Sunday, May 13, 2001

Obituary: Frederic Rood "Bud" Holt - Class of 1930

JANESVILLE [Wisconsin] - Frederic Rood Bud" Holt, a respected Wisconsin educator for more than 40 years, died at age 88 in Cambridge, Wisconsin, on Friday, May 4, 2001. His last position was as superintendent of schools in Janesville. Mr. Holt was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, on July 18, 1912, to Grace Rood Holt and Frank O. Holt. He grew up in Edgerton, Janesville and Madison. He graduated from Madison Central High School in 1930, where he played basketball and football and was on the debate team. In 1934, Mr. Holt graduated in history from UW-Madison. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and the Iron Cross, an honorary fraternity. He received a master's degree from the UW in 1938. In 1940, he married Harriet Oldenburg in Madison. Together, as they lived in Wisconsin towns, they were dedicated community members. Mr. Holt began his education career in Sheboygan, where he taught social studies and speech and coached football, basketball, tennis and debate. In 1941, he became principal of Richland Center High School, then moved to Boscobel in 1945 to become superintendent of schools. He was superintendent for West Bend public schools from 1948 until 1959, and for Janesville public schools from 1959 until his retirement in 1978. He had treasured memories of each community. As an educator, he followed his father, Frank O. Holt, an administrator and director of public service at UW-Madison from 1927 until 1948, who was well known for promoting the "Wisconsin Idea" of the UW serving the state's people. Fred Holt continued to work closely with the UW in bringing innovative practices to his school districts. Mr. Holt was a dynamic leader and compassionate humanitarian. After his retirement, he was selected as one of Wisconsin's 10 most admired senior citizens in 1987. He helped children learn to read, headed a volunteer services bureau, and counseled youth in heed. Mr. Holt was an active member of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the NAACP, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Janesville Tennis Association and Kiwanis. He played golf and tennis into his 80s and was a loyal Badgers sp orts fan. He was a devoted and beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend. His great humor, insight and kindness will be missed. Mr. Holt is survived by his brother, Frank Jr., Milwaukee; and three children, James (Judy), Janesville, Robert (June), Anderson, Indiana, and Mary (Russ Van Herik), Winnetka, Illinois. He had six grandchildren, Wendy and Peter Holt, Ellen (Patrick) Holt-Werle, and Joe Hot, Craig Segall and Andrew Van Herik. Mr. Holt was preceded in death by his wife, Harriet, in 1985; his parents; and a sister, Gwen George Field), Tulsa, Oklahoma. A memorial service will he held at 10:00 a.m. oh Saturday, May 19, 2001, at CARGILL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 2000 Wesley Ave., Janesville. If desired, memorials can be given to the University of Wisconsin Foundation, 1848 University Ave., PO Box 8860, Madison, WI 53708-8860, designated to the Holt Scholarship Fund, School of Education, in memory of Fred Holt. Schneider Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 13, 2001; submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968)


Craig said...

Fred Holt was my grandfather. He was a kind, loving, and deeply intelligent man. I still miss him very much.

D Strand said...

I taught at Janesville Craig in 1974-5. Fred Holt was the Superintendent of schools there then, but I never knew that I had so much in common with him: Edgerton, UW Madison, and other things. He must have been a very great man!

Anonymous said...

A great many people knew and loved my dad. He was so clearly compassionate and had a great sense of humor. He lived up to many ideals and, of course, as his daughter, I loved him.