Capt. Shirley H. Holt III ’53

NORTH HAMPTON – Capt. Shirley H. Holt III., 84, of Hickory Ave., in North Hampton, died on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at his home surrounded by his loving family. Shirley was born in Kittery on November 11, 1932 a son of the late Capt. Shirley H. Holt Jr., and Althea A. (Truman) Holt.

He attended local Kittery schools including Wentworth Dennett School and Graduated from RW Traip Academy. He furthered his education with a bachelor’s degree in Nautical Science from Maine Maritime Academy and was the youngest student to graduate in his class. An excellent athlete he stood out as a talented player in high school in football and basketball and in college as a football player.

He proudly served his country as a member of the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict; he continued service in the Merchant Marines earning his Chief Mate Unlimited in 1963.

He returned to New England settling with his loving wife of sixty one years, Constance Pendergast Holt in New Castle for many years and working as a Portsmouth River Pilot until his retirement in 2000. He was blessed for a time to be one of three Shirley Holt’s working as Portsmouth River Pilots together as his dad and granddad were both still on the river. He was also fortunate to work as partners with his brother Capt. Richard C. Holt Sr., for many years as well as his sons.

His passion for the water led him and his brother to charter the Portsmouth Propeller Club in 1975 after holding membership in the Portland Propeller Club and Portland Marine Society. He loved everything about the water and enjoyed recreational time on his yacht “T for Two” which he and his family loved spending time at the Isles of Shoals and the many vacation islands they visited.

Shirley was a cornerstone of the Bethany Church serving in many capacities especially enjoying teaching Christian education to youngsters for many years.

He is survived by his loving family whom he adored and cherished time with, his wife Constance Pendergast Holt of North Hampton, sons, Shirley H. Holt IV (Skip). and his wife Cherrie of Dover, N.H., Capt. Stephen M. Holt Sr. and his wife Pamela of Kittery, Timothy S. Holt and his wife Corinna of Eliot, Capt. Christopher D. Holt and his wife Christy J. of Stratham, daughter Melissa J. Holt of North Hampton, along with sixteen grand and fourteen great grand children, brother Capt. Richard C. Holt Sr., and his wife Anita of Rye, N.H., sister Bertha Romagnoli of Fredericksburg, Va., and Chief Robert J. Holt and Debra of St. Mary’s, Ga., as well as many nieces and nephews.

SERVCES: Friends are invited to join his family celebrating his life on Monday, March 6, 2017, at 2 p.m, in his church, Bethany Congregational Church, 500 Breakfast Hill Rd., Greenland, N.H., 03840.

Online condolences may be made by visiting In lieu of flowers, family has requested donations may be made in his memory to his church at the address above. Care for the Holt family has been entrusted to the JS Pelkey Funeral Home. – See more at: