Alabama Academy of Honor


Holt Rast

The following biographical sketch was compiled at the time of induction into the Academy in 1989.



Portsmouth, Virginia, is the birthplace of Holt Rast, who first saw the light of day there on October 29,1917. He is the son of Lucien Holt Rast and Sarah Amanda Blake Rast.

Holt Rast received his early education at Barrett Elementary and Woodlawn High, educational facilities located in Birmingham. At both schools he developed leadership qualities and excelled in athletics.

He was graduated from the University of Alabama in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. While in college he earned three letters in athletics and was chosen All-American on the 1941 Crimson Tide football team.

Holt Rast entered the United States Army following graduation from college. He served his country for four years during World War II and was wounded twice. A grateful nation awarded him its Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, its Bronze Star and its Silver Star. He was honorably discharged from the United States military service with the rank of major .

Mr. Rast is married to the former Betty Wilson of Montgomery. He is the father of four sons and four daughters. He is the grandfather of twenty-four.

He began his business career in engineering and real estate following his return to Birmingham from the armed services. He served as president of the Birmingham Home Builders Association in 1951.

From 1946 to 1976 he was president of Rast, Gregory and Dean Construction Engineers. Currently he is Chairman of the Board of Rast Construction, Inc., a heavy construction and pipe line company in which he is involved with his four sons .

He is a Distinguished Engineering Fellow, College of Engineering, the University of Alabama. He is past president of the Alabama Utility Contractors Association.

Holt Rast was elected to membership in the Alabama House of Representatives from Jefferson County in 1957 and was reelected to that post in 1962. This eighteen member group selected him as the chairman of the Jefferson County delegation.

Among the many civic responsibilities he agreed to accept over the years are membership on the Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Board, and President and Promoter of the Dixie Bowl.

In 1977 Holt Rast was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

The Holt Rast family worships at the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Birmingham.