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W. Paul Holt Jr.

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: www.appalachianfuuneralservices.com

Appalachian Funeral Services is serving the family.

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


Timothy Marks Aug 4 2018 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of W. Holt Jr.

Timothy Marks Aug 4 2018 12:00 AM

Mr. Holt was a friend in the end of our relationship he helped me thru a very hard time in my life. I will miss him. I still have the last letter he wrote me.It meant a lot to me he cared so much to ask how I was doing. also how I was getting along with my new wife.. I'm truly sad...

Timothy Marks Aug 4 2018 12:00 AM

Paul holds a very special place in our hearts. A wonderful friend we were Blessed to know.. Our deepest sympathies to Brenda and the family. May God give them comfort at this time.

Jean and Jim Hartbarger Jul 3 2018 12:00 AM

Mr. Paul Holt's leadership in education and service to Southwestern Community College left an indelible mark of improvement on the lives of the students and people of Western North Carolina and well beyond. He was a blessing to our institution and communities.

Delphia Birchfield Jul 3 2018 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of W. Holt Jr.

Delphia Birchfield Jul 3 2018 12:00 AM

Paul took a risk and hired me straight out of law school in 1990 for which I will always be grateful. I thought he was going to retire fairly soon, but Paul enjoyed the practice of law so much that it soon became apparent that retirement was not really a serious consideration. After a while when I told Paul I was going to start my own practice he was very gracious and supportive. He was a pillar of the Jackson County legal community, and will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered. Mark

Mark Melrose Jul 3 2018 12:00 AM

Paul was the attorney for over 50 years for three generations of my family: my grandmother Mrs. W.E. Grindstaff, my parents Peggy and Harold Grindstaff and me. Through the years, we always relied on Pauls integrity and wise counsel. But Paul was so much more than our family attorney, he was a close and trusted friend who will be greatly missed. Alice Grindstaff

Alice Grindstaff Jul 2 2018 12:00 AM

The citizens of western North Carolina as well as the state are the beneficiaries of Paul's dedication to public service.This is especially true for the thousands of graduates and students from Southwestern Community College where he served as a founding and lifetime member of the governing board. Paul was a forceful leader and advocate for access to affordable and accessible college education and training. While he will be missed, his legacy of dedication and determination will remain. Our deepest sympathies to family and friends. Cecil & Linda Groves

Cecil and Linda Groves Jul 2 2018 12:00 AM

There is no denying the love and admiration that I have for my Papa Holt aka my father in-law. As a result of my admiration many of my friends fell in love with a man they never met! As Dr Seuss said: Dont Cry Because Its Over - Smile Because It Happened. Papa Holts legacy will continue to touch the lives of many! Love my Papa Holt and am sad for me but happy he is resting in peace.

Cindy Holt Jul 1 2018 12:00 AM

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