On Wednesday, June 7, Elizabeth Anne McClure Holt, passed away. She is survived by her siblings: Miller McClure (Kass), Mary Humble (Keith), and Charles McClure (June), her children: Russ Eichner (Becky), Pike Holt, Josh Holt (Sarah), Rachel Holt Daehler, and her beloved grandchildren: Dylan and Ben Herrmann-Holt, Christian Rudmann, Kate Rudmann, Clara Rudmann, Ellen Rudmann, and Luke Rudmann; Faith and Caden Eichner; Esmé and Phoebe Holt; Tripp Daehler and Barrett Felts. She is preceded in death by her son, Matthew Holt.
Elizabeth—or Beth, to those who knew her, was born March 8, 1951, in Paris, Texas, to Jane and Sam McClure. She and her three siblings grew up in Garland, Texas, where Beth distinguished herself in high school with her talent for singing and acting. She attended the University of Texas, where her interest in archaeology turned to writing and teaching, and she graduated with honors. A published writer, her 1984 novel, Dress-Up, from Leisure Books, sold some 10,000 copies. She continued to write poetry, short fiction, and memoirs throughout her life and was active in curating stories of her family’s genealogy.
The second half of her life was centered in Portsmouth, Ohio. She never forgot her Texas roots but she came to love the city as much as she loved her Southern homeland. She accepted a position teaching high school at Notre Dame, and later Shawnee State University to teach Freshman English where she became a popular faculty member. She was known and loved by many around town for her sharp wit and passion for supporting local theater, music, and arts initiatives. She co-ran Waterlillies, a downtown Portsmouth curio store, and became such a city fixture that her face was commemorated across the street from her shop on the Kroger Mural.
Between teaching and her children, the focus of her life has always been the young. She loved interacting with her many grandchildren, who all related to her in very special ways. As she grew older, the young person within her stayed fierce, and her faith in the young remained solid. Our children, she fervently believed, are our future.
Beth had a great fondness for the Texas blues rock of Joe Ely and Tracy Nelson, and she also loved Bob Dylan. It is perhaps the words of Dylan that can best comfort us. Beth McClure Holt, devoted to family, children, and young people, did indeed, on June 7th, “build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung.” To those who knew and loved her, she will always remain—Forever Young.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Portsmouth Little Theater https://www.pltlive.com/donations or SOMC Hospice . Graveside services will be held at Greenlawn Cemetery at 11am, June 24.