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H. Robb Holt

H. Robb Holt

Saturday, October 6th, 1928 - Sunday, June 2nd, 2019
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Obituary

Oct. 6, 1928-June 2, 2019, Survived by his wife Doris (Dodie) of 69 years, children, Deborah (Kathy), David (Sharon) & Alan; grandchildren, Madison & Tyler; brother David (Bobbie) & sister Alma (dec. Dick). Robb loved sailing and teaching for 62 years at Rochester Yacht Club, racing on his sailboats Whisper & Kewero. As an Engineer at Eastman Kodak Co., he worked on the Gambit project which helped to end the Cold War by putting high resolution cameras in spy satellites. A special thank you to his long-time care giver, Michelle Marshall & to Unity Hospital ICU, 2300 & 4400. 

A Memorial Service will be held Thursday, June 13th, 10am at Summerville Presbyterian Church 4845 St. Paul Blvd. A reception will follow in the church hall. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired 422 S. Clinton Ave. Rochester, NY 14620 or Unity Hospital ICU.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Thursday, June 13th, 2019 | 10:00am
    When
    Thursday, June 13th, 2019 10:00am
    Location
    Summerville Presbyterian Church
    Address
    4845 St. Paul Blvd.
    ROCHESTER, NY 14617
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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GH

Gary Holt

Posted at 02:39pm
Debi, Dave, Alan, Aunt Dodie - and friends...
I wrote up the below the other day after spending some time thinking about "Uncle Robb" - and you all. I regret that I will not be able to get up there this week to see some more of you, but it has certainly been a valuable pleasure for me to have caught up to the extent that we have the few times in recent years. You'll see below is not necessarily addressed directly to you all, as I wasn't sure what I'd be doing with this. But I hope you'll find that it captures well how much he, and you all, have meant to me, and so many of the rest of us "southern Holts". Uncle Robb always has, and will continue to, loom very large, and very inspiring - even down to his wonderfully unique character. I'll continue thinking of you all, and will look forward to any more opportunities we get to visit - down south, or up there! Absolute best with all that continues to surround you through this. With great love and admiration - ("young" cousin gary)

---------------
With a great not to some old school ways.... a small tribute, to my Uncle - and many things...

My Uncle Robb (below in blue, re-enacting with my dad last year a photo of them when they were youngsters late in the 1930s) ... passed on a few days ago. He left peacefully, looking forward, with a smile on his face.*

During his 91 years of life, even right up to the end, he was known for blowing vim and vigor out of all his vents. He marched into every task on a swift, straight, and narrow path ... expecting everyone else around him to do the same. And if you went afoul, you'd likely get stung. For anyone properly warned, dressed, and ready to take it impersonally, though - and once back on that path - he was a bright and gracious power house, tirelessly willing to perform any role to keep the ship moving.

I learned a lot from and treasure some significant sailing experiences with him on Lake Ontario as a young adult. Another picture below shows us blasting downwind under full sail while racing, my brother Jeff and I among the crew, with him at the wheel (out of sight). He was happy and obviously capable at the helm, but once he had his crew oiled and running, he'd be the first to go below deck to clean, cook, and make sure all were warm, fed, and comfortable.

He spent his work career as an engineer at Kodak, always deflecting or dismissing questions about specifics. Only some 8 years ago did we all - even his wife and family - come to understand why. He was proud then to finally be able to share, with the declassification of some government documents, that he had spent the bulk of those Kodak years as part of an engineering team that was secretly conscripted by the government to develop and perfect optical systems for the U2 spy plane and military reconnaissance satellites that ultimately helped play a significant role in the ending of the cold war. And then later... on applications for the Hubble space telescope. (another photo below)

Regarding that work, it's benefit to us all, and the secret he had to bear for so long - and his family too for their not knowing - I cannot articulate a worthy salute.....*

The final inclusion below (a link) is a version of Amazing Grace by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

Back at the dock one afternoon, cleaning up on deck after a day of racing... this song came on the local NPR station. He immediately dropped what he was doing and stood at attention, with my dad following suit in an instant. Standing strong and silent for the duration, their eyes watering...I was awe-struck while watching. That image, clearly, is still burned into my brain.

While my dad is a Navy vet, neither had ever seen combat duty. But the depth of what they conveyed in those moments absolutely bore witness to what they had witnessed as youngsters and still guides their hearts - along with so many others of that generation - to this day: the atrocities, and noble sacrifices of so many*, during World War II.

For all in the U.S. and other services who have and still volunteer to pay that ultimate price for the sake of G-d, peace, goodness, justice, and more...
For all who've paid that price, without choice...
For my uncle's secret, silent service to the same ...
And for everyone else who continues to help pay the price of keeping this world on track in whatever way they do, wherever they do it, around the globe ....

this heavenly 'salute' - and promise - is for you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSgCkJqB82Q

So onward ho, Uncle Robb !!!" And onward ho to us all! (we've got a long way to go).

My only final wish now is that those in heaven who might have missed the notice of his coming arrival ... are either rested, or ready ... because "ready or not, here he comes!!" : )
GH

Gary Holt

Posted at 02:38pm
Debi, Dave, Alan, Aunt Dodie - and friends...
I wrote up the below the other day after spending some time thinking about "Uncle Robb" - and you all. I regret that I will not be able to get up there this week to see some more of you, but it has certainly been a valuable pleasure for me to have caught up to the extent that we have the few times in recent years. You'll see below is not necessarily addressed directly to you all, as I wasn't sure what I'd be doing with this. But I hope you'll find that it captures well how much he, and you all, have meant to me, and so many of the rest of us "southern Holts". Uncle Robb always has, and will continue to, loom very large, and very inspiring - even down to his wonderfully unique character. I'll continue thinking of you all, and will look forward to any more opportunities we get to visit - down south, or up there! Absolute best with all that continues to surround you through this. With great love and admiration - ("young" cousin gary)

---------------
With a great not to some old school ways.... a small tribute, to my Uncle - and many things...

My Uncle Robb (below in blue, re-enacting with my dad last year a photo of them when they were youngsters late in the 1930s) ... passed on a few days ago. He left peacefully, looking forward, with a smile on his face.*

During his 91 years of life, even right up to the end, he was known for blowing vim and vigor out of all his vents. He marched into every task on a swift, straight, and narrow path ... expecting everyone else around him to do the same. And if you went afoul, you'd likely get stung. For anyone properly warned, dressed, and ready to take it impersonally, though - and once back on that path - he was a bright and gracious power house, tirelessly willing to perform any role to keep the ship moving.

I learned a lot from and treasure some significant sailing experiences with him on Lake Ontario as a young adult. Another picture below shows us blasting downwind under full sail while racing, my brother Jeff and I among the crew, with him at the wheel (out of sight). He was happy and obviously capable at the helm, but once he had his crew oiled and running, he'd be the first to go below deck to clean, cook, and make sure all were warm, fed, and comfortable.

He spent his work career as an engineer at Kodak, always deflecting or dismissing questions about specifics. Only some 8 years ago did we all - even his wife and family - come to understand why. He was proud then to finally be able to share, with the declassification of some government documents, that he had spent the bulk of those Kodak years as part of an engineering team that was secretly conscripted by the government to develop and perfect optical systems for the U2 spy plane and military reconnaissance satellites that ultimately helped play a significant role in the ending of the cold war. And then later... on applications for the Hubble space telescope. (another photo below)

Regarding that work, it's benefit to us all, and the secret he had to bear for so long - and his family too for their not knowing - I cannot articulate a worthy salute.....*

The final inclusion below (a link) is a version of Amazing Grace by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

Back at the dock one afternoon, cleaning up on deck after a day of racing... this song came on the local NPR station. He immediately dropped what he was doing and stood at attention, with my dad following suit in an instant. Standing strong and silent for the duration, their eyes watering...I was awe-struck while watching. That image, clearly, is still burned into my brain.

While my dad is a Navy vet, neither had ever seen combat duty. But the depth of what they conveyed in those moments absolutely bore witness to what they had witnessed as youngsters and still guides their hearts - along with so many others of that generation - to this day: the atrocities, and noble sacrifices of so many*, during World War II.

For all in the U.S. and other services who have and still volunteer to pay that ultimate price for the sake of G-d, peace, goodness, justice, and more...
For all who've paid that price, without choice...
For my uncle's secret, silent service to the same ...
And for everyone else who continues to help pay the price of keeping this world on track in whatever way they do, wherever they do it, around the globe ....

this heavenly 'salute' - and promise - is for you

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSgCkJqB82Q

So onward ho, Uncle Robb !!!" And onward ho to us all! (we've got a long way to go).

My only final wish now is that those in heaven who might have missed the notice of his coming arrival ... are either rested, or ready ... because "ready or not, here he comes!!" : )
GH

Gary Holt

Posted at 02:18pm


DL

David and Bobbie Holt, and Joyce Lewis

Posted at 12:38pm
In Loving Memory of H. Robb Holt, Rochester, NY.
October 6, 1928 - June 2, 2019
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of H. Robb Holt
DH

David Holt

Posted at 12:32pm
In Loving Memory.

David, Bobbie and Joyce
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