Hugh C. Holt

NO. 17726  •  14 Dec 1926 - 25 Jan 2004

Died in Charlottesville, VA
Inurned in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Hugh Carter Holt, Jr, was born in South Boston, VA, to Hugh Carter Holt, Sr., and Mary Bessie Lacy Holt, both of whom died before Hugh was 14 years old. The upside to this tragedy was that Hugh was very popular with his relatives, so he had his choice of families with which to live. He chose to live with Uncle William and Aunt Anne Lacy in Halifax, VA, which became Hugh’s hometown. That Hugh was well thought of in Halifax is evidenced by a friend’s recollection that "Hugh was always more advanced in his thinking whether it be how to play a prank on somebody or a better way to solve an impossible task. In sports, he was a fierce competitor, but he never seemed to work at his studies as hard as some but always got top grades."

In high school during 1940-44, Hugh was active in the Boy Scouts, Honor Council, and varsity athletics, receiving monograms in basketball and baseball. In his senior year he was president of his class and the Honor Council. At commencement he was awarded the Outstanding Athlete medal and the Balfour Key for citizenship, scholarship, and leadership.

Upon passing the Army aviation cadet examinations, Hugh got the opportunity to attend Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA, to study basic engineering. He then was assigned to Scott Field, IL, in April 1945 for cryptographers school. After this course, while awaiting orders for overseas, Hugh received an honorable discharge from the Army. He immediately received, and proudly accepted, a principal appointment to the Military Academy with the Class of '50. He then attended the Bullis School in Maryland to prepare for West Point.

As a cadet, Hugh was active in the French club and the hop committee. His leadership potential was recognized by his selection in First Class year as a cadet lieutenant, serving as second-in-command of Company L-1. On graduation in June 1950, Hugh was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Infantry. He then served in various command and staff assignments, including combat duty as a platoon leader in the 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, in Korea.

Hugh met his wife, Ann Reeves, during his cadet days. They married on 3 Nov 1951. Their first child, Elizabeth Ann, was born in 1952, followed by a son, Hugh Carter III, in 1953, both at Ft. Benning, GA. While overseas, another son, John David, was born in 1956. After returning to the United States, daughter Laura Lincoln was born in 1958.

Hugh's other overseas service included rifle company commander with the 39th Infantry Regiment in Germany and instructor at the Seventh Army NCO Academy in Munich. He served on the ROTC staff at Marion Military Institute, AL, in 1958-62. During 1963-64 he was one of two Army officers on the joint staff, Iceland Defense Force, and he spent 1966-69 in the Panama Canal Zone, serving as chief of Budget Division; commander of 3rd Battalion, 5th Infantry, and XO for the 193rd Infantry Brigade. During this assignment, Hugh attended Jumpmaster School and Jungle Operations Training. This training served him well in Viet Nam during 1969-70, when he served as the deputy commander, 3rd Brigade; commander of the 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division; and deputy commander, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division. He was the comptroller, Combat Development Command, during 1970-73 and in 1973-78 served as deputy chief of staff, Comptroller, USAREUR. From 1978 until his retirement as a colonel in 1980, he served in Germany as chief, Budget Division, ODCS, Resource Management, USAREUR. At retirement, Hugh held several decorations, inducting two Legions of Merit, a Bronze Star for Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Viet Nam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Parachutist Badge, and five campaign ribbons.

He was a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School’s Advanced and Airborne courses and of Command and General Staff College. In 1966, he earned an MBA degree from the University of Kentucky

Having lived in many homes during his Army career, Hugh and Ann returned to his boyhood home in Halifax, VA, upon his retirement. There they vowed not to budge except for a good game of golf or bridge not far from home. In Halifax, Hugh was the town administrator for eight years, a task he found "challenging and exceptionally rewarding." Because of the many improvements he instituted, he knew he left Halifax in good financial shape when he retired again in 1990.

The Holts' happy life was dealt a terrible blow when Ann died suddenly of a massive heart attack in 1995. She was Hugh’s hero, greatest supporter, faithful and loyal wife, and, above all, his best friend. Life improved when Hugh introduced Elizabeth "Betsy' Moore to the family. Betsy had lost her husband three years before, and she found Hugh to be good company. The connection between them dated back to their childhood, and Hugh and Betsy married in August 1996. With no children to raise or finances to worry about, they spent happy hours together with friends and family. Hugh’s health began to deteriorate, but all were hopeful, as he did not complain and remained cheerful. When he died, he went quickly; it seemed sudden only because he remained quiet about his pain and fatigue.

Hugh is missed by his beloved town, childhood friends, classmates, and by the Holt and Moore families. My dad was a strong and courageous soldier; an honorable, respectful man; and a gentle, understanding, tolerant, loving father. I miss him so.

- His daughter Libby