William J. Holt, Sr., aged 85 died at 2:09 on March 21, 2021 in Moultrie, Georgia. He was born April 12, 1935 in Sturgis Kentucky, and lived his adult life in Murray, Kentucky and Moultrie, Georgia.
He was proceeded in death by his father, William H. Holt, Jr., his mother Velma Holt Simpson, his loving stepfather, Leiter H. Simpson, his brother Kenneth David Holt and his wife Vickie Holt, all of Sturgis Kentucky and a granddaughter, Mary Holt Statom, of Moultrie, Georgia.
He is survived by his wife Patricia, three children, Margaret Allyson Steffen and her husband, Chuck Steffen of Atlanta, Georgia, Amanda Holt and William J. Holt Jr. and his wife Dr. Amber Holt all of Moultrie, Georgia: three grandchildren, Brendan Steffen and his wife Sara, Catie Statom, and Eleanor Holt. He is also survived by a sister, Margaret Holt Chapman, several nephews, nieces and several great nephews and nieces.
He was an outstanding football player and team captain of the 1952 Sturgis Golden Bears WKC Championship team. He also served as class president all four years. He received a scholarship to the University of Kentucky ad played on the freshman team for legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. When Coach Bryant left for Texas A&M after his freshman year, he transferred to Western Kentucky University where he played for three years and was named to the first All Ohio Valley Football Team his senior year. He married his college sweetheart Patricia Adams, from Mayfield, Kentucky, and served as a graduate assistant football coach at Western in 1957-58 and received his M.A. degree.
He served two years as an assistant high school coach and accepted an assistant football coaching position at Murray State in 1960. He wore many hats during his 35 years at MSU. He retired as a tenured associate professor for HPER in 1993. He was revered as a hardnosed player’s coach for seventeen years. Throughout the years of his retirement, he has received countless calls and visitations from his former players.
He was primarily responsible for developing the curriculum at MSU for the major in Recreation and Parks Administration. He served as director of Project Apollo, a program patterned after Outward Bound that served disadvantaged Upward Bound high school students from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Micronesia in the Land Between the Lakes. It was a joint agency grant program between Murray State, TVA, and USOE and was refunded an unprecedented three times over nine years by USOE. He ended his career by serving as Director of the Bill Cherry Expo Center for nine years. He was an avid golfer and a lifetime member of the Murray County Club, serving twice on the Board of Directors. He was an accomplished woodworker with his early American furniture and turned bowls scattered throughout the Purchase area.
There will be no visitation and no funeral. A family burial will follow later. Whitsell Funeral Home of Sturgis Kentucky will be in charge of the funeral arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Colquitt Regional Hospice, PO Box 3548, Moultrie, GA 31776 and or the Moultrie/Colquitt County Humane Society the Mary Holt Room, PO Box 2915, Moultrie, GA. 31776.
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