Carol B. Holt
December 8, 1949 – March 2, 2018
Carol M. (Baughman) Holt, age 68, Ross Twp., passed away peacefully on March 2, 2018 at Good Samaritan Hospice, Wexford, PA.
She was the beloved wife of 46 ½ years to Kenneth “Ken” Holt; loving mother to a daughter and a son; doting grandmother to three boys. She is also survived by five brothers and four sisters.
Carol grew up in Ada, Ohio, a small college town in west central Ohio. After high school, she earned her B.S. degree in mathematics in Ada at Ohio Northern University. It was there that she met Ken Holt, her future husband, an electrical engineering student. They were married in June, 1971. In May, 1974 the couple welcomed their daughter Susan into the world. In December, 1976, their “bicentennial baby” Kevin was born.
Carol and Ken lived in four different places during their life together; first in Newark, OH, then Christiansburg, VA. Next came Charlottesville, VA, and finally the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. On the way, Carol worked as a rating clerk for an insurance company, a school teacher, a substitute teacher, an office manager/testing technician/customer support representative for various tech start-ups, a staff member in the provost’s office of the University of Pittsburgh, a reports technician at an industrial seismometer service company, and finally as a trust document retrieval specialist at PNC bank.
Carol was the kindest soul you’d ever want to meet. One of her highest aspirations was to get along with everybody, which is essential when you’re a sister to nine siblings – and living in a house with only one bathroom. She would do almost anything possible to avoid conflict and confrontation. When strife could not be avoided, she would come away distraught, sometimes for days. She was also very much a “fixer”. She was always tempted to butt into other peoples’ affairs to “help” them get along – sometimes successfully, other times not.
She could be child-like, but rarely childish. She approached everything in life with a sense of wide-eyed wonder. It was no surprise that she loved children, and related easily to them; they often regarded her as one of their own.
Although Carol was sweet and gentle, she was also tough, especially with regard to her medical problems, which were legion. Early in 1994, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. The subsequent harsh chemotherapy sapped her strength and stole all of her hair. She just put on a wig and kept working at her job at the provost’s office.
In the summer of 1995, she noticed that one of her fingers had developed an odd twitch. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In the beginning, it barely slowed her down. By 2008, however, strong tremors were disrupting her life significantly. So she underwent brain surgery to have “brain pacemakers” implanted to control her tremors. And then she returned to life as usual.
But the next year, on Ken’s 60th birthday, no less, she was hit with a significant stroke. Surprisingly, it didn’t cause any paralysis or muscle weakness, but it seriously impaired her ability to communicate. She underwent speech therapy sessions, but eventually the therapist said she couldn’t offer any more help, because Carol’s vocabulary was bigger than the therapist’s.
But the stroke also delivered an ominous message; it had happened because Carol’s heart was extremely weak; it had been damaged by the chemotherapy 15 years earlier. She was suffering from cardiomyopathy. As with her other maladies, Carol and Ken simply learned to deal with it, adjusting daily routines and responsibilities.
In the summer of 2017, things changed. Her body could no longer handle all the stress, and she began suffering from congestive heart failure, which knocked her down hard. She fought stubbornly and valiantly for another eight months, but by early March 2018 she had no reserves left to fight any more.
Those who knew and loved her will sorely miss Carol’s kind heart, her laugh, her sense of humor, her determination, her toughness, and her belief in the goodness of human nature.
A party in celebration of Carol’s life will be held at 4pm, Saturday March 24, 2018 at Hiland Presbyterian Church, 845 Perry Hwy, Pittsburgh, PA 15229. Casual attire, please; RSVP to Ken at 724-612-9664, voice or text.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Carol’s memory to one of her four favorite charities.
- Kenneth Holt, Husband
- Kevin M. Holt, Son
- Chelsie O'Donnell, Fiancée
- Susan M. Holt, Daughter
- Christopher York, Son-in-law
- Paul Baughman, Brother
- William Baughman, Brother
- Robert Baughman, Brother
- John Baughman, Brother
- Ray Baughman, Brother
- Nancy Hardiesty, Sister
- Mary Garrigan, Sister
- Wanda Baughman, Sister
- Jean Miller, Sister
Celebration of Life Party
Hiland Presbyterian Church
845 Perry Hwy.
Carol B. Holt
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March 19, 2018
I’m very sorry to hear of your wife and mother’s passing. Although I did not know her, I can feel the love and warm person she was from all of the kind words expressed by all that knew her. As the days ahead approach may your memories sustain you and may you find comfort and hope that our Heavenly Father provides in his word the Bible to help you through this most difficult time. My sincere condolences to you all.
March 16, 2018
My brother, Ken, told me the story.
"I sprayed it, but it won't die!" cried Carol into the phone. She hated spiders and was deathly afraid. "I tried to kill it, but I couldn't. So I sprayed it, and it still won't die." Ken calmed her down, and assured her the spider would die one way or another, and he'd make sure of that when he got home from work.
Later, Carol would face a plethora of health challenges that were not for the faint-of-heart: breast cancer, chemo, hair-loss, Parkinson's, tremors, heart issues, and brain implants. Her strength, faith, and courage in dealing with the real beasties in life never ceased to amaze me. I admired her greatly. She may have been afraid of spiders, but she was the bravest person I ever knew.