Originally from Pennsylvania, Susan Holly came to Alaska in 1978. In the 1980s, she and her husband, Tom, ran a trapline in the Talkeetna area. They moved to Bettles in 1985 in search of a more remote lifestyle. At the time of her 1992 interview, Susan Holly was working as a seasonal park ranger for Gates of the Arctic National Park stationed in Bettles. During the winter months, she and husband lived at their trapping cabin on the John River. Susan was able to combine summer work in the community with the isolation and challenges of a subsistence based lifestyle at a remote cabin and running a winter trapline.