Mama Bear and People Protector, Holly Quigley Papke, leaves to join the Ancestors

Tiny - Posted on 29 October 2021

a Poverty Scholar obituary by Lisa Ganser


No description available.


Holly Quigley Papke, a white, Disabled, 63 year old Matriarch, mountain lover, Mama Bear and People Protector, left to join the Ancestors on October 26th, 2021. Holly’s life was taken by COVID-19 at a medical facility in Rupert, ID, miles from her family in Manteca, CA and her peaceful mountain home in Wallace, ID. Holly was born on November 13,1957 in Biloxi, Mississippi to her loving, Ancestor parents Michael and Marina Quigley. Holly joins her Hubby Rick Papke, her Son Patrick Wayne Wetter and her Daughters Sherry Ann Camden and Melissa Camden in the heavenly afterlife. Holly is survived by her loving Daughters Jeannette, Tiffany and Suzan, her Sisters, Michelle, Sindy and Terry, her Grandkids Anthony, Gabrielle, Ashley, Bobby Jr, Gabriel, Kamden, Zackery, Jaylin, Alexzander and Wyatt, her Great Grands Michael, Aubrey and Isla, and her many beloved adopted children - so many kids were raised by Holly, it is the reason she was called Mama Bear. Holly is also survived by extended family and dear friends, and a community of Justice Families - people who are connected in solidarity through the trauma of having lost a Loved One to police violence and who demand an end to police murder.


Holly Quigley Papke was one of a kind and the center of many people’s Universe. She was brutally honest, and would let folks know when they were off path and needing guidance. Holly would be in a Harley Davidson t-shirt, hooking (crocheting) 20 different gifts for 20 different friends across the US (hats, blankets, scarves, doilies), cooking up a huge ham with beans in the crock pot, supervising kids doing homework and watching PBS, all at the same time - she was a multi-tasker. Holly had a deep relationship to Mama Earth, having tended land and grown food and plants, indoors and out. Holly was friends with many animals, cats, rabbits, pigs, goats - Holly had scholarship in working with bees and collecting honey and was a big supporter of her kids showing animals for 4-H. Holly loved raising chickens and cherished their farm fresh eggs, “with their brown shells and yolks that were a deep rich yellow to almost orange.” she’d say. Her daughter Suzan describes Holly as her rock and best friend. 


Holly had a hand in helping raise so many children, it is impossible to count. She loved watching her kids and young people step into their own power. Holly was such a bad ass that she was 86’d from the local social security office. “Swearing doesn’t bother me,” Holly said, “my hubby was a biker.” Holly was often the first to reach out to people when they needed support, even when she was in The Struggle. Holly created meaningful bonds with many people on the digital streets. She would teach folks things she learned from experience, things she taught her own kids, like that crushed up eggshells and coffee grounds made a great plant protector, and would keep the slugs from eating food plants. Just before Holly became ill, she had the opportunity to connect in person with her newest Grandchild, Wyatt Patrick. That opportunity of connection was a forever gift. Sweet like the huckleberries that grow behind the house on Holly’s mountain. That love lives on. 


Rest in Power and Peace, Holly Quigley Papke. Thank you for all your gifts. 



There will be a Celebration of Holly’s Life at P.L. Fry & Son at 290 N. Union Road in Manteca, CA on Monday, November 15, 2021 at 10 am. Shortly following the service, Holly’s body will be laid to rest at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in nearby Escalon. The family asks that people mask up and practice COVID protocols when attending.


There is a community-run effort of radical redistribution of funds to help cover Holly’s after-life expenses. Please support Holly’s Daughters as they step into deeper Matriarchal roles in their Mama Bear’s absence by contributing dollars to this effort,

While the family grieves, let’s help ease the financial stress. Thank you. 


To learn more about Holly’s Son, please read The Wrongful Death of Patrick Wayne Wetter in POOR Magazine


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