Obituary: Dalton Holt, 91, Fountain.

September 19, 2017

Dalton Holt

Obituary: Dalton Holt, 91, Fountain.

Dalton D Holt, 91, of Fountain passed away on September 17, 2017 surrounded by his daughters and family at his beloved home on Gun Lake after a long and wonderful life.

Dalton was born on February 18, 1926 in Marshall, the son of George LaVerne and Goldie (Jones) Holt.  He loved life and truly lived it to its fullest.  He served his country during World War II with the United States Navy and on August 23, 1947, he married Elsbeth “Beth” Swigert in St. Joseph.  They celebrated 60 years together before Beth preceded him in death on December 28, 2007.

Dalton and Beth started their family in St. Joseph and later moved to Coloma.  They had a cabin in the rural Fountain area and would travel there as often as possible.  They loved the area so much they eventually built a home on Gun Lake.

Dalton worked for the Whirlpool Corporation and was a draftsman by trade.  With the encouragement of Beth, he returned to college and earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Western Michigan University.  Dalton was a beloved teacher at OJ DeJong Jr. High School in Ludington for over 20 years, influencing many young lives.  He was always the “teacher” in so many ways, especially at Eighth Grade Camp.

Dalton served as a Boy Scout leader and taught the “way of the woods” to his daughters and their friends, and most recently, to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved the out-of-doors.  After retiring from teaching, he explored woodworking and became an expert in the art of Intarja.  His works of art have been enjoyed by countless people through his numerous exhibits and displays.  Dalton also enjoyed volunteering countless hours at the Manistee County Medical Care Facility.  He was active in the Mason County community as well, serving on the Western Michigan Fair Association Board of Directors, was a 4-H leader for over 30 years, and was one of the founders of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Division.

Even with all his activities and volunteering, Dalton’s greatest joy came in caring for Beth, his daughters, and their families.  He helped daughter Susan start the Springdale Morgan Horse Farm in Fountain, and never missed an opportunity to assist daughter Calista with her dance studio and recitals.

Along with his beloved Beth, Dalton was also preceded in death by his parents, his brothers L.J., Les, and Gordon Holt, and his granddaughter-in-law Sami Jo Hays.

Dalton will be greatly missed by his daughters: Susan Hays and husband Richard of Fountain, Sally Reed, Shelly Bray and husband George, and Calista Swanson and husband David all of Ludington; 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren; and many, many friends.

A memorial aervice will be held for Dalton at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 25 at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Scottville, with Rev. James Schroeder officiating.  Friends may meet with his family for a time of visitation on Monday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church, with a luncheon and time of sharing to follow the service.

Those who wish to remember Dalton with a memorial donation are asked to consider the OJ DeJong Eighth Grade Camp, or the Manistee County Medical Care Facility.  Please visit Dalton’s memory page at to leave a tribute of Dalton for his family, or to light a candle in his memory.

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