Ithaca, N.Y. — Robert A. Holt, 78, of Ithaca, peacefully passed away with dignity on Friday, June 1, 2018 in the presence of his loving family. Bob is survived by his wife of nearly 56 years Dianne Holt of Ithaca; son J. Todd Holt of Ithaca; son Greg Sharma-Holt, his wife Meeta and their two children – Somya and Junardhen – all of Silver Spring, MD; and sister Shirley Murray of Eugene, OR. He is preceded in death by four siblings – Sandra Ronne, Sally Klepack, Thomas Holt, and Susan Holt.
Bob grew up in Gary, IN in a humble home with five other siblings. He attended Indiana State University in Terre Haute while working at a full-time job. As a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), his charisma and out-going personality made him a successful Rush Chair. There he met his met his beautiful wife, Dianne. That year she was voted “TKE Sweetheart” for the annual dance and became Bob’s “Sweetheart” for the rest of his life.
Bob’s love for teaching and supporting other’s growth began in 1963 when he taught high school algebra and science in Gary, IN, in 1963. He was recruited into the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1967.
In 1969, Bob and family moved to Ithaca where he was assigned to serve as Special Agent in the local FBI office. A respected member of the law enforcement community, he was known for his sense of humor, compassion, and leadership skills. He instructed local, state, and Federal officers in firearms and Special Weapons and Tactics courses. During the 1980 Winter Olympics he served as Commander of two Federal SWAT teams tasked to respond to large-scale terrorist incidents. After 22 years with the FBI he retired and began working as the Director of the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management (formerly Office of Safety and Security) at Ithaca College, where he worked for another 20 years.
Bob loved spending time with his children and supporting their interests. He coached their hockey teams and learned to skate as an adult. He refereed youth hockey and advanced to referee NCAA college hockey. He loved animals and on his free time he enjoyed walking dogs at the SPCA of Tompkins County.
His last days were spent under the warm, personal care of the compassionate staff at Cayuga Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He and the family were supported and comforted by Hospicare and Palliative Care Services in his final days.
The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 11 am at the First Assembly of God Church, 197 Bostwick Road in Ithaca. Visitation with family and friends will immediately follow the service at the Church. In lieu of flowers, the Holt family requests donations be sent to Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org or SPCA of Tompkins County. Bangs Funeral Home is assisting the family.