Cover photo for W. Paul  Holt Jr.'s Obituary
W. Paul  Holt Jr. Profile Photo

W. Paul Holt Jr.

d. June 28, 2018

William Paul Holt, Jr. of Sylva, NC passed quietly on June 28, 2018.

Paul was born in Greensboro, North Carolina July 29, 1929 to William Paul Holt Sr. and Margaret Fitchett Holt.

Paul was a graduate of Greensboro Sr. High School. He entered Guilford College in 1947 and after two years transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated with a degree in business in 1951. Following graduation, he joined the United States Army and served for two years. He was honorably discharged in 1953 and entered Law School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduation Paul joined the Law firm of Hall and Thornburg, in Sylva, taking cases in nearly every subject and jurisdiction. During his career he served as the attorney for the Jackson County Board of Commissioners for 27 years. He served as the attorney for the Jackson County School Board for 50 years and represented Harris Regional Hospital for 25 years.

Paul was also active in many organizations after he arrived in Sylva. He served as the President of the Rotary Club and the Jaycees. Aside from his family and law practice, Paul’s passion for Southwestern Community College was unparalleled. He was a founding Board Member of Southwestern Technical Institute in 1964 (now Southwestern Community College). He served in a leadership capacity for 54 years. During his Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees he started a Foundation. Since the inception, the Foundation has raised millions of dollars for scholarships  for the people of Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties.

In 1965 Paul volunteered as a founding member of the Board of Directors for Mountain Projects, a Community action agency that provides services for the under-served citizens of Jackson and Haywood Counties.

Paul was elected the President of Jackson Savings Bank in March of 2004 after many years of service as a Board Member. He was still active in the day to day workings of the bank at the time of his passing. In 2015 Paul was recognized by the North Carolina Banking Association for his dedicated services to the banking industry for more than 55 years.

In 2009 Paul was presented the prestigious Citizen Lawyer of the Year award by the North Carolina Bar Association which recognizes and thanks lawyers who, in addition to their legal work, exemplify the ideals of a citizen lawyer by volunteering their time for worthy community or civic causes to improve the quality of life of those in their local communities.

In 2018 Paul was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Roy Cooper.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Patricia McMahan Holt, and a son, Andrew Patrick Holt. He is survived by his wife Brenda Allison Holt, his son William Paul (Flip) Holt, III and his wife Cindy Mann Holt of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, his sister Kitty Robison and husband George of Greensboro, NC. Paul is fortunate to also have had in his life step children Gary Oliver and wife Debbie of Abilene, TX, Bobby Oliver and wife Liz of Morganton, NC, Jayne Oliver Woodyard and husband Woody of Woodstock, GA and Mandy Oliver Taylor and husband Shane of North Wilkesboro, NC along with numerous nephews, nieces and step grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm at Southwestern Community College Auditorium. The family will speak with friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Southwestern Community College Foundation in memory of W. Paul Holt Jr. 447 College Dr. Sylva, NC 28779.

An online registry is available at:

Appalachian Funeral Services is serving the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of W. Paul Holt Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Final Resting Place

Fairivew Memorial Gardens

Fairview Rd, Sylva, NC 28779

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