Former Virginia first lady ‘Jinks’ Holton dies at 97

Dec 15, 2022, 11:50 PM | Updated: Dec 16, 2022, 4:00 pm
FILE - Roanoke, Va., Mayor Sherman Lea, left, applauds after former Virginia Gov Gov. A. Linwood Ho...

FILE - Roanoke, Va., Mayor Sherman Lea, left, applauds after former Virginia Gov Gov. A. Linwood Holton Jr., and his wife Virginia "Jinks" Rogers Holton cut the ribbon for the dedication of the newly renovated Linwood Plaza in downtown Roanoke, Va. on Oct. 16, 2017. Virginia Holton died Friday, Dec. 16, 2022, at her home, her family said in a statement. She was 97. (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP, File)

(Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia “Jinks” Rogers Holton, a former first lady of Virginia, died Friday morning at her home, her family said in a statement. She was 97.

Holton was the wife of the late Republican Gov. A. Linwood Holton Jr., who served in the 1970s and declared an end to “Massive Resistance,” Virginia’s institutional defiance of federal orders to desegregate its schools. She was also the mother of another Virginia first lady, Anne Holton, wife to former governor and current U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine.

Anne Holton and her three siblings said in a joint statement issued by Kaine’s office that Jinks Holton died peacefully at her home in a retirement community in Irvington, Virginia.

They did not provide a cause of death. Her death comes a year after that of her husband, to whom she was married for 67 years.

Jinks Holton, as she was widely known, was a partner with her husband in what became “the family business: racial justice and civil rights for all Virginians,” the statement said.

The Holtons enrolled their own white children in predominantly Black schools rather than fight school busing.

“She and Dad together decided, when he was Governor, that our family would help integrate Virginia’s public schools, tearing down barriers to employment, and opening opportunities for all,” the siblings said.

Jinks Holton was a regular volunteer on Habitat for Humanity builds and a supporter of children’s causes throughout her life, including through her work to improve nutrition for Virginia’s children during her time as first lady, according to the statement.

She spoke multiple languages and spent two years after college working in Belgium for a precursor to the CIA, “running intelligence agents as the U.S. worked to manage the post-war complexities of Europe,” her family said. She told her parents she was a secretary at an embassy.

“On top of all this, to us she was Mom. She helped us with school work. She drove us to music lessons and sports practice. She made us molasses cookies and chocolate silk pie. She taught us the values and priorities of family and community and justice that have shaped who we all are — and in turn shaped our children,” her children said.

Jinks Holton, who was born in Roanoke, also joined her husband, Kaine and Anne Holton in 2006 in opposing a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Kaine tweeted that his mother-in-law led “an amazing life, filled with family and purpose.”

“I’ve been deeply moved in the last year to see Anne so fulfill the role of daughter as she’s helped both her parents pass gracefully from life to heavenly peace,” he said.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he and his wife, Suzanne, joined others across the state in mourning.

“She served Virginians from 1970-74 and educated families about nutrition, restored public mansion tours, & embraced community service as a passion,” he tweeted.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Signage outside PayPal headquarters in San Jose, Calif., is pictured on March 10, 2015. PayP...
Associated Press

PayPal to cut 2,000 jobs in latest tech company cost-cutting

PayPal said Tuesday it will trim about 7% of its total workforce, or about 2,000 full-time workers
18 hours ago
FILE - Australian $5 notes are pictured in Sydney on Sept. 10, 2022. King Charles III won’t featu...
Associated Press

King Charles III won’t appear on new Australian bank notes

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — King Charles III won’t feature on Australia’s new $5 bill, the nation’s central bank announced Thursday, signaling a phasing out of the British monarchy from Australian bank notes, although he is still expected to feature on coins. A new Indigenous design will replace the previous portrait of the late Queen Elizabeth […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Child in California mountain lion attack leaves hospital

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A 5-year-old boy who was attacked by a mountain lion while hiking in rural Northern California with his mother and grandfather has been released from a hospital, authorities said Wednesday. The boy had raced ahead of the adults on a trail in San Mateo County, south of San Francisco, Tuesday when […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Robert Hadden, center, leaves the federal courthouse in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. A ...
Associated Press

NY judge jails ex-gynecologist who abused 100s of women

NEW YORK (AP) — An ex-gynecologist convicted of sexually abusing hundreds of patients was ordered to spend the next two months in jail as he awaits sentencing, a federal judge in New York City ruled Wednesday. After hearing statements from some of the victims during the bail hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman tersely […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Mohammed Reza Mesmarian appears in court during his arraignment at the Regional Justice Cent...
Associated Press

Colorado man held in Nevada solar plant fire unfit for trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge has ruled a Colorado dentist unfit for trial following his arrest last month in what authorities characterized as a terror attack on a solar power facility serving Las Vegas Strip casinos. Mohammed Reza Mesmarian’s attorney, Nick Pitaro, said Wednesday that two psychiatrists found his client was unable to […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Teacher Jessica Flores directs students as they work on laptops in a classroom in Newlon Ele...
Associated Press

10 states mull cross-border rules to tackle teacher shortage

DENVER (AP) — Every Colorado school district, like many across the country, began 2023 understaffed. That’s caused classes to be crammed together, school bus routes to shrink, Spanish language courses to get cut from curriculums, and field trips to be nixed. This has prompted lawmakers in Colorado and other states to suggest legislation that would […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Former Virginia first lady ‘Jinks’ Holton dies at 97