Holt, Donald

January 31, 2012

Please keep Don's wife, Deborah, and his family in your prayers.

A Memorial Service for Don will be held this Saturday, February 4th at 1:00 PM at the First UMC of Chatham, MA, located at the corner of Main St. and Cross St. Deb has requested that those clergy who plan to attend wear a stole in remembrance of Don and his faith filled ministry. Don served 36 years in the New England Conference at churches in Massachusetts including churches is Byfield & Newburyport, Worcester, Oxford, Lynn, Chelmsford, and Eastham.

Rev. Donald Lee Holt, a United Methodist minister for 40 years, died peacefully at Cape Regency Nursing Home in Centerville on January 31, 2012, following a lengthy struggle with dementia. Born October 11, 1936 in Malden, MA to the late Ebert A. and Dorothy R. (Gerry) Holt, Rev. Holt graduated from Malden High and began his involvement in church life at Centre United Methodist Church where his parents worshipped. He received a B.A. from Union College (KY), and graduated from Drew University Theological School (NJ) in 1962 with a Masters in Divinity degree.

A lifetime of service as a United Methodist minister began as a student preacher and youth minister at three churches in KY, and continued over four decades at churches in Island Heights, NJ and in Byfield, Newburyport, Worcester, Oxford, Lynn, Chelmsford and Eastham, MA. He also served as Chaplain to the Newburyport and Oxford Fire Departments; at Oxford he was thrilled to serve as a volunteer firefighter. Don's social justice legacy extends to many organizations. He saw the inauguration of affordable senior housing in Oxford while Chair of the Oxford Housing Authority, and involved his congregations over the years in civil rights marches, Habitat for Humanity, the Nicaragua Covenant program, and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) activities, among many other organizations.

Don was an avid mountain climber for almost half a century, often accompanied by his best friend and brother-in-law Rev. James Todd. Together they climbed mountains from Mt. Washington in NH to the Colorado Rockies. Before dementia limited his speech and mobility, Don played a mean hand of cribbage, collected elephants, loved camping, could not resist adding books to his collection of thousands, and was proud to wear both the chaplain's collar and a fireman's helmet. Don will be remembered for his enthusiastically off-key singing, his huge bear hugs, and his heart for God and others.

Don is survived by his beloved wife of 13 years, Pastor Deborah Buck Fulcher Holt of Chatham, MA, and his children with Ruth (Krebs) Holt: Barry Holt of Arlington, MA and his wife Jennifer Nelson; Donna Holt of Darien, CT and her husband James Archibald; Thomas Holt of Dudley, MA and his wife Pamala; his grandchildren: Nikki, Sam and Annie Archibald; TJ, Jimmy and Daniel Holt; and Jackson Schilling. He is also survived by his loving sister Priscilla Holt West of Ada, OH, and his step-children and their families: Sharon Fulcher Rieck and her husband Harry of Easton, MD and their sons Will and Benny; Gregory Fulcher and his wife Petra Steinbuchel of San Francisco and many nieces, nephews and extended family members. He was pre-deceased by his second wife, the late Norma MacDonald Holt, and his adored aunt, Laureita (Babe) Crombie.Don's family would like to recognize with gratitude the staff of both Cape Regency and Beacon Hospice for their devoted care and concern for Don these past several years. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don's name to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087.