Jim was born in Wichita, Kansas on June 29, 1952, to James ‘Bud’ and Nova Holt. Jim’s parents and siblings – (his twin) June (Derald) Kerschen, Connie Kemper and Tim Holt - have predeceased him, as well as father-in-law and mother-in-law, Frank and Jean Nelson, and sister-in-law, Kristi Nelson. Jim is survived by wife, Marva; daughter, Deanna Unruh; son, Ryan Nelson Holt; grandchildren, Banner, Piper and River Unruh; and nieces Amanda Kerschen, Tiffany Cowell, Scarlett and Orchid Holt.
Jim’s siblings reported that Jim always made it very clear that he was the oldest (and maybe the bossiest?!?) sibling. Jim was very fond and appreciative of his Grandma Boyce who lived with them for awhile and “invited” him to quilt, eat dandelion greens and a lot of oatmeal, and learn how to set the table. Jim’s family moved around the Wichita/Pratt, Kansas vicinity, finally settling in Pratt where Jim began working at the local truckstop, washing dishes, at the age of 12. Jim graduated from Pratt High School – the fighting Greenbacks (frogs!) - in 1970.
Jim attended Pratt Community College and worked at Alco in Pratt and Wichita before selling his beloved Pontiac GTO so he could attend Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. He met Marva Nelson there and they married on October 5, 1974. As a Kansas boy marrying into a family of avid Husker fans, Jim decided that he would be an Oklahoma Sooner fan to keep things interesting. It took only a few years before he decided that it would be more fun to yell and scream (and get worried if Nebraska lost the coin toss) at the same time as everyone else in the family, and thus began a lifelong Husker tradition of celebrating and mourning together, particularly with his parents-in-love, Frank and Jean. In recent years, Jim’s neurologist recommended against drinking alcohol, but Marva felt that he deserved one beer during Husker football games during the last coaching era to lessen the pain.
Jim worked at various jobs in Sioux City, Des Moines, Moline, IL and Grand Island until 1986 when the family moved to Omaha. Jim finally found his niche when he began working as a courier at Capital Express where he spent the last 25 years of his career. It perfectly aligned with his Type A personality and the fact that he loved being the solution to someone’s delivery problem. Jim often volunteered to serve in a ‘helper’ capacity in most any circumstance, especially if it involved serving food. Jim was also the quintessential ‘people person’, never knowing a stranger. In fact, ‘winning over’ a stranger thoroughly energized him, including the hospice nurse he met just a few weeks ago. Jim very much enjoyed being with his friends … even when they were no longer a stranger.
Jim’s life changed dramatically in March, 2019 when he was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia. As his world grew smaller and smaller, he faced each day as well as the future with courage and didn’t complain or ask, “Why me?!?” He trusted God with whatever each day held. He made certain that Marva knew how much he loved and appreciated her every day. Through God’s grace, Jim finished well. Very, very well.
MEMORIAL SERVICE Friday, October 13, 2023, at 11:00am at the Pacific Street Chapel with the family receiving guests one hour prior to the service.
The service may be viewed online at https://heartstreaming.link/james-l-holt In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Lewy
Body Dementia Association (https://www.lbda.org/).