Cover photo for Holly Walpole Althaver's Obituary
Holly Walpole Althaver Profile Photo

Holly Walpole Althaver

June 10, 1930 — July 19, 2022

HOLLY WALPOLE ALTHAVER
92, of Cass City passed July 19, 2022, in her home. She was born June 10, 1930 in Chicago, IL to Walter and Elizabeth Walpole. In 1937, along with the rest of her family, she moved to Flint and later to Fenton. Holly attended Principia College in Elsah, IL where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree.

In February 1953, she married Lambert Althaver and joined him in June of the same year in Augusta, GA where he was stationed in the Army. Upon Bert’s discharge in September of 1954, they moved to Cass City where Bert was hired as an accountant for Walbro Corporation. Within the next three years their son, Brian and daughter, Lauren were born.

As Bert’s career progressed, Holly became active in promoting a wide variety of artistic activities. The first of these activities involved establishing the Cass City Arts Council. In 1965, she was one of three founding members of the Cass City Chapter of the American Association of University Women. Within the framework of these two organizations Holly promoted art exhibits, small musical ensembles, and even brought in the members of the Midland Symphony Orchestra for a full concert.

As program chairman for AAUW, Holly became aware of a Michigan Arts Council program, known as Artrain. She was instrumental in bringing Artrain to Cass City in July of 1972. Artrain consisted of four railroad cars filled with established works of art and a staff of traveling artists, intended to support local education, increase community awareness and local involvement in the arts. Artrain visited Cass City three times and was a catalyst for a town-wide festival of the arts. The Cass City experience became a model for community programs which Holly spent a number of years introducing to communities across the nation through a workshop program she helped to develop.

As a result of her work with Artrain, Holly was asked to serve on the advisory board of the Michigan Council for the Arts that managed the Artrain project. It was there that she met Don Jaeger, Conductor of the Midland Symphony and together they promoted a number of music programs in Cass City. This activity lead to the rebuilding of the Cass City Presbyterian church’s historic Tracker organ, of the type originally played by Johann Sebastian Bach. At the concert commemorating this rebuilding, in the spring of 1979, the idea of a Bach Festival was born.

In November, 1979, under the direction of Don Jaeger, and with the leadership of Holly and Presbyterian Minister Harry Capps, the first Village Bach Festival was presented. This inspiring festival held over Thanksgiving weekend, brought in an ensemble of 40 musicians from all over the world to play the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries. The festival attained state wide prominence, sold out its capacity, and continued for twenty years.

Holly helped found the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies. She also served on numerous peer review panels and became a member of Artrain’s Board of Directors.

When Bert became CEO and Chairman of Walbro Corporation, his travel schedule expanded throughout the world and in many cases, Holly accompanied him on those trips. By the end of the century, Holly had retired from most of her activities, leaving an unparalleled legacy of quality artistic expression that inspires others to this day.

Holly is survived by her husband of sixty-nine years, Lambert of Cass City; daughter, Lauren (William) Piontkowski of Sylvan Lake, MI; son, Brian (Hallie) Althaver of Park City, UT; grandchildren: Elizabeth Holly Piontkowski, William Lambert Piontkowski; brothers: Forrest (Margaret) Walpole, Robert Handley (Marianne) Walpole; sister, Perry Lynn (Robert) Rader; numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her sister, Alice Guernsey.

Memorial service will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, August 6, 2022 in First Presbyterian Church of Cass City with Forrest Walpole officiating. Interment will be in Elkland Township Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Cass City PROMISE, 4700 Hunt St, Cass City, MI 48726 (www.casscitypromise.com). Family and friends may share memories, prayers and photos with the family at www.kranzfuneralhome.com.

Visitation: 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Saturday, August 6, 2022 in First Presbyterian Church, Cass City

Arrangements by
Kranz Funeral Home, Cass City
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, August 6, 2022

10:30am - 12:00 pm

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Cass City First Presbterian

6505 Church St
Cass City, MI 48726

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Service

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm

Add to Calendar

Cass City First Presbterian

6505 Church St
Cass City, MI 48726

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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