Heidi Rachel Moss Holmstead, 59, left the loving arms of her family decades too soon on Sept. 30, 2021, in Driggs, Idaho.
Heidi burst into the world on June 8, 1962, in Eureka, Calif., the firstborn of Wayne and Julie Moss. She spent formative years in the wild mountains of Trinity County, where her artistic and adventurous spirit took flight. Like many of her peers, Heidi grew up almost exclusively outdoors, hiking, swimming, exploring and reveling in the close-knit community where everyone was either a neighbor or friend. A master of any challenge she undertook, she became an accomplished pianist, a skilled artist, an expressive dancer, and an unquestionably talented chef.
After graduating as a proud member of the Trinity High School class of 1980, Heidi attended Brigham Young University. There, she unknowingly met the future love of her life, who, unfortunately, would have to wait for her until the next millennium. In the meantime, she spent several years in her beloved hometown of Weaverville, working and playing with dear coworkers and friends at State Farm Insurance and the community institution remembered as Tops Market. The legacy of her infectious smile and warmth will always be remembered as memories of what made Trinity County such a special place.
In search of new adventure, Heidi relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she married Noel Cooley. They moved to Eugene, Ore., where her son Zachariah was born, with her daughter Sarah joining the family just one year later. As a mother, Heidi achieved her most joyous accomplishment, and the three were inseparable in mind, body and spirit until her untimely death.
Finding herself a single mother in 2008, the true love of her life, first glimpsed so many years before, rode in at precisely the perfect moment, not unlike a fairytale knight in shining armor, or at least a pretty sweet Carhartt. With the inclusion of Gary Holmstead in her life, Heidi finally found love that transcends time and space. She thus moved to the tiny farming community of Richland on the far eastern edge of Oregon to join Gary and her new bonus family of Gary’s children. Rural ranch life with her newly constructed crew was filled with laughter and love as she bucked hay, chased llamas, mended fences, and watched with great pride and satisfaction as her children grew to be outstanding representatives of their heritage.
Heidi and Gary left Oregon to retire to the Teton Basin in Idaho, the geographical center of her paternal family lineage. She fully embraced the retiree life of camping, home improvement and world travel with her signature joie de vivre. She was also a treasured addition to Teton Valley High School, where she worked as a paraprofessional and assistant cheerleading coach.
Heidi was laid to rest in the Driggs Cemetery on Oct. 2, alongside her precious father, Wayne.
She is survived by her husband, Gary; children Zachariah Cooley, Sarah Cooley, Josh Holmstead, Jacob Holmstead, Jeremy Holmstead, Kaylee (Holmstead) Hatch, Kaleb Holmstead; her mother, Julie, brother Wayne, and sister Keziah (Moss) Sandstrom.
“The years behind have a friendly aspect, and they are warmed by the fires we have kindled, and all their echoes are the echoes of our own voices.” — Alexander Smith