On Saturday, May 5, 2018, many friends and relatives of Alice K. Holton attended her Celebration of Life at Penn Vet's New Bolton Center. The outpouring of love and respect for Alice was extremely moving as were the many heartfelt stories shared about the way she touched the lives of so many people during her many years as the head librarian at New Bolton Center from 1963-1996. Alice was an integral academic resource, serving as caretaker for important collections, and providing a warm and lively haven for Penn Vet faculty, students and young veterinarians.
Alice was born in Tionesta, Pa. on Dec. 10, 1923, to Archibald Howard Kelly and Alice Pearl Arner Kelly, and spent her childhood in Tionesta excelling at basketball and, according to her, a little mischief. She briefly attended Temple University in Philadelphia, before moving to Kennett as World War II began. From Kennett, she commuted to her job at Hercules Powder Co. in Wilmington, Del. She enjoyed claiming credit for causing a nonlethal explosion in the chemical testing lab.
As the war ended, she met Kennett native Herbert C. Holton. They married in 1949 and bought an 18th century farmhouse outside Kennett. Alice used her boundless energy and creativity to transform the house and grounds into a home and gathering place for her family and continually expanding circle of friends. She worked for many years as a librarian at the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library in Kennett, before taking the job as librarian for the recently established New Bolton Center in 1963. First located in the historic Allam House at New Bolton and then as part of the new Myrin Building, the library became a warm, vital part of New Bolton, where she befriended many staff and students.
She and Herbert took numerous, much-enjoyed trips to Europe. Herbert died in 1993, and Alice retired in 1996, to continue her travels, eventually visiting more of Europe, along with Russia, Turkey, Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and Argentina, with extended stays in Costa Rica.
She married Pierre C. Pingitore of Wilmington in 1998, and moved to Chestertown in 2010 to be near her daughter and family, and to enjoy the beauty of the Eastern Shore. Alice , 94, died peacefully on March 4, 2018, in Easton.
Upon her passing earlier this year, to honor Alice’s many contributions, friends and family of Alice have launched a fundraising campaign to endow an Opportunity Scholarship in her name. With this endowment, we will be able to continue Penn Vet’s efforts to provide students with the resources to navigate an increasingly more complex and diverse profession, as well as the world at large. That we have chosen to establish an Opportunity Scholarship is especially fitting.
This unique program combines financial aid with formal mentoring for qualified Penn Vet students throughout their veterinary education.