Douglas Franklin Holt passed away peacefully at the Cottage Grove Gardens Health Center on June 22, 2014, at the age of 94. Fu-neral Mass will be 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at Immaculate Conception Cath-olic Church, Cedar Rapids. Inurnment will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery, with military honors. Entrusted with the arrangements is Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home.
His passing was preceded by his loving wife, Eris Fay Holt, who lost her battle with cancer in 1981, and two daughters, Ramona and Rachel, lost in infancy.
He is survived by his remaining sister, Ethel; his sons, Glen, Bruce, David and Brian; his daughters, Mary, Annie and Theresa; 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The tough, ever-loyal, and devoted Douglas never remarried, preferring to raise his two youngest on his own.
Douglas began his life on Oct. 7, 1919, in the Decorah, Iowa, area, son of Elmer and Eva Thornton Holt, who ran a creamery and grocery store before their retirement. The bright and industrious Douglas became an entrepreneur at an early age, growing and selling popcorn and making deliveries for the local butcher shop. He attended Decorah High and played on the varsity football team and also was a natural athlete, excelling in several school sports.
After graduating in 1938, Douglas proudly joined the Navy. His aptitude for mechanics was noted and furthered as he continued his education on board ship, studying his superior officer's Texas A & M textbooks during his off-duty hours. In his capacity as mechanical navy chief, with an ending rank of CWO 4, he served six years during World War II aboard what would become one of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's flagships. Among the USS Boise's distinguishing accomplishments the ship fired more shots with her 6-inch guns than any other ship during the war. It is also notable that the USS Boise was involved in every major engagement, both in the Mediterranean and Pacific war theaters. His supporting role in these efforts were running and maintaining the ships power systems. He also served as mechanic and crew member for the captains' gig and mail boats.
After the war ended, Douglas transferred to Reserves, where he served our country an additional 27 years until his military retirement. Douglas won many medals and awards during his military service.
Douglas ran the massive boilers at the Sixth Street Power Plant that provided the majority of electricity for Cedar Rapids at that time. Douglas worked at this Iowa Electric Plant, now known as Alliant, until his retirement after 37 years.
Douglas had a civic-minded side as well. He was instrumental in opening the Reservist Navy Training Station in Cedar Rapids. Mr. Holt also was an establishing leader for Troop 1 of the local chapter of Boy Scouts. He was a lifelong member of the Immaculate Conception Diocese, a life member of the USS Boise Association, the Fleet Reserve Association, the Reserve Officer Association and the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed camping, gardening, traveling and pinochle and was wicked at Hamilton Rummy.
Online condolences may be left at www.cedar memorial.com under "obituaries."
Posted on Sunday, 13 July 2014