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Roger Holton

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Roger L. Holton 1913-2011 Roger Lucius Holton, 97, passed away January 11, 2011 in Portland, Maine. Mr. Holton was born November 10, 1913 in Bennington, Vt., and was the second son of Leroy and Ada Bahan Holton. His middle namesake was inherited from his great grandfather Lucius Moody Holton (born 1826), who was the second generation of Holtons in Bennington and a cousin to American evangelist Dwight L. Moody. Mr. Holton attended private schools and was a foreman in the Civilian Conservation Corps before enlisting in the army in World War II where he served as master sergeant. He was assigned to the 50th AAA Brigade and was personally selected by Brigadier General Clare Hibbs Armstrong (who is buried at West Point) to participate in the top-secret "Antwerp X" operation to keep the port in Belgium open. General Armstrong and his hand picked team were successful in shooting down 98% of the bombs Hitler hurled at the all-important port of Antwerp, and history reveals that the war may well have been lost if that mission had failed. Following the war, Mr. Holton completed college and post-graduate studies and worked as principal at the schools in New Hampshire, N.Y., and Maine before becoming a minister in the late 1960's. After his retirement, he assisted in social services. His avocations included bird watching, collecting rocks and minerals (he served as president of Maine Mineralogical and Geological Society), painting, poetry, music, and gardening. The Holton greenhouses on School Street were a Bennington landmark for generations, and still exist at their relocation on South Street. The funeral and burial took place in Portland, Maine, and his survivors in the Bennington area include his former wife and the elder of their two sons, numerous cousins and friends. Mr. Holton's life was marked with an enduring awareness and appreciation of God's presence and goodness.

Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 22, 2011
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