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Holly Thiel Rake December 2, 1976 - July 15, 2022

On Friday, July 15, 2022, Holly Thiel Rake of Fairview, OR, loving wife and mother of two beautiful daughters, passed away at the age of 45 after a ten-year battle with breast cancer.

Holly was born on Dec. 2, 1976, in Seoul, South Korea. As a baby, she was abandoned on the steps of a Korean orphanage and was adopted at the age of eight months by her parents, Margo (Schwartz) and Bruce Thiel in Foster City, CA. After their divorce, Margo married Vernon Organ, who cared for Holly as his own daughter. Together, Bruce, Margo, and Vernon raised her to be the amazing person she grew into.

Holly graduated from the University of Washington in 1998 with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences. She worked as a meteorologist for KOMO TV in Seattle, WA before moving to KWGN TV in Denver, CO as a writer/producer. It was here that she met fellow producer and future husband, Brad Rake.

Holly then followed Brad to Portland, OR where they both worked at KATU TV and were married in 2002. Holly eventually went to work at KOIN TV in Portland, producing her own news show directly competing against her husband’s show at KATU. This made for interesting dinner conversations at home.

Holly eventually left TV and went to work at K103/KEX Radio in Portland. In 2008, she gave birth to daughter, Amelia, and again in 2010 to daughter, Elaina. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in early 2012 and underwent chemotherapy, radiation, and several surgeries.

In 2017, Holly went to work at Fortis Construction where she became a project accountant and embarked on a five-year career at a company she truly loved. She was also very involved in her children’s school, becoming president of the Parent Teacher Organization.

Holly loved to travel more than anything, and one of her proudest accomplishments was showing her daughters the wonders of a big world with diversities and encounters they could only get by experiencing them firsthand.

Holly’s cancer returned in 2019 and she began the battle all over again. During this time, she also helped other cancer patients around the country learn to deal with their own diagnoses. She provided them with knowledge about what they were facing, and the comfort to know that they had the strength to fight it. She never gave up and continued fighting right until the end.

Holly was preceded in death by stepmother, Jeri Ewy Thiel and stepbrother, Vernon Neil Organ, JR. She is survived by husband of 20 years, Brad Rake; daughters, Amelia and Elaina Rake; mother, Margo Organ; father, Bruce Thiel; stepfather, Vernon Organ; stepmother, Karen Ferriera; stepsisters, Colleen Anderson, Donna (Humphrey) Dominguez, Kim (William) Sadler, Deanne (Vincent) Frere; stepbrother, Jason Ferriera; in-laws, William and Evelyn Rake; brother-in-law, Christopher (Jennifer) Rake; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless friends, all of whom she adored.

Everyone who knew and loved Holly is welcome to attend a memorial service in her honor at Gresham Memorial Chapel, 257 SE Roberts Avenue, Gresham, Oregon 97080 on Saturday, Aug. 27 at noon. A reception will follow the service. Flowers are appreciated, and charitable contributions can be made in Holly’s name to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute: https://www.ohsu.edu/knight-cancer-institute/how-you-can-help-ohsu-knight-cancer-institute

Everyone who knew and loved Holly is welcome to attend a memorial service in her honor at Gresham Memorial Chapel, 257 SE Roberts Avenue, Gresham, Oregon 97080 on Saturday, Aug. 27 at noon. A reception will follow the service.

Condolences(13)

  1. REPLY
    Matt Griffin says

    Brad, Amelia, Elaina, and family. My condolences to all of you. I am so happy to know that the memories you made with Holly will last a lifetime.

  2. REPLY
    Phil Merrifield says

    When I first started working at KATU in May, 2000, Holly was one of the first people I met. She was incredibly kind, friendly, funny, and always had a smile on her face. This made my transition to working at KATU much easier. As time went on, it was clear that Holly was genuinely the same person I had met when I first started working at KATU.

    She will be missed by so many because she really was that kind, loving person to everyone.

    Much love to Brad and the kids.

  3. REPLY
    Paul Bukta says

    Holly, we are all fortunate to have shared time on earth with you. You were the perfect soulmate for Brad and a wonderful mother to Amelia and Elaina. You were smart and kind and I’ll always remember you with a smile on your face. We miss you! Best to you, Brad, Amelia, Elaina and all of Holly’s family and friends.

  4. REPLY
    Michael Brooks says

    Knew Holly through her time as an intern at KLSY, Seattle. She was such a positive force and always ready with a her quick and witty banter with our airstaff. I offer to her daughters and a family my sincere condolences.

  5. REPLY
    Monty Orrick says

    Besides being an extremely skilled journalist, Holly was about the nicest person I’ve ever met—wickedly funny, too. She could make you laugh. I just loved being around her. Holly was extraordinary. It’s a great loss. I send my deepest sympathies and love to my friend Brad, Amelia and Elaina.

  6. REPLY
    Monty Orrick says

    Holly was extraordinary. A great professional and wickedly funny besides. She could make you laugh. I loved being around her. Just a beautiful person—all around. I send my deepest sympathy and love to my friend Brad, Amelia and Elaina. You are in my thoughts.

  7. REPLY
    Susie Bauer says

    Our heart goes out to Margo, Vern, Brad and Holly’s precious daughters. Many years ago we were neighbors with Margo, Vern and Holly in Shadow Ridge (Renton, WA) Holly was always so outgoing, kind and lit up the room with her presence. We were honored to be invited to Portland to attend her and Brad’s wedding. As a young couple, she and Brad stopped by our house when they were driving through the old neighborhood, just to say hi and visit with us. We were so touched they would take the time to do that. You and all who loved Holly are in our thoughts and prayers during these very sad and difficult days. What a treasure she was to so many! Rest in heavenly peace, Holly. You loved well! -Susie & Otto Bauer

  8. REPLY
    Cyndi Clouse says

    The world is a better place, having Holly’s positive impact. Sending much love and condolences to Brad, Amelia, Elaina, family and friends.

  9. REPLY
    Codi Tillson says

    Brad, Amelia, Elaina and family-I am sorry I will not be able to be there to celebrate Holly’s life in person. Holly was kind, brilliant, organized and brave. She was always quick to remember details about my life and my kids and made PTO meetings entertaining with her quick wit and side text messages that made me laugh. She loved her family. She loved children in general. She advocated for equality and compassion and love. She worked tirelessly to make the people around her feel good about themselves and she was always willing to contribute. She is greatly missed, but her impact continues. Continue to live your lives they way Holly would want you to, with grace, acceptance and kindness, and a fierce love for family and friends.

  10. REPLY
    Liz Lambert says

    Hoping the knowledge of how much Holly touched others’ lives brings some comfort. I, too, can speak to that kindness she embodied. Holly was quick to include me in after-work activities when I was brand new to Denver and select few of us worked overnight hours. Rollerblading along the Cherry Creek Trail particularly sticks in my memory. Sending much love to Brad, the girls and family.

  11. REPLY
    Amy Wiley says

    I will always remember the fun times we had over the year we lived together as college roommates, and the time as friends before and after this. We confided our struggles in one another, shared laughter, tears and fun times with friends. Holly always had a way of making things fun & loved to see others smile. The world will not be as bright without Holly in it, but it will be better because she was. Sending much love and many prayers for Holly’s family. Brad, Amelia, Elaina, Margo & Vern, Bruce & Karen – you were her world & my heart goes out to you all. ❤️

  12. REPLY
    Diane Schoepp says

    Brad, you and the girls have been on my mind since I heard the news. I can’t tell you how sorry I am and how this life can be so unfair. I remember reading Holly’s blog about her cancer journey. She had a way of pulling you in and making you understand every detail. It was so well written.
    You are an amazing father. You and your girls will continue to live amazing lives. You will make Holly proud.

  13. REPLY
    Mindy Dionne Wyatt says

    Holly and I didn’t know each other really well, but she shared the same beginning in life. I too was abandoned in Korea and came to the states at 8 months old, just like Holly. We had talked about our similar beginning when we worked together at KWGN back in the day. I was there when the sparks flew between Holly and Brad. Brad, I know you will be an amazing dad to those wonderful girls you have. Know that Holly will be with you every step of the way. Maybe not in the flesh but in spirit. She truly was a special person, and will be greatly missed by those who love her.

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