Leon Conrad Holt Jr.
1925 - 2020
BORN
1925
DIED
2020
FUNERAL HOME
J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home Inc.
1601 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA
Leon "Lee" Holt died peacefully at the age of 95 on September 13, 2020, while residing at Kirkland Village. He was the devoted husband of the late June Weidner Holt. Leon was born on June 19, 1925 in Reading, PA. He is the son of the late Leon C. Holt and Elizabeth (Bright) Holt, both of Reading, PA. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1948, and received his law degree from University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1951. He worked for Air Products and Chemicals Inc. for 33 years.

Lee was in the Navy during WWII. From November 1943 to June 1946, he served as a navigator and radar officer on a troop transport in both the Atlantic and Pacific. He entered Lehigh University in October, 1946, where he was sentinel of Alpha Tau Omega and a member of the Metallurgical Society. He earned his B.S. in materials science and engineering in 1948. Before his senior year in college, he married June W. Holt.

In 1951, Leon and June moved to New York City, where Lee practiced law with the Wall Street firm of Mudge, Stern, Williams & Tucker and with American Oil Co. In 1957, he accepted a position at Air Products as an engineer/lawyer, and the couple settled in the Lehigh Valley to raise their family. Rising through the ranks, Lee retired as Vice Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer of Air Products & Chemicals in 1990. He also served as chairman of the Air Products Foundation and a director of the VF Corporation.

In 1988, Leon and his family established the Holt Family Foundation to give back to the community. Lee continued to go to the office three days a week until he was 87. While the Foundation was spent down in 2012, he continued to support the local organizations dearest to his heart.

Serving also as trustee and chair of The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust, Leon helped transform the small local Lehigh Valley Hospital into the modern regional Lehigh Valley Health Network that it is today. And after a 40-year plus tenure as a Rider-Pool Foundation trustee, he was assigned the title of Chairman Emeritus. Other community activities included being a member of the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and of the Allentown Art Museum, for which he served as president from 1988 to 1992. Additionally, the Holts actively supported The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the Baum School of Art, and the Wildlands Conservancy, among others. Leon was a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Law and Economics at Penn Law School, and served on the board of overseers for nearly a decade. He also served on the board of trustees of the Committee for Economic Development. Lee was passionate about global learning, so he established the Holt Family Endowed International Internship Fund at Lehigh University, as well as an endowment for the Leon C. and June W. Holt Lecture Series in International Law at University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Leon was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator, Allentown. He was an avid fly-fisherman and a member of the Upper Tunk Fishing Club, serving as president for many years. He also enjoyed skiing, which he did well into his 70s. Lee loved traveling with his wife and family, and spending summers with his family in the Poconos.

Surviving him are two children, Deborah Holt Weil and Richard Weidner Holt; five grandchildren, Michael Holt Weil (Greta Richter), Stephen Holt Weil, James Richard Holt, Emily Nicole Holt, and Olivia Leigh Holt; and two great-grandchildren, Holt Richter Weil and Ryan Hollis Weil. He was predeceased by June W. Holt, his loving wife of 70 years, and a baby granddaughter, Leigh Nicole Holt. He was a devoted family man and constant citizen who will be sorely missed.

A private memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 26, at The Episcopal Church of the Mediator in Allentown. Arrangements by J.S. Burkholder Funeral Home, Allentown. www.jsburkholder.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to The Allentown Art Museum, 31 North Fifth Street, Allentown, PA 18101.
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Published by Morning Call on Sep. 20, 2020.
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10 Entries
How I Remember Lee Holt.
As his successful career and his many achievements and honors attest, Lee Holt was a very special person. I am constantly grateful that he was my mentor and my colleague at Air Products as well as a good friend for many years.
Lee and I met in 1970 when he, as General Counsel of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc in Allentown, Pennsylvania, first interviewed me for a new position on his legal staff to be based in Belgium. As I soon learned, Lee had considerable discretion in hiring new lawyers, with perhaps only a nod from Leonard Poole, the founding Chairman. On the basis of that interview, I was hired for a larger position that he then created for me as the General Counsel for Europe, based in London and heading up several services. His first brief letter remained the contractual basis of my career as a member of the Air Products law department for the next eighteen years, but my work with Lee was really based on trust, friendship and shared values.
Lee Holt was as good a chief lawyer and general administrator as any company would wish to have. He was not only a fine lawyer, an engineer by training and a keen student of business finance and economics. He was a calm, amiable and wise counsellor and friend to all his colleagues at all levels. I and the other members of his legal staff were deeply devoted to him, and most remained with him for many years. His instinctive regard for duty and loyalty to his company, to his community and to his friends greatly motivated his diligence and attention to detail. His broad reach of interests was fed by a nimble intellectual curiosity and a strong empathy and tolerance for the feelings of others. His broad experience and reading generated his thoughtful private views about many subjects, but he avoided ruffling others with his opinions. His ready smile, his relaxed and unpretentious good manners, his attentive concern and his natural kindliness made him an outstanding and very popular motivator and coordinator of many community activities to which he and June devoted much of their time.
Lee’s marriage with June was an essential pillar of his life. Her practical intelligence and insight, her energy and efficiency, her vivaciousness and good humor were sustaining qualities that endeared her to everyone. June was a joyful person and that is how I remember her and her kindness.
It is thus with much admiration and affection that I remember Lee and June Holt.
Marc Loost. London, 3rd October 2020
Marc J Loost
Coworker
October 3, 2020
The way I like to remember my Dad.
Rick Holt
Son
September 22, 2020
Dear Rick and Jimmy,
My deepest sympathy for you and your family.
Sincerely,
Valerie (Barber) Chambers
Valerie Chambers
Friend
September 22, 2020
Carol Strogen
September 21, 2020
One of my fondest memories as a young guy was going fishing with Mr Holt and Rick. And visiting at their beautiful home across from the Rose Garden in Allentown. That was a "few" years ago. I am so sorry for your loss.
Kip Panko
Friend
September 20, 2020
My thoughts are with Debi and Rick and their families at this time. Blessings on you all.
Robert Pharo
Friend
September 20, 2020
We have such fond memories of our interactions with Lee and June, both with Air Products and later, with Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley. They were lovely people and will be so missed. It is comforting that they now are together. May his Memory be Eternal.
Harry and Carol Dimopoulos
Coworker
September 20, 2020
Dear Debbie and Rick, and your respective children,
I am so sorry for the loss of your Father and Grandfather. I will always remember him as a gentleman in every sense of the word. Two of my fondest memories were of watching him sailboard on Pocono Lake when he and your Mom joined us for a little picnic lunch on the island, and when he took us to fish the Tunk. Very special treat I will never forget. May he rest in peace with your Mom.
Love to all,
Cindy
Cindy Lambert
Friend
September 20, 2020
So sorry to hear of his passing,Mr Holt was a client of mine for years and always brightened the day with a visit of phone call,class act and gentleman always with a bit of insightful advice always there for me,the world needs more men like him
John Moses
Acquaintance
September 20, 2020
Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace.
September 20, 2020
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