Melba Taylor Holt died on January 3, 2018. Born in Leesville, South Carolina, on October 6, 1933, she was the younger daughter of William Kenneth and Ola Warner Taylor.
Melba graduated from Batesburg-Leesville High School in 1951. She attended Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina, graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne in 1955. In 1955-56 she studied at the Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, while serving as chaplain for Lutheran students attending Duke. She was the first non-ordained person to serve in that capacity at Duke.
Melba was an excellent teacher. She taught at the Lutheran School for Girls in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1956-57. Always an advocate for justice, she considered it a call from God to teach during the initial years of racial integration in South Carolina, being the only white teacher in a totally black high school in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina in 1969-70 and the following year when there was total integration. During the 1970’s and 1980’s as a certified Effectiveness Training teacher she taught numerous classes and workshops in Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) and Teacher Effectiveness Training.
Married to the Rev. Joseph Whitsett Holt in 1956, Melba’s primary ministry was to her husband and family. Being the wife of a pastor, she was always ready to serve where needed. Joe frequently said, “Any church that gets me gets two for one.” No wife and mother was more faithful to her husband, her two sons and their families than “Mother Melba.”
In the final eleven years of her life when suffering the debilitating Alzheimer Disease she continued to manifest gratitude, persistence, and love. Truly she was a great lady.
Surviving are her husband of sixty-one years and their family, and her sister, Joan Taylor Caughman of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina and her family. Members of Joe and Melba’s family are son the Rev. Stephen Arnold Holt and his wife Elizabeth Perkins Holt of Colorado Springs, son the Rev. David Taylor Holt and his wife Deborah Carter Holt of Bishop, Georgia; eleven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Melba’s body is being donated to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Suwanee, Georgia. Cremation follows.
A Memorial Service will be held at Hope Lutheran Church, 3295 Old Highway 5 South, Ellijah, Georgia 30540 on Friday, January 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM with visitation at noon and a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers memorials are invited and encouraged to one’s chosen charity.