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Sonya Lolita Holt


Sonya Lolita Holt passed away unexpectedly on July 3, 2023. She was born on her mother’s birthday, November 7, 1965, in Leonardtown, Maryland to the late William Dominic Holt, Sr. and Mary Catherine Neal Holt.   

Sonya attended Mother Catherine Spalding School for grade school and subsequently Leonardtown High School, where she was a cheerleader and a record setting member of the track team. After graduating in 1983, Sonya went on to begin her career in public service and in 1998 earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Strayer University.

In 1985, she welcomed the love of her life with the birth of her son, Taaron Washington. An inspiration to many, she balanced life as a single mom with a robust career in the federal government. Sonya served more than three decades at the CIA in various roles within their Science & Technology Directorate, in the Recruitment Center as well as the Implementation Lead for the Director’s Advisory Group on Women in Leadership. In 2019, she assumed the role of Deputy Associate Director of CIA for Talent for Diversity and Inclusion-dual-hatted as CIA’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer until her retirement in June 2022. She retired as one of CIA’s highest ranking African American women.

Always one to share what she had, Sonya continued to mentor and consult post-retirement, but still had ample time to travel, shop at consignment and antique stores, and attend Washington Commander games as a season ticket holder. She made time for what mattered most: snuggling with her pets, visiting her mother, and phone calls or visits with Taaron, during which they would talk and laugh about anything and everything.

Taaron will miss their near daily conversations during his drives, cooking her food (especially her birthday chili), and the love and inspiration of a mother who drove hours to work each day, but never missed any of his sports games or events. She was a mother who sacrificed so much so that her son could succeed, and a mother who established a remarkable career despite many of life’s hurdles. Sonya was one of Taaron’s best friends, his guiding light, and his role model. She was a constant pillar of love and support for her son and a wonderful “Nona” to her grandpup Luna. 

Sonya, or “Aunt Sony” to her 5 nieces and nephews and 3 great nieces and nephews, was preceded in death by her father, William D. Holt, Sr.; nephew, Morris C. Whitaker II; maternal grandparents, Joseph T. Neal and Mary B. Key Neal, and paternal grandparents, James F. Holt and Helen M. Rustin Holt. We know they’ve welcomed her with open arms. 

She is survived by her loving son, Taaron T. Washington; her mother, Mary C. Holt; sisters, Linda M. Whitaker, Cynthia A. Scriber, Angelita M. Woodland, and her brother, William D. Holt, Jr. She also leaves behind her fur babies, Louie the dog and Tyler the cat, as well as a host of other relatives. We will miss her smile, quick wit, and elegance, but we will carry her in our hearts until we meet again.

Sonya’s celebration of life will be on Monday, July 17, 2023 for visitation from 9:30 am – 11:30 am; Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 28297 Old Village Road, Mechanicsville, MD 20659.  She will be laid to rest at Queen of Peace Cemetery,  38888 Dr. Johnson Road, Mechanicsville, MD 20659.

Offer Condolence for the family of Sonya Lolita Holt

Condolence Messages

  1. David Wallwork says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Sonya from 2005-2007. She was professional, but also fun. I thoroughly enjoyed our time working together. Over the course of my 30-year career, she was one of my favorite people. She will be missed. Please accept my sincere condolences.

  2. Renee Stock says:

    Sonya was one of the people who helped me make it through the pandemic. Chatting with her at Stanton Park was such an important part of my day.

    But my best memory of Sonya was when I would drive past her house and see her playing fetch with Louie in her yard. The smile on her face always made me smile too.

    She never ever discussed how accomplished she was and that just speaks to her character.

    May her memory be a blessing to her family and friends she leaves behind:

  3. Amelia Pearson says:

    Sonya was truly a champion in more ways than one. She lowered wings in the workplace so that others might have the opportunity to both fly and soar. May the precious memories of Sonya and the peace of God give you comfort in the days ahead.

  4. Cristina Temboury says:

    Sonya was a leader you wanted to listen to. She was inspirational and effected change by moving people to be kinder and more inclusive.

  5. Kristi L. Scott says:

    Sonya – I will always remember your beautiful smile, kind heart, and fierce fashion sense. You blazed a trail for many. You truly left the world a better place than you found it.

  6. Enrique G says:

    My condolence to Sonya’s family. She was a good boss, and friend. We will all miss her.

  7. Laura M (and Ginger) says:

    Sonya was well-loved by the neighborhood -canines and people alike. She and Louie had many friends at Stanton Park. I so enjoyed our conversations and getting to know her. May her son, mother, siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends find peace in this time of deep sorrow. I hope your memories of her are surrounded by joy.

  8. Kartinia M. says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I ran into Sonya at BJ’s last month and I was touched by her last words to me, Moments after our conversation had ended, she circled back around just to ask me if she could help me with anything and then she told me to let her know if I ever needed anything. This is what I will miss and cherish most about her. May God bless you and your family?

  9. Terry J. says:

    My deepest condolences to the entire family. Sending healing prayers and comfort during this difficult time.

  10. Maida Piggee says:

    Forever you will be missed! You gave me so much guidance and career encouragement! We retired together in 2022. I remember how excited you were a year ago! Rest in heaven my friend!

    Condolences to your family!

    Maida Piggee

  11. Angela Neal says:

    You all are in my thoughts and prayers ❤. Sonya was in the first office I worked in. 1986

  12. Renee Sm says:

    I’d like to extend my deepest condolences to Sonya’s family and friends. She was an inspiration to so many. Her warm smile and giving spirit will always remind me that I was blessed to know her. You are in my prays and thoughts

  13. Michael Taylor says:

    Prayers and Condolences to Sonyas Family and Friends. May the Peace and Comfort of GOD be with All the family and friends. ‘Earth has No Sorrow that Heaven Cannot Heal’.

  14. Austin Baker says:

    My prayers go out to the family she was a good friend of the Baker family she was like a sister to us we will miss her so much The Baker

  15. Robert Ivery says:

    My sincere condolences to the family and friends. Sonya was an incredible person that left us way too soon. She is greatly missed. I will forever treasure all of the memories of working with and for her.

  16. Renee S. says:

    I will always think of Sonya’s warm smile! She was always gracious. Her kindness was well known. May you find peace in knowing she loved her family. She was a blessing to all.

  17. Brenda Ivery says:

    I’d like to offer my deepest sympathy for Taaron and your family.

  18. Betty Phillips says:

    Sonia was truly a gift from God. She personified elegant beauty and grace and she was so down to earth. She exemplified all the qualities that the Lord would want us have in the workplace. Humility, professionalism and an exhortation. Sonya had all of those qualities in a gentle way. Just to see her was encouraging. She mentored me on a few occasions and also had advice on simple things like a great nail salon. She left a magnificent impact while she was on earth and she will be missed. To God be the glory for a life that resonated His glory!

  19. Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D. says:

    Dear Taaron and Family,

    Sonia was an amazing and very talented professional and leader who shared her boundless gifts with so many.

    Please know that she is now at peace and is with our Father in Heaven

    Thank you for sharing Sonia with us all. May the Lord Bless and Keep You.

    With Deepest Sympathy,

    Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.
    Southside Virginia Community College

  20. Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D. says:


    Your mother was an outstanding leader who used her many talents and gifts to help so many.

    Please know that she is now at peace in heaven with our Heavenly Father.

    Thank you for sharing your special Mother with all of us.

    With Deepest Sympathy,

    Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.
    Southside Virginia Community College

  21. Algeania Freeman, PhD says:

    Taaron and Family,
    Please accept my deepest condolences. I loved Sonya Holt with my whole heart. I was so very proud of all her earthly accomplishments as well as the wonderful woman of God she was. I shared so many wonderful career and personal moments with her. I met Sonya’s beloved mother. Yes, Taaron was the pride and joy of Sonya’s life. My heart is broken beyond measure in the loss of my Spiritual Daughter and most beloved friend. May our God comfort you in your loss now and forevermore.
    Algeania Freeman, PhD
    20th President of Wilberforce University
    2nd President of Martin University
    11th President of Livingstone College
    Acting President of St. Paul’s College

  22. Rhondra says:

    Tarron – Please accept my deepest condolences. May God comfort you and family in this difficult time.
    Rhondra – NCIS SEFO

  23. Angela Jenkins-Zoller says:

    My heart goes out to the family. I am incredibly sorry for your loss. Sending prayers for peace, comfort and angels to watch over you.

  24. Carmen Middleton says:

    Sonya was the epitome of grace, resilience, style, and hard work. Even in the workplace, she brought her heart to every thing she did and every encounter. She always made it known how proud she was of her son, and she modeled the best of what it meant to be “authentic” in the workplace. Praying for peace to her family during this difficult time.

  25. Collins McDaniel says:

    I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Mary Catherine Holt, Taaron Washington, and family. I offer these words of comfort. God is your refuge and strength. Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He shall sustain each of you. Be of good courage and God shall strengthen your heart. May God bless/keep each of you and His countenance forever shine upon each of you. God will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces. It was well with Sonya soul and God will redeem her soul from the power of the grave and receive her.
    Yours In Christ.

  26. Angel Hampton says:

    Taaron, Mrs. Holt and family. You have my deepest condolences. Sonya was a beautiful person inside and out. She will be deeply missed and loved. I will cherish our friendship forever. May your family be comforted knowing that she is resting in Jesus’s arms. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  27. Becca says:

    Reading about Sonya after hearing the stories and feeling the love of her niece for many years, makes it so clear that she is the change we need in the world. Hugs Manya, her momma (Sonya’s sister) and the entire family. I hope being together this weekend provides some healing

  28. Paula Harrell Brunson says:

    My deepest condolences to the entire family sorry for your loss.

  29. Kathy Butler says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this most difficult time.

  30. Gemika says:

    I extend my condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the family and appreciation to Sonya for being an advocate, safe space, and pulling me in to give wise counsel. Your legacy and impact are undeniable. Rest well.

  31. Cynthia Davis says:

    My condolences and prayer to Sonya Holt’s family. And friends. She was a jewel. She will definitely be missed. I am still so so shock and surprised of her loss. May God comfort you all during this difficult time.

  32. Marcia Rucker says:

    Taaron, so very sorry for your loss. Prayers go out to you and your family. You were truly your moms “angel”. Sonya was a beautiful person inside and out. Our paths crossed while working together in the Recruitment Center of the CIA. Her dedication to the mission and helping others was always front and center. She was a joy to work with and she will be truly missed!

  33. Marcia Rucker says:

    My sincere condolences go out to you Taaron and family. You were your moms angel. Sonya was a beautiful person inside and out. Our paths crossed while working in the Recruitment Center of the CIA. She loved her job and was always a joy to be around. God is watching over her now!

  34. Wendi says:

    Sonya led by example. Her contributions will have a positive impact for decades to come. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and kindness. You are missed by so many.

  35. Terrri Young says:

    Taaron I am so sorry for the loss of your mother. Please know that you and the family are in my prayers

  36. Barbara Reigle says:

    My condolences to the family. Sonya was a role model to so many in her professional career. The Agency is in a better place because of her dedication and the many lives she touched. My heart goes out to the family doing this difficult time. May you find comfort knowing that she is with the Lord.

  37. Bob Davis says:

    My heart aches at losing such a great friend and colleague. You define the word leader. Your constant focus on the mission and people of the CIA is a legacy that will carry on despite the great loss we all feel right now. My deepest condolences to Sonya’s family.

  38. Miranda Brown says:

    There aren’t any words that can ease how you feel due to the loss of such an awesome mother, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague. However, know that God is present and will guide you to a level of comfort knowing Sonya is resting in heaven. She will indeed be missed. I send healing prayers and comfort during this unexpected time in life.

  39. Tuwanda Gamble says:

    My condolences to the family Taaron So sorry to here about your mother. My Condolences Tuwanda NCIS

  40. Delores Butler Davis says:

    Sincere condolences to Cynthia (Bunny) and family. So sorry for your loss and May God continue to comfort you during your time of bereavement.

  41. Carolyn Wright says:

    Dear Sonya, you were such a beautiful queen and amazing spirit, and you will be so missed. My deepest condolences to the family and my prayers are with them. Gone but never forgotten rest in peace.

  42. Gloria Jordan-Hayden says:

    Congratulations go out to Sonya’s family. You will be truly missed, my prayers and love go out the entire family. Gloria Jordan-Hayden

    • Gloria Jordan-Hayden says:

      My apologies for my mistake, I fill so bad and know that the family knows that I meant condolences, love you all again. Glo

  43. Sonja S. says:

    My prayers and condolences to Sonya’s family.

  44. Debra Lang says:

    To Sonya’s family, wishing you love and strength as you carry on after Sonya’s abrupt departure. She was a graceful and inspiring leader and role model who made a significant difference. Her impact will continue to resonate in the many lives she touched, as well as through the organizational changes that she implemented. You can be very proud of all that she accomplished.

  45. Lee Holland says:

    Gone too soon…Recall and remember the days of high school..
    Rest well in all the glory of the eternal One.

  46. Karen estes says:

    Sending my deepest condolences and prayers to the family Karen Estes NCIS DCWA.

  47. Karen estes says:

    Sending my condolences and deepest prayers to the Family Karen Estes NCIS DCWA

  48. Irma M. says:

    My deepest and sincere condolences to your family. From You are a kind and beautiful soul and you have earned your wings. And the angels are rejoicing.

  49. Keith Camper (aka) K.CEE says:

    All I could say was WOW! We go back to my early years in the Navy. I can still remember our conversations about how we just wanted to give back and leave a good legacy. Well my friend you did just that and some. I real don’t know how to say goodbye to you. Over the years we both when in different paths, but we both played on the same team ( The United States Government). Your achievements set the bar for many to follow, I am sure that you are in heaven teaching diversity, ( even if it’s not needed) but GOD knows who he needs to call on if it ever comes a time for it. Take your rest my Queen until we meet again, your smile and beautiful will be missed. You are loved.

  50. Kahaliah Washington-Cook says:

    I am deeply saddened by the news of your loss. I pray that God will grant you and your family the strength and comfort.

  51. Tonia says:

    This was such a sudden and unfortunate loss. You were a beautiful person inside and out. Wishing you eternal peace. Wishing your family and friends comfort during this difficult time.

  52. Alicia Holt says:

    Condolences and prayers to our Family. Going to miss you cuz, give the Family hugs & kisses from me .Love you

  53. Joy S says:

    My condolences & prayers to the family & friends of Sonya.

  54. Diane Goodnight says:

    My deepest sympathy and condolences to Ms. Holt’s family. She was my manager when I served in Recruitiment. I will always cherish her professionalism, leadership and mentorship. May God cover her family with comfort and strength.
    Diane G.

  55. Lorie Roule says:

    Dear Sonya’s Family, It was an absolute honor to serve with Sonya, who will always remain in memory as a dear colleague and eternal friend. May you find some comfort in knowing that her work inspired many and changed the fabric of an entire organization for the better.

  56. Michaun Jordan says:

    I am deeply saddened to learn that you have been called home so soon but I am at peace knowing that you are in a better place. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    Michaun and Family

  57. Kathleen says:

    Sonya’s focus on inclusion and always doing the next right thing propelled our Agency forward especially through turbulent years. She was a true trailblazer and the world is a better place because of her efforts. I wish peace to her family and colleagues t this difficult time.

  58. Jackie J-M says:

    Sonya, my Barbie doll, I will always cherish the memories of our many years of love and laughter. From Broadway to the Big Easy, we were there! Rest in peace, my beautiful sista!

  59. Sue G. says:

    What a loss. And yet, what a life. Will be grateful for knowing Sonya and will hold her family and friends in my heart.

  60. Darrell M. Blocker says:

    Leader. That was my immediate thought when I first met Sonya towards the end of my career. And, witnessing her in action at leadership meetings or leadership courses was an honor that sadly I never shared with my former colleague. Sonya’s impact on the CIA and greater IC is incalculable but will resonate for decades to come. You are loved. You are missed.

  61. Shelia Carter says:

    I haven’t seen you in years but I cherish our childhood memories through high school. Rest in heavenly peace my friend.

  62. Darryl Lansey says:

    My sincere condolences to Sonya’s family. Sonya made a difference in this world before leaving us too soon.

  63. Vivian Henderson says:

    My dear friend Sonya, you will be deeply missed. Thanks for being such a light in my life. Deepest condolences to your family. Rest peacefully. Vivian Henderson

  64. Cynthia Miller says:

    Condolences to the family of a beautiful Queen who left an amazing legacy.
    Deepest Sympathy,

  65. Roynda Hartsfield says:

    Sonya-my Queen. You have been and continue to be an inspiration to us all. Death can not separate the love we have or sever the legacy built to make changes in this world. I know you go before us, but in knowing that you as always, pave the way for light to shine, I look forward to seeing you again and in knowing there is peace at the end of the journey. -With my deepest aloha and gratitude for your friendship. Roy

  66. Sharon says:

    Gone too soon. It was a pleasure having worked for you and with you. May you rest peacefully in Our Savior’s arms. May your family be comforted knowing that you have transitioned to a better place.

  67. Michelle Higgins says:

    To our dear Sonya, you are a legacy and we’re always there for me and my family over the years. It’s been an honor to have been your professional and personal friend. We love you and miss you! Xo Bob, Michelle and Michael

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