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October 16, 1946 ~ December 7, 2017 (age 71)

Virgil F. Holt, Jr., 71, died on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at his home in Eureka of natural causes.  He was born on October 16, 1946 in Gallup, New Mexico to Virgil F. Holt, Sr. and Tula Dale Wilcox Holt. 

Virgil attended Texas A & M University where he studied Economics; and graduated from Texas Tech University, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.

Virgil enlisted for six years with the United States Marine Corps Reserve, then Lance Corporal Holt transferred to the Reserve Officer Candidate Program in Quantico, Virginia. He was subsequently appointed to the grade of Second Lieutenant and enrolled in the Platoon Leaders Class (Aviation) at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida. Virgil was discharged prior to his six years' commitment by reason of a medical diagnosis of “gastric/peptic ulcer disease” and medically discharged.


Virgil and Debi met each other through mutual friends in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and began dating in 1980. They were married in Cedar Key, Florida on March 25, 2000.

Virgil primarily worked for OEM aircraft manufacturing companies:  Lockwood Aviation, Micco Aircraft, DMS Manufacturing, Inc., and Lanshe Aerospace, LLC.  He held various positions: Plant Manager, Director of Purchasing and Inventory Control, Project Manager, R&D Prototyping, Company Demonstration and Test Pilot, and Chief Operating Officer (COO). He also owned and operated successful businesses in retail, construction, manufacturing and aviation (Blue Sky Hot Air Balloon Co., Ltd.).  Virgil and his wife, Debi, purchased Alpenglow Marine Lights, LLC, the company founded and operated for over twenty years by Eureka residents, Bob and Marie Stoeckley. After his heart attack approximately four years ago, the Holts sold Alpenglow Lights to their good friends, Chris and Larry Stevens, the current owners of Alpenglow Marine Lights, LLC, keeping the business operating here in our valley. 

Virgil was a commercial Pilot with the following ratings:  Single and Multi-engine (including Turbine and Tail Wheel); Instrument; DC-3; and Commercial Lighter-Than-Air Free Balloon.  He obtained certification to fly Hot Air Airships in the U.K.  He was a hang glider pilot, a skydiving instructor and an expert in Marksmanship, USMCR.  He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the United States Parachute Association, and EAA, the Sport Aviation Association.

Virgil was a man of substance, with a wonderful sense of humor and a profound sense of friendship.  He was interested and interesting.  Often a bit of a rascal, he was sometimes an instigator who enjoyed “stirring the pot” – always with good humor, never in a mean way.  He enjoyed playing golf, sailing on Lake Koocanusa, and traveling with his wife, Debi, who have each loved one another for more than half of their lives.  They were traveling companions who shared the adventure of exploring new countries and places, and the people, the history, scenery, and foods of those places.  Virgil and Debi were true partners in life and in love.


So many of you in the Eureka community came out to Virgil and Debi when they arrived in this valley in the early 1980's with such genuine, incredible warmth and friendship, and they are forever grateful for your generosity of spirit!

 Virgil was preceded in death by his parents Dale and Virgil F. Holt, Sr.; Uncle Forrest and Aunt Gwen Casey; and many Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents.

Survivors include his wife Deborah, Eureka; a sister Jolyne McGregor; nephew Jeff McGregor; grandniece Christyn and grandnephew Garrett; nephew John (Rebecca) McGregor; grandnieces  Madeline and Lauren; and a cousin Truman (Barbie) Casey, all living in Texas.

A celebration of life will be announced in the spring of 2018.  Arrangements are by Schnackenberg & Nelson Funeral Home in Eureka.  Online condolences and memories may be shared at


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