‼ Daddy passed away in 1990.

Mama loved holidays and family get-togethers more than anything; any chance to spend time with her family was important to her. She would spend hours cooking and preparing a feast for her company and we usually had a full house every weekend.

Mom was much loved by all who knew her. She never knew who would be sleeping on the couch or floor when she woke in the morning. Whenever a youngster needed a place to stay for whatever reason they knew it was a safe place. There were three rules: don’t eat it if it looks like dinner, call your Mom and let her know where you are and if you make a mess, clean it up.

Smith’s Restaurant was her home away from home for 22 years. Because Smith’s was across the street from Paso Robles High many kids got to know and love her. Many came to work for her. When I went to my class reunions I was always asked “How is your Mom, next time bring her.” Many told me of how much she meant to them and had changed their lives. Mr. Smith always threatened he would close shop if she ever retired; she did, he did.

Of all her accomplishments, Mom’s greatest achievements have been in the lives of her family and friends. She had a unique gift to recognize and appreciate the talents in others and to make them feel loved and lifted by her presence. Her creative mind, kind heart and brilliant smile allowed her to make everything sparkle. Her generous heart filled her home with love, fun, family and friends, including an attitude that there was always room for one more. She leaves all her children and grandchildren with the knowledge that they were truly loved.

Mom was always proud and excited to be “Nanny” to Sheri and Kristi Sundahl, Jenne and Jim Sarzotti, Robert and Aja Holman, Travis and Jackie Holman, Cori and Eric Becker and Tye and Katrina Holman. She was also Great-Nana to 7 and Great-great-Nana to 2.

She is survived by her children Harvey and Jolene Holman, Lloyd and Cindy Holman and me, Vicki St John. Our brother Paul Holman passed in 2005.

She wasn’t just a Mom, she was my best friend. Thank you for the precious memories that warm my heart. I miss you Mama…

Private services will be held at the Paso Robles District Cemetery.


Contributed by Vicki St John 

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on , Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at