WAKEFIELD, VA. -- Retired Circuit Judge Carlton E. Holladay, 88, a founder of the Wakefield shad planking, died Nov. 26 at a Suffolk, Va., nursing home. The cause of death was not reported.
He was a member of the Wakefield Town Council from 1943 to 1952 and its president from 1954 to 1958.
Judge Holladay was a native of Isle of Wight County, Va., and a 1924 graduate of the College of William and Mary. He practiced law briefly in Waverly, then moved to Dendron in Surry County, where he was elected mayor in 1925. He moved to Wakefield in 1927.
He joined the Wakefield Ruritan Club -- the nation's third oldest -- when it was organized in 1929 and was elected president the next year. He was elected national Ruritan president in 1934.
The Wakefield Ruritan Club began its annual shad planking in 1949. The first event attracted about 300 people. Today, the shad planking, which takes place on the third Wednesday in April, is an annual political rite that attracts several thousand people, including most people planning to run for elective office in Virginia.
In 1958, Judge Holladay was appointed to the 3rd Judicial Circuit, composed of the city of Hopewell and the counties of Brunswick, Greensville, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. He retired from the bench in 1977.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Sue Davis Holladay, and a brother, W.J. Holladay Jr. of Virginia Beach.