James Earl Holt

James Earl Holt, 73, of Newport News, passed away unexpectedly on July 8, 2024. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.

James was a native of Surry County, VA., and was preceded in death by his mother, Doris Scott Holt; his father, James Mercer Holt; and three siblings: Betty Ann, Bobby, and Jackie.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 52 years, Carolyn Payne Holt; his three children: Chris Holt (wife Meghan), Michelle Holt Kibble (husband Jimmy), and Christopher Holt (wife Tori). He is also survived by his two sisters, Nancy and Marsha; his ten grandchildren, Cameron, Haley, Case, Chancellor, Parker, Quinn, Taylor, Jimmy, Chase, and Landon; as well as five great-grandchildren: Aubree, Paisley, Bentley, Odessa, and Hazel. Known to his grandchildren as “Paw Paw,” James was funny, quick-witted, and always had a quip ready to bring a smile to everyone’s face.

James enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. He also appreciated spending time outdoors and at his childhood home, the farm, where he created many cherished memories.

James farmed with his father in his early years before transitioning to work at Pier IX in Newport News, where he was employed until his retirement in 2009.

A viewing will take place on Thursday, July 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Va. The funeral service will be held at the same location at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 12, followed by a graveside service at Peninsula Memorial Park.

James will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.


  1. Daryl Douglas

    I have fond memories of my time spent working with James at PIX.
    James was a deep thinker and didn’t say much, he possessed an inner strength as well as a remarkable physical strength that amazed me.
    I know he will be missed by many who know and love him.
    My prayers are with his family as you celebrate his life and hold him in your hearts.

  2. McDonald Berryman

    Lost a lifetime friend with James Earl passing. He and his father were top of the line farmers. Always produced the best peanuts in Surry County and had straight rows. I pass by the Holt home farm just about every day and all my thoughts about them always brings a memory full of good times and good people.

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