HOLT, William Franklin "Bill", of Winter Haven passed away peacefully, Friday, February 28, from heart failure, at his home, surrounded by his children. He was 86. Bill was born in Tampa, Florida on December 30, 1927 to Sara Alice (Mills) Holt and Ulysses "Jack" Holt. Growing up in Tampa, he was known to everyone as Billy. He attended Mitchell Elementary, Woodrow Wilson Junior High, Jesuit High School and graduated from Florida Military Academy in St. Petersburg. He attended the University of Florida and Florida Southern College and graduated from the Cincinnati College of Embalming (now The Cincinnati School of Mortuary Science). He served in the US Army Paratroops of the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II and was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. During this time, he was a center for the National Service Championship Football Team. He was recalled during the Korean Conflict in 1956. Bill was the owner of Lane-Holt Funeral Home in Haines City and Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home in Winter Haven. Bill was extremely active in the community. He was Chairman of the Board of Heart of Florida Hospital, a board member of the Winter Haven Hospital Foundation and of Polk County Hospital (Bartow). He was Chairman of Mid-Florida Home Health Visiting Nurse Service, on the Board of Trustees of Mid-Florida Medical Services, Inc. Foundation. He was a board member of Barnett Bank and Chairman of the Audit Committee there for 20 years. He was President of the Kiwanis Club in Haines City, the Florida Club and a member of Masonic Lodge 219 in Haines City and a Shriner. He was on the Polk County Juvenile Home Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross. He was a member of the Lake Region Yacht and Country Club, the Alpha Tau Omega Alumni Club and the Winter Haven Skeet and Trap Club. Bill was honored as the Haines City Chamber of Commerce's "Person of the Year" and by the Woodmen of the World with the "Outstanding Citizen" award. He was a member of St. Paul's Epsicopal Church in Winter Haven. Bill's love for the outdoors was well known. He was an avid hunter and skeet shooter. He was a member of Club Limited and hunted throughout the world. In 1965, he won both the 20 gauge and the Two Man Class "D" events in the World Skeet Championship in Savannah, Georgia. He was on both the Two Man and the Five Man 12 gauge 1970 Florida State Skeet Championship Teams. Bill was preceded in death by his first wife, Eugenia Gibson "Sug" (Lane) Holt and grandson, William Gibson "Gib" Holt. He is survived by his wife, Joan Higgins Holt; his children, Dave Lane Holt of Winter Haven, Chris Holt Brown (Hoe) of Tampa, Lucy Holt Ciaravella (Philip) of Tallahassee, Kerrin P. Kuhn of Winter Park, Robert W. Kuhn (Kim) of Tallahassee and Michael H. Kuhn of New York; grandchildren, Caroline Ervin, Joseph and Christina Ciaravella, Thomas and Anna Holt and Owen and Ben Kuhn; as well as his great-grandchildren Brittany, Haley and Penelope. Bill's family would like to thank Dr. Alan Gasner, Gessler Clinic, Dr. Michele McClendon, Bond Clinic and the staff of Fresenius Dialysis Center for their excellent care and kindness. A special thank you is extended to his loving caregivers, Suzanne Dubie and Shalasha Faniel. A visitation will be held Tuesday March 4, 2014 at Oak Ridge Funeral Care, Winter Haven, from 5 to 8 PM. A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Oak Ridge Funeral Care, Winter Haven at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Avenue, Auburndale, Fl. 33823 or the Humane Society of Polk County, 555 Sage Road, Winter Haven, Fl. 33881.
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Published in TBO.com on Mar. 2, 2014
Oak Ridge Funeral Care
2425 Havendale Boulevard Winter Haven, FL 33881