Remembering Charles Holt

Published 8:18 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

Editorial by Dawn Burleigh


Each week, like clockwork, I would receive an email.

In all honesty, I receive a great deal of emails each week, but for years I have received an email from this man, by noon, on Tuesday.

The man is Reverend Charles Holt. He was one of the two religion columnists we published when I returned to The Orange Leader. We have since added more.

As with all our religion columnist, he offered insight to scriptures and helped bring us closer to the word of God.

On occasion, he had stopped by the office and we would talk.

More than once, over the years, he wrote something, which touched me in my heart causing me to look at the world differently.

In all fairness, all the religion columnists have accomplished this more than once.

One week, I noticed I did not have a column from Holt and, at first, thought he must be having trouble with his computer again.

The next week, again, no email.

I grew concerned. This was not the norm for him.

I realized how little I knew about him. I did not know if he was married, had children or was living alone. The more I thought about it the more concerned I became, prompting me to contact him by phone.

I reached his daughter who explained the situation. It only took a moment to realize she thought I was calling because I was upset over not receiving the columns when I was just trying to find out if he was all right. Fortunately, I was able to communicate the real purpose of the call.

Each week after the call, Sharon “SK” Clark, his daughter, would email his column in and give me an update on how Holt was doing.

Tuesday, I received his last column, appropriately called No Regrets. It is published on A5 of this edition. It was also in this email Clark informed me of Holt’s passing earlier in the day.

This grieving daughter took the time to email me just hours after losing her father. I am not sure I could say I could do the same if we had switched places. When I lost my dad, I was on vacation from work. I was beside myself with grief and grateful I did not immediately have to return to work. So for her to email the column the same day says a great deal of how important the weekly column was to him.

One of his sons will have a column next week as a tribute to Charles Holt.

I am honored to have known Holt and blessed for having read his columns weekly for several years.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m., Saturday, November 5, 2016, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.

A celebration of life will be December 10, 2016, with a time and location announced at a later date, according to his obituary.

Please keep Virginia Holt, his wife of 67 years, his children and their spouses Sandra J. Newman, of Mesa, AZ, Sharon “SK” Clark and husband Larry, of Scottsdale, AZ, Larry C. Holt and wife Barbara, of Orange, Michael D. Holt and wife Emily, of Arona, Italy, Ronald A. Holt and wife Tish, of Petaluma, CA, and Dwight W. Holt, of Puyallup, WA; grandchildren, Kameron, Kairrie, Aaron, Jason, Ryan, Lee, Katie, Kristen, Kandice, Kareese, Joshua, Zackary, and Eden; 9 great-grandchildren; and his brother, Michael S. Holt in our prayers.

Dawn Burleigh is editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at