Jeff Holt of Brownsburg, Indiana, lived life in the moment with no regrets. He died shortly after completing his annual physical agility test for what he called the “best job in the world.” His passionate leadership mentored many in the fire service and left an indelible mark on the City of Lawrence Fire Department.
Jeff was born November 24, 1957, in Joliet, Illinois, to Dr. Donald and Marilyn Holt. He graduated from Benton Central High School in Indiana. He began his career at the Otterbein Fire Department, first as a firefighter and later as an EMT, before joining the Purdue Fire Department in 1985. He left the fire department to pursue his career in music and but then returned to Indiana to attend paramedic training at Methodist Hospital in 1994. His instructors often remarked about Jeff’s ability to communicate with his patients and coworkers, instilling a sense of trust amid critical situations.
Jeff joined the Lawrence Fire Department in 1996 as a firefighter/paramedic, and during his long career he served as an engineer, lieutenant, division chief of training, division chief of EMS, and deputy chief of operations. He was last assigned to the engine company at Station 36 and had recently submitted paperwork for his retirement.
Outside of his successful fire department career, Jeff continued to pursue music and was the lead singer of several bands including the Rich Kids, Renegade, Midian, Illicit Affair, Winston Wolf, and Paper Alley. Nicknamed Jeff “Van Halen” by his friends in the fire service, he was a perfectionist in his music and always enjoyed entertaining his audiences. He developed his love of music by listening to his mother give voice lessons after school. His appreciation for song lyrics and music trivia resulted in many late-night fireside discussions with his wife and neighbors about the meaning of songs, life, and, of course, the fire tetrahedron.
During paramedic school he met and married the love of his life, Lindi. He assumed the role of “bonus dad” to her two daughters, teaching them that “power tools are cool” and making many lakeside memories together. He cherished camping time with his parents, siblings, niece and nephew, and great-nephew. He was an accomplished mechanic and knew how to fix anything, a trait developed with his father while growing up. Lindi and Jeff shared almost 20 years of marriage and enjoyed their mutual love of music and rescuing special needs animals. Jeff’s favorite place in the world was at home with his family, working in his “Holtrods” shop and restoring a project to working condition.