W. Clary Holt
W. Clary Holt was born in Greensboro, NC. Clary was a graduate of Greensboro High School, VMI (Virginia Military Institute) Class of 1935 where he was a Jackson – Hope Medal recipient for highest academic achievement, and UNC Chapel Hill Law School, class of 1938 where he was an editor of the UNC Law Journal. He became a member of the N.C. Bar in 1937, practicing law in Burlington since 1939.
Clary served for 30 years in the U.S. Army. During World War II, he served as Executive Officer of an Intelligence Unit in the Pacific Theatre. Clary retired as a Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit.
He received the Governor’s Award for Volunteerism. Clary, an Eagle Scout, was active in the Boy Scouts and received the Silver Beaver Award. Clary was a founding member and past president of the Alamance Country Club. He was a longtime member of the local Men’s Garden Club, Elks Lodge, Burlington Tree Committee, Board of Realtors, Board of Penick Home, Board of Alamance Community College, N.C. Law Alumni Association, British West Indies Philatelic Society, American Philatelic Society, and Fellow of the Royal British Philatelic Society. W. Clary Holt died Sunday, September 7, 2003.
W. Clary Holt was a founder of the current law firm and came to Burlington in 1939 to join with E. T. ( “Curly” ) Sanders to practice in the civil area of law. The predecessor law firm had been counsel to Burlington Industries and, in fact, one of the senior members of the law firm left to become general counsel for Burlington Industries resulting in the formation of Sanders and Holt.
Clary’s practice was mainly advising and serving local industrialists, businesses and developers. His practice included appearance in civil courts and handling complicated jury trial cases, including cases for Burlington Industries and Genesco.
In addition to practicing business law and aiding commercial developments, Clary performed “pro bono work” from time to time for those persons in the community who asked and of whom he felt had a need for having a lawyer to represent their interests.
His acts were in the days before Legal Aid and formal pro bono projects as later encouraged by the Bar Association of the State. Clary always felt it was the duty of a lawyer, as a “professional”, to protect the interests of his fellow man and that everyone should have an opportunity to be appropriately represented by an experienced advocate.