Claudia Jean McAulay Hollod, age 71, died peacefully at home with family at her side on February 11, 2021 following a lengthy struggle with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
She was born in March 1949 in Burlington, Washington to Barbara and Kenneth McAulay. Barbara died when Claudia was a young girl.
In 1962 Claudia’s father, Ken, blended families with Louise Ayer who had three children. Both families had lost a spouse/parent to illness and the 2nd marriage was a joyful event for all.
Claudia graduated from Lynden High School in 1969 and subsequently graduated from WSU with an English degree and later earned a master’s degree in special education from CSU, Sacramento. Her career as a teacher/reading specialist began at Meridian Grade school and led to meeting her life-long companion, soulmate, and husband, Dan Hollod. They married in August of 1979 and soon were blessed with two children, Josh and Katie who both currently live in Bellingham with their spouses. They were present to assist their father in providing loving care for Claudia at home as her disease progressed.
Claudia never faltered in her loyalty and dedication to her husband, children, parents, siblings, extended family, friends and students. She devoted much of her time and energy providing support and caregiving to family members and friends as they grew old or facing difficult times, including her work as a Stephen Minister.
In her spare time, Claudia served the community by volunteering for charitable events/programs and joined efforts that addressed environmental/development/political issues. Claudia could be contentious when she felt strongly about a situation, so you wanted her on your team.
A Birch Bay beach home was passed on to her from her biological mother and had been in the family for generations. Life-time memories were made there with all who knew and loved her, a precious retreat of sentimental value. She loved walking on the beach, agate hunting, crabbing, clam digging, gardening, and the 4th of July celebration. The community of life-long friends at the beach were beloved to her.
Claudia was an avid reader of literature and poetry, and enjoyed music and nature. Even in the later stages of her Alzheimer’s she still would comment about the beauty and color of the sky, and was fascinated with birds, flowers and wildlife that caught her eye.
Claudia was preceded in death by her biological mother, Barbara McAulay, father, Kenneth McAulay, stepmother Louise McAulay, sister, Judy Buchholz, and sister-in-law, Sue Ayer. She is survived by her husband Dan Hollod, son Josh and his wife Katrina, daughter Katie and her husband Dan. She is also survived by her brother Ron Ayer, and sister Lisa Ayer-Rand and her husband Guy.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations be made to Whatcom Hospice Foundation.