‹ Return to Current Obituaries
Send FlowersHand delivered by a local florist
Send a Sympathy Card
Plant Memorial Trees


Appalachian Funeral Services
Saturday July 9th, 2022
6:00pm - 8:00pm

View Details

Celebration of Life

Appalachian Funeral Services
Sunday July 10th, 2022

View Details

Order Flowers now for guaranteed delivery before Brenda 's visitation.

Brenda Oliver Holt

Brenda Ann Allison Oliver Holt, RN,  80, of 136 First Avenue, Sylva, died Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at Solace Hospice in Asheville.  Mrs. Holt  was the first woman elected mayor of Sylva serving as mayor from 1992 until 2009.  Before becoming mayor, Mrs. Holt was also the first woman to serve on the town’s city council, first joining the board in 1981.   Mrs. Holt’s extensive public service included numerous other community action and public service organizations and garnered her many recognitions. Among those recongonitions are the Head Start Center Dedication in her honor on January 27, 2006  as well as being named to the North Carolina Community Action Association Hall of Fame in 2021. Beyond her extensive public service, Mrs. Holt worked for 38 years in nursing in neonatal, school and surgical nursing before eventually retiring as Director of Surgical Services at Sylva’s Harris Regional Hospital in 1998.  She was a 1961 graduate of  the University Of Tennessee School Of Nursing.
Mrs. Holt was born Brenda Ann Allison on August 28, 1941 in Morgan County, Alabama and is the daughter of the late Johnnie Hugh and Roena Pettit Allison.  She was preceded in death by two husbands, James Edward Oliver, M.D., married 1965 – 1993, and William Paul Holt, Jr., married 2002 – 2018. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Mary Evelyn Allison, and three sons, Jimmy Oliver, Francis Oliver and Andrew Holt and one great-grandson, Oliver Ryder Iberra. 
Mrs. Holt is survived by daughter Lora Gayle Rector and husband, Gene Rector of Kannapolis; sons Gary Oliver and wife, Debbie of Abilene, Texas; Bobby Oliver and wife, Liz of Morganton; William Paul Holt III (Flip) and wife, Cindy of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida;  and daughters  Jayne Woodyard and husband, Dr. James (Woody) Woodyard, of Woodstock, Georgia and Dr. Mandy Taylor and husband, Dr. Larry Shane Taylor, of North Wilkesboro.
Mrs. Holt is survived by eight grandchildren:  Emily Rector Harmon and husband John Wesley, of Greensboro;  Megan Rector Griffin and husband Brad, of Mt. Pleasant;  Zane Oliver of Raleigh and fiance Jillian Dunbar; Dakota Oliver of Morganton; Mary Catherine Woodyard Iberra and husband, Jacob Iberra; Ethan Woodyard and Andrew Woodyard all of Woodstock, Georgia; and Michelle Oliver of Abilene, Texas; and five great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are encouraged to be made to the Brenda Oliver Holt Scholarship Endowment at Southwestern Community College, The Community Table of Sylva, or Mountain Projects.

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


A candle was lit in memory of Brenda Holt

Linda Jiles Servoss Sep 19 2022 2:14 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Brenda Holt

James Coleman Buchanan Aug 10 2022 9:57 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Brenda Holt

Kathryn Barnes Aug 3 2022 10:35 PM

Richard and I are saddened by Brenda’s passing. What a gal! We all will miss her. Love to all of the family.

Patricia Berne Jul 29 2022 2:24 PM

Brenda was a true servant-leader, She will be greatly missed.

Lorna Barnett Jul 16 2022 8:37 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Brenda Holt

Angie Mathis Stanley Jul 14 2022 3:43 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Brenda Holt

Ellen Heim Jul 13 2022 8:06 PM

My deepest condolences to the family. Brenda was always a light in everyone's life and she will always be remembered for the wonderful person she was. God speed, dear Brenda, may you twinkle on in our heavenly sky from now to eternity.

Linda Gillman, Ph.D. Jul 13 2022 2:02 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Brenda Holt

Barbara & Joe Hamilton Jul 12 2022 6:45 PM

It was a priveledge to have known Brenda. She was gracious, kind and beautiful. Prayers of love and comfort for her family.

Linda Powell Jul 11 2022 10:59 PM

Show More Entries