Mechanic 06
Official Obituary of

Michael W. Holt

December 25, 1947 ~ February 18, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Michael Holt Obituary

Michael W. Holt of Eureka Springs passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. Michael was born to Hazel and Jay Holt on Christmas Day 1947 in Covington, Ky. The family moved to Oklahoma before settling in Jacksonville, Ark., where Michael discovered his love of music. He played clarinet and was the Drum Major at Jacksonville High for two years.

​He attended Arkansas State Teachers College, now UCA, when his parents moved to Shell Knob, Mo. One day after visiting them, Michael took the right turn and found Eureka Springs. When he got back to Conway he told his friends, Vernon and Jane Tucker, about a town he discovered that was all hills, springs and trees. All three of them quit college and moved to Eureka Springs within a week, and all three got jobs at the Passion Play. In those days, you really could live on $50 a week.

​Michael was not trained as a carpenter, but he became a self-taught master woodworker and cabinetmaker. His work was so thoughtful and correct that people lined up to get him to build floor to ceiling bookcases, corporate board meeting tables, and restore their Victorian houses.

​He was a gardener, but not just a gardener. His tomatoes were always full, juicy and plentiful. He spent every season hoping his garden lettuce would last long enough for the tomatoes to ripen so he could make a perfect BLT. He took baskets full of tomatoes and peppers to the Oasis on Spring St., and the Oasis kept him fed throughout the winter.

​Michael met Karen Foster in 1977 when she hitched a ride with him to a Greasy Greens concert in Fayetteville. They stayed together for the next 47 years. They played USVB and built a volleyball court up on their property, and when they got over volleyball, they converted it to croquet, then gave it a third life as a bocce ball court.

​His favorite music was diverse – The Mavericks, Etta James, Lucinda Williams, Elton John’s first album Tumbleweed Connection, and Brandi Carlile’s “In These Silent Days.” Leonard Cohen was his favorite, and he genuinely couldn’t tolerate rap.

​One of his dearest friends summed Michael up: “He was an unwavering friend. Consistent, always there, and always the best at what he did.”

Michael is survived by his life partner: Karen Foster and Angus the Cat, sister Gilda Colvert of Branson, Mo., niece Tommie Kaelen and husband, Harry of Branson and nephew Michael Colvert of Branson, niece Karin McCaulley and husband, Scott, of Branson, aunt Janis Chaney and husband, Gene, of Lubbock, Texas, and many cousins, great-nieces and nephews.

​A celebration of life will be held later. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity.

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