An Obituary: Emily Holt

January 23, 2024

Emily Wright Holt, 97, beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, passed away on Jan. 12, 2024 at Carleton Willard Village in Bedford.

She was born on Feb. 18, 1926 in Philadelphia to the late W.D.C. Wright and Caroline Post.

Emily was raised in Princeton, NJ, where as a child she once brought Albert Einstein a pencil for his birthday. She attended Miss Chapin’s School, boarded at St. Mary’s Hall (now Doane Academy), and in 1950, earned a BS in Education from Wheelock College.

Emily spent 97 summers on an island in the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River. 

Summers on Grindstone Island led her to two great passions: her husband Shep and sailing. Emily and Shep first met on the island as young children, dated while attending college in Boston, married in 1949, started a family, and lived in Winchester for 55 years.

During the summer, they sailed together and later introduced their children to the thrill of catamarans. At age 73, she took up rowing a shell for a few miles every morning.

In the winter, they ice danced every Wednesday night and skated with their children every Friday and Sunday. Emily joined the Skating Club of Boston in 1948, and during the next 60 years performed alongside her husband, children, and grandchildren in Ice Chips, the club’s annual skating showcase for which she also designed and constructed countless costumes.

Emily Holt

Emily and Shep won the gold medal in the 1952 New England Junior Dance competition and she competed in synchronized skating for 12 years. Her team, Esprit de Corps, won a National Gold Medal in 1992.

Already accomplished at knitting, sewing, and embroidery, Emily learned ecclesiastical embroidery from the Sisters of St. Margaret Convent on Beacon Hill. In 2013, she completed an elaborately embroidered altar piece for Parish of the Epiphany – a three-year, 1,000-hour project. Carleton Willard Village is currently featuring an exhibit of exquisite doll dresses Emily made to accurately portray seven Queens of England.

In 2012, Emily and Shep moved to Carleton-Willard Village in Bedford and continued to spend summers on Grindstone Island. Shep passed away in 2014.

Emily is survived by her daughter Caroline and husband Kenneth Larson of Bedford, her son Craig Holt and wife Elaine of Brockport, NY, and her daughter Alison Courtney Holt of New York City. She is also survived by five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a mournful Corgi.

A memorial service for Emily will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 16 at The Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, MA. Following the service, a reception will be held in the parish hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be directed to The Skating Club of Boston in order to name the Ice Chips ticket booth in honor of Shep and Emily for their 60 years of contributions to the show. Click here or send your contribution to SCOB, 750 University Ave, Norwood, MA 02062.

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