Former Ludington mayor, Kaye Holman, passes away

June 13, 2023

Kaye Holman

Former Ludington mayor, Kaye Holman, passes away

Former Ludington Mayor Kaye Holman passed away today. at the age of 82. Holman served as mayor from 2016 to 2018 and had served three terms as councilor-at-large. 

Holman grew up in Ludington and graduated from Ludington High School in 1958. She attended Alma College in Grand Rapids. After college, she returned to Ludington, got married, and raised three children, she said.

While serving as mayor pro-tem (a position elected from within the council), Holman became acting mayor in 2016 after the mid-term resignation of Ryan Cox (Cox resigned due to moving out of the city). She was then elected to the seat and began serving in 2017. 

The following is Holman’s obituary: 

Obituary: Kaye Ferguson Holman, 82, of Ludington

Kaye Irene Ferguson Holman passed away peacefully on June 13, 2023 after a thankfully-brief illness.  A true child of Ludington, she was born to Charles and Helen Ferguson on November 11 or 12 of 1940.  Her exact birthday is a family mystery as she was born in the middle of the night during the great Armistice Day Storm of 1940 with power outages all across the Midwest.  Born by flashlight, was it before or after midnight? No one really knows.

She graduated from Ludington High School in 1958, attended Alma College, then moved to Grand Rapids, where she married and had three children, Erik, Karl and Brenda.  

After raising the kids mostly in the Kalamazoo area, she moved back home to Ludington in 1983. She started Kaye’s Care, providing elder care to many in our community. From 2001 to 2007, Kaye was the instrumental driver in the Mason County Relay For Life organization, and through countless hours and her dogged efforts, collected close to $1 million for the Relay over those years. 

In the late 1990s, she became interested in local politics, first joining the Ludington Planning Commission in 2000.  In 2004, she won a seat as City Councilor At-Large (Finance Chair), where she served until 2014 when she moved into the mayor’s seat until her retirement in 2019. Kaye was only the second woman to ever hold this office.  She was very active in bringing Movies at the Park starting in 2004 and Friday Night Live with the ponies in 2005, and as mayor, she spearheaded the effort to build the new and now current Ludington Fire Department station on Tinkham Avenue.  A hometown girl at heart, she loved and proudly served this city, both in the busy summer months and the quiet yet just as important winter seasons.

In her later years, she found a ‘second home’ at the Ludington Yacht Club – you could always find her behind the bar or in the kitchen at any gathering, and her unique handwriting on notes and signs everywhere.  She made many friends there as she became the queen of the social dinners and cocktail hours.

Kaye was a voracious reader and was well known at Ludington’s library, always looking to swap out a stack of books from one of her ubiquitous tote bags.  She was rarely seen without a book in her hands or at least in her bag-of-the-day. 

Kaye is survived by her brothers Jon Ferguson of Grand Rapids and Gary (Sheryl) Ferguson of Ludington; and sister Sandy Gomez of Ludington.  Also surviving are her children Erik Baragar of Kansas, Karl Baragar of Michigan, and Brenda (Kevin) Marsh of Portage Michigan, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Special thanks to her brothers who have always watched out for their big sis, and also to the staff at Sutter Home who helped her last months pass peacefully.


There will be an open house and gala celebration (right up Kaye’s alley!) at the Ludington Yacht Club on Sunday, July 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. 

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington,

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