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Robert J. Holt Sr., 79, safety-equipment rep

Robert J. Holt Sr. liked to stage an annual August pig roast at his home in Sea Isle City.

Robert J. Holt Sr. liked to stage an annual August pig roast at his home in Sea Isle City.

But he did it the convenient way.

For 19 years, until the tradition ended five years ago, he would have the entire meal delivered by a South Philadelphia caterer for a huge cast of friends, said his best friend, Dominick Longhi.

"It was really my wife's idea," Longhi said.

And each winter, Longhi said, his wife, Joan, and Mr. Holt would stage what he called "an annual seafood fest, at our house in Avalon," for a smaller audience.

Again, the crabs, clams, mussels, the works, were all delivered to the door.

"If we tried to do the fishing," Longhi said, "we would have starved."

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Mr. Holt, 79, of Sea Isle City, a retired manufacturers' representative for industrial safety equipment, died of heart failure at Lankenau Hospital.

Mr. Holt grew up in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of Philadelphia, graduated from what is now West Catholic Preparatory High School in 1956, and in 1960 earned a bachelor's in economics at Villanova University, where he was a member of the ROTC.

From 1960 to 1963, he was a Marine officer, for a time a company commander of an armored assault unit on Okinawa, a daughter, Jacqueline McArdle, said.

After he was discharged, Mr. Holt worked from his Folcroft home as a sales representative for Procter & Gamble Co.

Later in the 1960s and into the 1970s, from his home in Malvern, he represented the former Mine Safety Alliance, a manufacturer of safety products.

And from the late 1970s into 1983, Mr. Holt was national sales manager for the former Willson Products in its Reading office.

In 1984, he founded R.J. Holt Sales & Marketing, working from an office in Lenni, Delaware County, as a sales representative for safety products firms.

In 1997, the firm became Holt & McArdle Associates, with offices in Garnet Valley.

These days, his daughter said, the Holt firm sells its manufacturers' products at four major shows - most recently in Indianapolis - and at local events, such as an Atlantic City expo for police organizations.

Mr. Holt retired in 2014, but the firm remains in the family.

Besides his daughter, Jacqueline McArdle, Mr. Holt is survived by his wife of 55 years, Barbara, sons Robert J. Jr. and Patrick, daughters Elizabeth Holt and Barbara O'Neill, and nine grandchildren.

Visitations were set from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, and from 9 to 10:15 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, both at the St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 15 E. Pleasant Grove Rd., West Chester, before a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass there. Interment is to be in Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield, Delaware County.

Donations may be sent in memory of Robert J. Holt, Class of 1956, to West Catholic Preparatory High School, 4501 Chestnut St., Philadelphia 19139.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele