John Leland Holt 1931 - 2021

John Leland Holt was descended from generations of New England sea captains, but his dream was to fly. He was born in Ellsworth, Maine, and attended high school in Webster City, Iowa. He became a naval aviator during the Korean Conflict, flying the F9F-2 Panther while serving aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. After his naval service, he attended the University of Maine on the G.I. Bill, earning his B.S. in mechanical engineering. John trained to fly helicopters in the National Guard and eventually flew for Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut. He was later recruited to fly the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane for Evergreen Aviation in McMinnville, Oregon. After retiring from his aviation career, he started a successful home construction and remodeling business in McMinnville. John was an active member of the McMinnville and North Lincoln Lions clubs. After retirement, he settled at the Oregon Coast in a house he designed and built. He continued to enjoy woodworking, traveling across the U.S., and spending his summers in Maine.

John died peacefully at home, surrounded by family.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; children, Jordan and Sue; step-children, Brian, Alison and Andrew; and grandchildren, Keaton, Macey, Henry, Sophia, William and Siri.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation ( To leave online condolences, please visit


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