Rufus Jennings “R.J.” Holt, 73, of Orange passed away at his home on Aug. 25.
R.J. was born on Feb. 22, 1941 in Clare, La., to Ruth Evans and Jennings Holt. He spent his childhood in Sabine County, Texas and joined the military as a very young man.
R.J. served his country stateside as well as in France, Germany and in Vietnam, and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Combat Medical Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Good Conduct Medal (5thAwd), the Air Medal, the Aircraft Crewman Badge as well as the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
R.J. retired from the US Army after twenty years of proud service and moved to Orange in 1977. He worked briefly for the Orange County Drainage District and then settled into his second career with the Sabine River and Northern Railroad. RJ was ever industrious and had tremendous mechanical aptitude. He never met an engine, a piece of equipment or a structure that he couldn’t build, repair or improve. He loved to hunt and to fish and to help friends and family with a project – so long as they were willing to start at daylight.
R.J. is preceded in death by his parents; his step-father, Arlon Mitchell, his siblings, Wanda Tomlinson Webb, Charlene (Mattie) DuBose and her husband, Archie, Jim Holt and Charles Holt.
R.J. is survived by his wife, Mary Carolyn Holt; daughter, Elizabeth Jackson; son, Michael Holt, and his great pride, his only grandchild, Emily Jackson. He is also survived by his brother, Willie Holt; sisters, Betty Mitchell, Mattie Lea Maxey and her husband, Bobby, and Carolyn Martin and her husband, Tommy.
Visitation will be held Friday, Aug. 29, from 5.30 pm until 8.30 pm, at Dorman Funeral Home, with a gathering of friends and family to follow at 2001 Rein, in Orange.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 am, Saturday, Aug. 30, at Dorman Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Clearwater Cemetery in Florien, La.
Pallbearers will be Darian Armfield, Higinio Gonzalez, Jr., Dalton Lowe, BJ Perry, Bryce Perry and Bill Windham.
R.J.’s family is deeply grateful to the Southeast Texas Hospice team for their kind and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to; Clearwater Cemetery, c/o Ernestine Belsha, 552 Lakeside Loop, Florien, L., 71429; Southeast Texas Hospice, PO Box 2385, Orange, Tx. 77631 or the American Red Cross.