Hartense Blanche Holder, 93, of Indianapolis, IN, passed away during the evening of April 10, 2018. Hartense was born in Indiana on May 21, 1924 and was the granddaughter of former Kentucky slave Nathan Powell who fought on behalf of the Union Army in the 120th Regiment, U.S. Colored Infantry, and the 6th Regiment, U.S. Colored Calvary. Her parents, James Buckins and Anna Mae Powell Buckins wanted a better life and moved from Kentucky to southern Indiana, and later to Indianapolis where they were proprietors of a popular barbecue restaurant on Northwestern Avenue. Her father was widely known throughout Indianapolis as "Buck the Barbecue King," and his sudden death in 1933 was front page news in the Indianapolis Recorder. Her mother taught piano and named her daughter in honor of noted pianist and educator Hortense Bullock Jackson. Hartense was her mother's constant companion and beloved friend. They shared a bond, as each was the youngest child of the youngest child. Hartense graduated from Crispus Attucks High School and later attended Butler University. For nearly 55 years she resided on North Kenwood Avenue.
Hartense was twice married to Henry H. Roach, father of her daughters, Ms. Elaine Roach and Gail Holder, both of Indianapolis. She surprised her mother with her marriage, and loved to tell how her mother fainted when she told her she had gotten married. Her marriage to Jay Miller ended in divorce. She later married George R. Holder, father of her daughter Angela Ciccolo of Ashburn, Virginia. Hartense's former husbands all preceded her in death and she remained friends with each one.
Hartense worked for the federal government for the U.S. Department of the Army at Ft. Benjamin Harrison and enjoyed many, happy years as a retiree. She loved all types of music, art and interior design, and enjoyed finding unique collectibles at antique shops and thrift stores around town. She often planned special meals and celebrations for her family and loved to laugh and to talk with friends. No matter where she was, at 1:00 p.m. she could be found in front of the television watching her favorite show, the Young and the Restless.
Hartense had many sayings she liked to quote, such as words from the poem Invictus. Whenever she faced difficult times, she would paraphrase that poem and say, 'My head is bloody, but unbent.' She believed that God had an answer for every problem, and liked to quote from the Gospels. She would say, "ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." She reminded her children and grandchildren, to first seek the Kingdom of God. When someone looked good, or did well, she would say they were "tough enough."
During her last days, when dementia confused her, she told stories of her relatives and her youth with great clarity. She remembered the sound of her father's voice, and how he would return home and empty the day's receipts from his business onto the kitchen table, and how the coins would fall there, sometimes onto the floor. She told of falling from a tree. She talked about the myna bird Gail and Elaine were teaching to talk. They wanted to teach it to say Gail's name. Instead, the bird just said, "Say Gail. Say Gail." She liked it when her daughter Elaine called her "Tawtang," because it reminded her of when her daughter was a baby and when she herself was young. She liked when Angela would visit and they would bake hundreds of Christmas cookies, or have birthday parties. She loved when Roy would cook for her, and when Chris would sing her a song. She looked forward to visits from her grandchildren and prayed for them all constantly. In her last days her words were often about Jesus. She said he was sitting on the hospital bed with her, or in the room. She said "Thank you Jesus," and then would flirt with the male nurses caring for her and tell them they looked tough enough.
Hartense is preceded in death by her parents, siblings: James, Helene, and Thelma; and grandson, Michael Chester.
Hartense is survived by her daughters, Elaine Roach, Gail Holder (Roy Washington) and Angela Ciccolo (Chris); and her grandchildren Lisa Crawford, Jason O'Neal, Giovanna Roach, Christopher John Ciccolo, Nicholas George Ciccolo (Byra) and Danielle Ciccolo, and great grandchildren, Michael, Jordan and Anaya Stewart, and Jada O'Neal and other family and friends.
Today I learned that your family is mourning the loss of your loved one Mrs Holder a wife/mother/grandmother/great grandmother/and a neighbor. May you find comfort in Jesus words " I'm the resurrection and the life " John 11:25,Acts 24:15 And may you all look forward to the Bible promises . With Sympathy,
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