Holt, Edward P.

Edward Pershing Holt


Maj. Edward Pershing Holt, USAF (Ret.) contractor, developer, and entrepreneur died Monday, July 31, 2006 after a courageous battle with leukemia. He was 87. He was a pre-Pearl Harbor, WWll veteran and was very proud of his service to our country. After asking God to spare his life during wartime, he promised to be in church every Sunday. In 63 years, he missed only one Sunday, for the birth of his second son. He was an anti-smoking advocate his whole life and was against alcohol use. After his service he returned to Fordyce where, with his Holt Builders Supply, he built more houses, ran more new streets, water and sewer lines and developed more new housing additions than anyone, before or since. In hard times, he would create work for his employees and subcontractors, more for their benefits than his own.


 He believed in helping his fellowman by providing shelter, regardless of their financial position. He built fine new homes for the wealthy and rented apartments and mobile homes to those just starting out. He was always looking for ways to help Fordyce grow and develop. He helped several churches with their births, developments and maintenance. He built and developed several businesses, including a hair salon, conveience store and restaurant. An assisted living apartment complex for the disabled was one of his latest accomplishments. At his death, he had several projects ongoing. He never gave up. He loved his family. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty Jo Carter Holt, son George Carter Holt and wife Kris, son Paul Louis Holt and wife Kaye. He had 5 grand and 2 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, John Edward Holt, one sister, Lillian Reynolds, and brother, Louis Holt, of Camden and brother, Richard Holt, of Fordyce.


 He was a 32nd degree Mason, lifetime member of the American Legion, charter member of the Fordyce Lion’s Club, and Dolly Parton’s biggest fan.


 Funeral will be 2:00 pm Thursday, August 3, 2006 at First Baptist Church, Fordyce with internment at Oakland Cemetery. Arrangements are by Benton Funeral Home of Fordyce. To sign the online register visit www.bentonfuneralhome.com 

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DEATHS FOR THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2006



Thursday, August 3, 2006 9:36 AM CDT


Edward Pershing Holt


October 1, 1918


July 31, 2006


FORDYCE — Edward Pershing Holt of Fordyce made a promise to God during World War II. He pledged that if he survived the war, he would attend church each Sunday.


Holt’s life was spared, and during the next 63 years, he failed to attend a Sunday church service only once. But, he had a good reason as it came on the birthdate of Holt’s second son.


Holt, who died Monday at the age of 87 after battling leukemia, retired from the U.S. Air Force as a major. His family and friends say there was never anything “minor” about Major Holt, who believed in helping others and obtained enjoyment through his kindnesses.


With his Holt Builders Supply store, he helped build homes, ran new utility connections and aided in the development of new housing additions. Even in lean economic times, he had a knack for creating work and helping to maintain the incomes of his employees and subcontractors.


He was successful in communicating and assisting persons of all economic levels, constructing elaborate homes for some wealthy clients but also renting apartments and other dwellings to singles and couples as they were “getting started.” Although his activities helped him to make a living, they also allowed him opportunities to assist in the growth and development of Fordyce, which he considered necessary as a community booster.


A life member of the American Legion, he was a 32nd degree Mason and a charter member of the Fordyce Lions Club. And, while Holt’s pride was his wife of 64 years and their family, it was no secret that Holt also admired another woman — his survivors describe him as country music singer Dolly Parton’s “biggest fan.”


Born Oct. 1, 1918, in Calhoun County, he was a son of the late John Mac Holt and Minnie Heidorn Holt.


He was preceded in death by a son, John Edward Holt; two brothers, Louis Holt and Richard Holt; and a sister, Lillian Reynolds.


Survivors include his wife, Betty Jo Carter Holt; two sons, George Carter Holt and Paul Louis Holt of Fordyce; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Fordyce. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery by Benton Funeral Home of Fordyce

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