Lewis County Herald, The

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Anna Pauline Holton Applegate passed away peacefully at her home located at Wilson's Bottom on Friday, January 7, 2011.

Pauline was born March 3, 1931, at the Holton ancestral home at Wilson's Bottom in Lewis County. She was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. William Grubb Holton and Lorraine Neal Holton, who both have preceded her in death. While her father was studying to be a research chemist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pauline lived with her grandparents, William Henry and Ethel Grubb Holton on the family farm. In 1941, Pauline moved to live with her father in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was a chemist for Dow Chemical. After one year, she returned to live on the farm with her grandparents. Pauline is a graduate of Tollesboro High School, class of 1948. She attended Eastern Kentucky University with a double major in Biology and Chemistry.

While in high school, Pauline met her sweetheart, Harold D. Applegate. They were married June 29, 1950, in the living room of her grandparents' home at Wilson's Bottom. Pauline and Harold began their journey through life together, which lasted over 60 years, at their new home and farm in the Pine Valley community outside Tollesboro.

Pauline is survived by her husband of 60 years, Harold D. Applegate, and her beloved children, Clifford Holton Applegate and his wife, Dina Lynn Polley Applegate, of Tollesboro, and Dee Anna Applegate Hatfield and her husband, Richard D. Hatfield, of Louisville. She has five wonderful grandchildren, Ryan J. Kennedy and his wife, Sherri Kennedy, of Brooksville, Harold Dean Applegate and his wife, Mindy Wright, of Tollesboro, Ashley Holton Applegate of Tollesboro, Leslie Brooke Hatfield Johnson and her husband, Patrick, of Murray, and William Holton Hatfield of Louisville and Lexington, Virginia, where he is a second year student at Washington and Lee University. Pauline was also blessed with two great-grandchildren, Jesse and Savannah Kennedy of Brooksville. Pauline also leaves Harold's sisters, Lora Mae Holt of Fort Worth, Texas, and Martha Hardin of Tollesboro; three nieces; three nephews; and countless friends.

Pauline was a devout, life-long member of the Christian Church. As a child, and in her later years, she attended Sand Hill Christian Church. Upon her marriage to Harold, she also attended Pine Valley Christian Church.

In addition to being a farmer's wife for over 60 years, Pauline held a variety of positions outside the home. When Harold was drafted into the Army, Pauline worked as a writer for the Maysville Independent. When she joined Harold in Ft. Lewis, Washington, she worked the post dispensary. In the early 1960s, Pauline worked for the Census Bureau and in the Lewis County Public Assistance Office caring for the needs of the least fortunate of Lewis County. In 1965, at the recommendation of US Congressman Carl D. Perkins, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Pauline as Postmaster of the Tollesboro Post Office. Throughout her 38 year tenure as Postmaster of both Tollesboro and Vanceburg Post Offices, Pauline flourished. In the Summer of 1966, she established the tradition of entertaining the Kindergarten students on a tour of the post office. Over the years, hundreds of Lewis County children received their US Flag and self-cancelled post card from their trip to the post office. Once she even wrote a love letter for a customer who could not write. Pauline loved to work as Santa's helper. Every letter mailed to Santa in her office for 38 years was always answered personally. She would don her Santa's helper suit and deliver express mail packages on Christmas morning throughout Lewis County. Not only was she loved by her local community, Pauline won admiration and respect throughout the region and the country. She was awarded the Benjamin Award, the Postal Service's highest honor, for outstanding postal and community service an unprecedented six consecutive years. In 2006 the Postmaster General recognized her for her extraordinary service with a lifetime achievement award. Pauline was known and loved nationally by her postal family.

Upon her retirement from the Postal Service in 2003, Pauline remained active with the Postal Retirees organization. In addition, she joined and was elected President of the Golden Burley Chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE). She served the Buffalo Trace Area Development District on their Cemetery Board working to identify old family and community plots throughout the county. Pauline was a member of St. Mary's Lodge, Order of the Eastern Star.

In 2004, Pauline was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a voting delegate to the National Democratic Convention held in Boston, Massachusetts. As the high point of her trip, Pauline was asked to address the convention on behalf of the family farmers of America. She spoke immediately preceding the nomination acceptance speech of Senator John Kerry. She was the only Kentuckian to speak from the podium in 2004, and one of only three to ever address the convention.

Pauline lived her life with grace and dignity. The memory of her amazing spirit and zest for life, strong will to live and her ability to enjoy every precious moment of life will be greatly missed by all who have known and loved her.

Services were at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 9, 2011, at Pine Valley Christian Church with Bro. John Byard and Bro. Phil Cropper officiating. Burial was in Pine Valley Christian Church Cemetery.


  1. HOLTON, Anna Pauline