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To see the late singer’s portrait, Peggy Lee’s granddaughter travels to Bismarck



Bismarck, North Dakota – The granddaughter of a well-known singer and actress who was born in North Dakota came in Bismarck on Saturday to share stories about her grandmother and her connections to the state and to see something of her grandma that she had never seen in person.

Holly Foster Wells is in the State Capitol looking at a picture in the Rough Rider Hall of Fame. It’s North Dakota native Peggy Lee, a singer-songwriter and actress who won the Rough Rider Award in 1975, who is her grandma.

“Winning the Rough Rider Award was a major accomplishment for her in her native state. So, coming here today to see it for the first time with my son and my husband was quite emotional, said Holly Foster Wells, Peggy Lee’s granddaughter.

Holly and her family have spent the last few days traveling around the Peace Garden State to various cities that were significant in her grandmother’s life and profession. Holly’s goal is to preserve Peggy Lee’s memory, emphasizing how closely tied to North Dakota her grandma was. On this tour, there have been a lot of surprises.

“I find it amazing how many people here remember her. In fact, I ran with some folks who had seen her concert in Valley City in 1950. They have relatives who remember her, even though I haven’t met anyone who has met her,” Wells said.

Wells claims that despite her grandmother’s career move to California, North Dakota was always on her mind and she frequently brought it up in conversation.

She could name her classmates from high school as well as her teachers. She had a terrible childhood and experienced a sad phase in her life here. But North Dakotans were very kind to her, Wells remarked.

The fact that Holly was able to bring her youngest kid along and show him what North Dakota meant to his great-grandmother may have been the nicest part of their journey to Bismarck.

It’s really thrilling. Of course, I educated my children about their great-grandmother’s career as a musician. They are still learning more about her origins and background. They might even appreciate what she accomplished more as a result, according to Wells.

Wells considers her grandmother’s legacy as she looks at the portrait one last time.

This is music. She had an incredible passion for music and was a strong survivor. She was a visionary who succeeded in realizing her ambition, undoubtedly with the assistance of numerous others, said Wells.

And as Wells and her family leave Bismarck, that is all they have left.