Elena ‘Poppy’ Mayhew-Holt, of Edwardsburg

March 21, 1962 — March 12, 2021

Elena Diane “Poppy” Mayhew-Holt, 58, of Edwardsburg, passed to her rest on March 12, 2021, at St. Joseph regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, after a brief illness. Poppy was born March 21, 1962, in Niles, the daughter of Paul E. and Betty L. (Hambrick) Mayhew and has lived most of her life in the Edwardsburg area. Poppy graduated from Edwardsburg High School, Class of 1980.

Poppy was a very gifted and talented artist. She attended Southwestern Michigan College and studied art. She had several of her paintings in the Cass County Fair, for which she won blue ribbons. After her time at SMC, she briefly studied cosmetology and worked for Michael’s Hair Salon in South Bend. She also worked for several years at her parent’s funeral home in Edwardsburg. Her true calling came when she volunteered at Potawatomi Zoo in the early 1980s. This led to her working at Bergman’s Animal Hospital in Edwardsburg. She then went on to work for Martin’s Pet and Garden in Elkhart. In the late 1980s, Poppy started working for Animal Care Clinic North in Elkhart for Dr. Dean Brizele and his team of veterinarians as a vet’s assistant. She worked there for 20 plus years, making many deep and lasting-friendships. She ended her career working with and caring for animals at the Center for Animal Health in Edwardsburg, working for Drs David and Karen Visser. Poppy was all about animals, and her love for all animals was ever present in every aspect of her life. Poppy helped rescue, nurture and care for many animals during her life. Any one that knew Poppy, knew that she loved her own dogs (Cody, Mack, Willow and Echo) beyond measure.

On Oct. 22, 1988, Poppy married Larry Holt, her husband of 32 years in a ceremony in Elkhart. He survives along with her parents, Paul and Betty Mayhew, of Edwardsburg, her sister and brother-in-law, Cindy (Doug) Ranschaert, of Edwardsburg and Larry’s children, Mike, Michelle and Christine.

Poppy will be deeply missed by her family. A small-private funeral service has been held and was conducted by, Pastor Chuck Winters, a long-time family friend and former neighbor, now of Battle Creek. She was laid to rest in Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles in the family plot.

The arrangements have been handled by her family at the Mayhew Funeral Home, in Edwardsburg.

The family asks that Memorial donations in Poppy’s name be made to the Potawatomi Zoo for the new Giraffe exhibit. Checks may be made to: Potawatomi Zoological Society “Big and Loud”, 500 S. Greenlawn Ave., South Bend, Indiana 46615 or on line at potawatomizoo.org/bigandloud.

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