Mar. 18, 1923 - Nov. 3, 2012
Jesse Ross Holt, of Bend, passed away November 3, 2012 while in hospice care after a short illness. He was 89.
"Ross" to his family, he was born in 1923 in Mahomet, Illinois, one of 13 children in a tenant-farming household. He graduated high school in 1941, lettering in football, baseball, and track. He joined the U.S. Army in 1942. The loss of an eye in a childhood accident made him ineligible for combat duty but he qualified as a Sharpshooter in the Infantry, served in the Military Police, the Medical Corps, and as an escort to deceased soldiers transported home for burial. In 1945, while stationed at Camp Carson, Colorado, Sgt. J.R. Holt met Sgt. Eileen Buck, WAC. After demobilization they were married in 1946 and moved to Garibaldi, Oregon to start a family. In 1948 Ross and family moved to Portland. Ross had a deep, resonant voice and studied radio production and broadcasting at Multnomah College. In 1949 the family moved to Bremerton, Washington, where Ross worked as a technician at Bangor Ammunition Depot while wife Eileen was a welder at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. In 1951 Ross transferred to Naval Torpedo Station Keyport and worked there until 1967, when he transferred to Naval Ordnance Systems Command HQ in Crystal City, Virginia, across the Potomac from Washington, DC. Ross and family resided in Oxon Hill and then Bowie, Maryland. He retired from the Federal Government in 1979 and with Eileen moved to Bend, where they bought property on Eagle Road, and lived with a fine view of the Cascades over the front pasture.
Ross was hard-working, methodical, and precise in everything he did. Despite a long career as a white-collar Navy Dept. logistician, he was always a farm boy at heart with many practical skills. He was an experienced horticulturist, knew animal husbandry, could build a shed or a cabinet, work leather, fix small engines, wire up plugs and switches, or sweat on a faucet. He was a quiet, dignified man but had a good sense of humor and would throw back his head and shout with laughter when he was tickled. He took pride in his appearance and always dressed smartly. He loved his family, the mountains, horses, cowboy boots and hats, and World Series baseball. He liked smoking cigars and particularly pipes, and his calm, meditative presence while puffing on a pipe is how many will remember him.
In addition to Eileen, his wife of 66 years, Ross is survived by his brother Ray Holt of Champaign, Illinois, daughter Susan Holt Fish of Lakewood, Washington, son Tim Holt of Rockville, Maryland, grandsons Jacob Ross Fish of Lakewood and Gavin Holt of Rockville, and granddaughter Jacqueline Holt of Rockville.
Memorial contributions may be made in Ross Holts name to Partners in Care Hospice in Bend; www.partnersbend.org