On Tuesday, May 25th, 2010, L.K. (Leemon) Holt Sr., formerly of Manila and a resident of Lawrence Hall Nursing Center in Walnut Ridge, witnessed the greatest change he has ever seen in his 101 years of life as he exited this earth and met his Savior face-to-face. Without a doubt, he heard the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"
He joins his wife of 59 years, Grace Isbell Holt (who died in 1989), sister Vernal Holt Isbell (who died in 1999), daughter Anita Wright (who died in 1989), and son Tim Holt (who died in 2004), as well as three grandchildren, Julianne Bollinger, Grace Roddy, and David Roddy. Leaving behind hundreds of people that have been impacted by the privilege of knowing him, he will be remembered with an abundance of wonderful memories.
He was born on December 30, 1908, in a community called Kings Mills near Ash Flat to James Monroe Holt and Rose Lee (Armstrong) Holt. Farming opportunities led his family to Bay where he met his wife and received his education before attending Arkansas Agriculture and Mechanical School (Arkansas A&M), which is now Arkansas State University where he was the oldest living alumnus of the Agriculture Department. Always being an advocate for education, he managed to gradually complete a degree in Agriculture from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in 1953, all the while raising a family of nine children on an 80 acre cotton farm in Manila where he spent nearly all of his adult life. He served his community well by holding an alderman position on the Manila City Council and by his faithful attendance and service at the First Baptist Church of Manila. Being employed by the Manila Public Schools for 38 years, he invested in the lives of countless students as he did everything from driving a school bus to serving as the High School Principal. But, perhaps the position that brought him the most joy was that of being the advisor for the Future Farmers of America. Farming was a way of life for him. He enjoyed time at his farm in Snow Lake, and he loved having a large garden. An avid outdoorsman, fishing and hunting were favorite activities of his. Most of his grandkids recall numerous trips with him to Big Lake in hopes of a bountiful catch on one of his trot-lines. Full of wisdom, he is remembered for the lessons he taught and by the example he sat to put God first.
This world is a better place because of the time he spent here, and lives were changed for the better by his influence. His family will miss him but are eternally grateful for the example he has always set for us. Rejoicing that he is with our Savior are his children, Rosa Lee and Sammy Bollinger of Manila, Louise and Pete Roddy of Jonesboro, Jim Wright of San Antonio, Texas, L.K. (Jr.) and Doris Holt of Snow Lake, Nancy and Danny Williams of Mabelvale, John and Linda Holt of Hoxie, Jane and Johnny Gaither of Walnut Ridge, Ann and Tony Berry of Sacramento, California, and Mary Holt of Dalhart, Texas. He has 29 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren, and 19 great-great grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be his 15 grandsons.
Funeral services was held Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Emerson Memorial Chapel. Burial was at Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery. Emerson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Visitation was Saturday from 1-2 p.m. at the funeral home.
Lasting memorials could be made to the Arkansas FFA Association, Three Capitol Mall, Luther S. Hardin Bldg., Little Rock, AR 72201, Phone: (501) 682-2561), the Manila Alumni Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 670, Manila, Arkansas, 72442, Arkansas Baptist Children's Homes and Family Ministries, P O Box 552, Little Rock AR 72203, or online at abchomes.org, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105, or online at www.stjude.org/donatenow.
An online guestbook can be signed at www.emersonfuneralhome.com.