Myrle Elizabeth Walter Holt

Myrle Elizabeth Walter Holt died on Dec. 1, 2017, at the home of her son in Louisville, Ky.

She was born on Nov. 20, 1916, in Anna, the daughter of Adolph William Walter Jr. and Fannie Stahlsmith Walter.

Her husband, Joseph Paynter Holt Sr., PhD, MD; her son, Joseph Paynter Holt Jr., PhD, MD, JD; parents Adolph W. Walter Jr. and Fannie S. Walter; a sister Marjorie Walter Smith, and a brother Adolph W. Walter III, preceded her in death.

Receiving her early education in Anna, she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Mac Murray College in Jacksonville, and later earned a master of fine arts degree at the University of Louisville. Winning the Vogue magazine award in high school allowed her to study at Northwestern University; studies were also undertaken at the University of Illinois, the Art Institute of Chicago and with Moholy-Nagy at the New Bauhaus in Chicago.

In these early years she taught in Champaign-Urbana, and wrote fashion articles for Carson-Pirie Scott in Chicago. In later years, she taught art and supervised in the public school system of Louisville, Ky. Pursuing interests in oil painting, miniatures, weaving and collage, she was an exhibited and awarded artist.

Her first love was her cherished family. Over her 101 years, and 56 years of marriage, she travelled widely, taught herself to be a superb cook, survived a number of life’s more serious vicissitudes and participated in memorable experiences.

About 1940, she designed and illustrated a parachute procedure manual for the military. In 1942, she assisted her husband by sewing together an experimental pressurized suit he designed to prevent passing out during high G maneuvers experienced by World War II pilots. Submitted to the Department of Defense, his work was declared Top Secret and only declassified many decades later.

A devoted wife, mother and grandmother, she has left wonderful memories and lessons for all her family members and friends. Her life touched many, affected many and set an example for all. She loved her friends and family near and far. Her big pleasure was to have a house full of them.

She is survived by her son, William Walter Holt, MD, PhD, and wife Heidi Margret Koenig, MD; grandsons William Paul Holt, Samuel Koenig Holt, Dominic Walter Holt (Heather Kapp) and Joseph Paynter Holt III MD, (Kathleen Wiles); granddaughter Jenny Holt Ahern (Sean); daughter-in-law Beatrice Guarneschelle Holt, JD; sister-in-law Peggy (Nimmo) Walter; great-grandchildren Joseph, Wyatt and Natasha Holt, Christopher, Michael, Jonathan and Daniel Ahern; step-grandchildren Samantha Stamper, Tarra Moore; and many nieces and nephews.

She had been helped by Hosparus care for the past two months and had lived with her son, William (Bill) and his wife for the past six years. Before her disability, she divided her residences between a home in Naples, Fla. and her beloved 80-acre retreat, “Yoho” near Depauw, Indiana.

She will be laid to rest with a private service in the spring of 2018 in the old Versailles, Ky., cemetery.

Memorials can be made to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 1220 L St., NW., Ste. 300, Washington, D.C., 20005. Memorials also may be given online.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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