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Lois E. Hole, CM, DStJ, AOE, (died January 6, 2005, Edmonton, Albertamarker) was a Canadianmarker politician, businesswoman, educator, and best-selling author.She was the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta from February 10, 2000 until her death. She was known as the "Queen of Hugs" for breaking with protocol and hugging almost everyone she met, including journalists, diplomats and other politicians.


Lois Hole was born as Lois Elsa Veregin in Buchanan, Saskatchewanmarker to Milce Veregin and Elisa Nordstrom. Her family moved to Edmonton, Albertamarker in 1948, where Lois completed her education at Strathcona Composite High School. In 1950, she met Ted Hole, a young University of Alberta agriculture student. Several years later they married and moved to a farm near St. Albert, Albertamarker.

Lois and her husband, Ted Hole, ran a successful market garden business from their farm which they, along with their sons Bill and Jim, incorporated as Hole's Greenhouses & Gardens Ltd. in 1979. It is currently one of Western Canada's largest retail greenhouse stores.

In 1993 Lois Hole wrote her first book, Vegetable Favourites, and went on to write five more in the "Favourites" series. There are currently more that 750,000 copies of the various books in this series in print. The series won the Educational Media Award from the Professional Plant Growers Association in 1996. In 1998, Hole's Greenhouse began publishing their own books starting with Hole's autobiographical I'll Never Marry a Farmer. Lois Hole wrote several books with her son, Jim. Hole's Greenhouse has continued to publish gardening books along with a successful annual magazine called Lois' Spring Gardening.


She was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1999 and a Dame of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in 2000. In 1995, she was named Edmonton Business and Professional Woman of the Year and St. Albert's Citizen of the Year. In 2003 she was awarded the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Humanitarian Award. She was made an "Honorary Patricia" by the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Ted and Lois Hole's deaths

During his wife's term in office, Ted Hole died of cancer in April 2003. She herself had been diagnosed with abdominal cancer in 2002, making a public announcement the following year when she began treatment in early 2003. Her health improved, temporarily, but by late 2004, her case was terminal. Her illness prevented her from making several scheduled public appearances. She died in office at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton on January 6, 2005.


Most sources have cited 1933 as Lois Hole's year of birth based on her reported age at death. However, the Edmonton Journal, the Royal Alberta United Services Institute's newsletter and the Parliament of Albertaindicatemarker that she was born in 1929.


The Alberta Library Trustees Association (ALTA) established the Lois Hole Award in 2001. In November 2004, two months before Lois' death, the Capital Health Authority in Edmonton announced that a new wing of the Royal Alexandra Hospital would be named The Lois Hole Hospital for Women. It is scheduled to open 2010 and will consolidate the women's health programs and services currently based at the Royal Alexandria Hospital into one building.

In April 19, 2005 the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park was established, becoming the 69th provincial park in Alberta. The park contains the former Big Lake Natural Area and an additional 302 hectares of Crown land, for a total of 1421 hectares. The lake makes up around 59 per cent of the park's total area.

In 2008 the Edmonton Public Library opened their newest location, the Lois Hole Library in southwest Edmonton. It features a sculpture of Lois Hole and a reading garden.

In 2009, the City of St. Albert declared May 14 Lois Hole Day. A bronze statue designed by Barbara Paterson called A Legacy of Love and Learning was unveiled at city hall on this day.

Personal Education and Involvement in Education


  • Lois Hole's Vegetable Favourites (originally published as Northern Vegetable Gardening)
  • Lois Hole's Bedding Plant Favourites (originally published as Northern Flower Gardening: Bedding Plants)
  • Lois Hole's Perennial Favourites
  • Lois Hole's Tomato Favourites
  • Lois Hole's Rose Favourites
  • Lois Hole's Tree & Shrub Favourites
  • I'll Never Marry a Farmer
  • Herbs & Edible Flowers
  • The Best of Lois Hole
  • Bedding Plants Q&A (with son Jim Hole)
  • Roses Q&A (with son Jim Hole)
  • Perennials Q&A (with son Jim Hole)
  • Vegetables Q&A (with son Jim Hole)
  • Trees & Shrubs Q&A (with son Jim Hole)
  • Lois' Spring Gardening annual magazine 1998–present


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