Elspeth J. “Beth” Holt of Fort Myers, FL died peacefully in her sleep on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, at the age of 99 ½. She was born in Allegheny County, PA on March 10, 1922, the daughter of the late Merle D. and Elsie J. Jordan.
Beth’s first position was as a “schoolmarm” in a rural one-room school house. She later became an English teacher for Hampton Township in Allison Park, just north of Pittsburgh. Having moved to Erie in the early 60’s, she pursued her master’s degree at Gannon University, and then served the Millcreek Township School District for 25 years as a guidance counselor at McDowell High School.
Beth had a number of musical and artistic talents. She was a harmony vocalist for Sweet Adelines (the women's counterpart to men’s barbershop music), serving for a number of years as Member, President, and even Director. She sang in various church choirs throughout the years and was an accomplished piano accompanist. She served Palmetto Palms RV Resort in Fort Myers, FL, as 20-year volunteer, acting as Historian, Choir Director, Library Secretary, and eventually authoring “Romancing Palmetto Palms,” the definitive 10-year history of the park. But Beth was also an extraordinary craftswoman, who worked with every conceivable medium: from painting in oils and pastels, to paper and wood decoupage, creative sewing, embroidering, knitting, and, in later years, actually handcrafting teddy bears.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Ruth, in 1981, and by her husband, Walter S. Holt, in 2014, a marriage that lasted 70 years. She is survived by her son, Kenneth D. Holt; daughter, Nancy R. Koerner and her husband, Ken; four grandchildren, Susan M. Holt, Julian Sherrard, Kevin M. Holt, and Vanessa Y. Ouimette; nine great-grandchildren, Lonzelle, Gyula, and Freeda Sherrard; Laz, Ki, and Gabe York; Avery J. Ouimette, and Parker C. and Jasper J. Holt.
The family extends its deepest gratitude to Barrington Terrace Assisted Living of Fort Myers, and to the extraordinary efforts of Hope Hospice of Fort Myers.
The Glunt Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Edinboro, is in charge of funeral arrangements.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 1:30PM at a private residence in Naples, FL. Inurnment of ashes will be held graveside at Erie County Memorial Gardens in Erie, PA sometime in the summer of 2022.
Charity donations in Beth’s name may be made to The Conservancy of Southwest Florida for the organization’s tireless efforts in defending our Florida waters and wildlife. https://conservancy.org/donate/
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