Douglas Franklin Holt, 94, passed away peacefully at the Cottage Grove Gardens Health Center June 22, 2014. Funeral mass is at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids. Inurnment is at Mt. 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. The tough, ever-loyal and devoted Douglas never re-married, preferring to raise his two youngest on his own. Douglas began his life Oct. 7, 1919, in the Decorah 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 at 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 & Ms’ 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 WWII aboard what would become one of General Douglas Mac Arthurs’ flagships. Among the USS Boise’s distinguishing accomplishments, the ship fired more shots with her six-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 crewmember 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 6th 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 was also an establishing leader for Troop No. 1 of the local chapter of Boy Scouts. He was a life-long 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. 

He is survived by his remaining sister, Ethel, his sons; Glen, Bruce, David and Brian, daughters; Mary, Annie, Theresa, 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Eris Fay Holt; and two daughters, Ramona and Rachel, lost at infancy.
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