Cover photo for Sandra Holt's Obituary
1939 Sandra 2021

Sandra Holt

January 20, 1939 — September 15, 2021

Knife River

Sandra JeAnn Kelly was born January 20, 1939 and died from Alzheimer’s Disease on September 15, 2021.  She was 82.

Sandy was the first of six children born to her parents Noel and Erdine Kelly, in Minneapolis. She graduated from Washburn High School and then attended the University of Minnesota, where in August of 1956,  Freshman Welcome Week not  only introduced her to college,  but also to the love of her life – Marvin Holt.  They married in August of 1958, and  began their life together in Minneapolis.  Marv and Sandy welcomed Michael a year later, and Karen arrived two years after that.

Sandy loved being a wife and mother, and, thanks to Marv’s career, also truly became the Chief Operating Officer of their homelife, managing over 20 moves in six states and three countries during their life together. All of the moves settled into a pattern of finding a home, a school, and a Lutheran Church (occasionally a challenge in some locations!) and kept the family of four very close as that stability flourished in the whirlwind of so many homes.

She also found time to return to college to get her Associate’s Degree in Education, volunteer with numerous church and community activities, help launch both the Edina and Bloomington Early Childhood Family Education centers, host a half-dozen foreign exchange students, travel to five continents, and – once Mike and Karen were grown – help Marv (and crew) build two homes on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

Family celebrations were of utmost importance to Sandy, who loved hosting get-togethers for holidays, birthdays, and “just because.”  She loved the State Fair, Grandma’s Marathon, and traveling the world. Being a Grandmother was a huge part of Sandy’s life, and her four grandchildren – Katie, Conor, Ashe, and Nora – spent as much time as possible in her company. She adored them all, and always took time to attend their school functions, see them as frequently as she could manage, and dedicate one-on-one time with each one.

Sandy is survived by her husband Marv, children and grandchildren Mike and Mary, Katie and Conor, Karen and Brian, Ashe and Nora, her siblings Byron, Mike and Sandi, Kathy, and Pasty and Jerry, and many additional relatives and friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Bunny.

A private celebration of Sandy’s life will be held October 9 at Knife River Lutheran Church. Memorials may be directed to the church ( or Family Means (

Sandy was a Loving Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend, Counselor, Homemaker, and Grandmother.  We miss her deeply and will forever remember her with Love.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sandra Holt, please visit our flower store.


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