Exodus / Slayer guitarist Gary Holt announced the death of his father, Billie Charles Holt, earlier this week. In an Instagram post, Holt paid tribute to “the greatest man I’ve ever known” while writing of his father’s final days.

Gary Holt was forced to leave Slayer’s farewell tour to take care of Billie, knowing the 85-year-old didn’t have much time left. Gary managed to spend another two weeks with his dad before the man’s death on Dec. 17.

In remembrance of his father, Gary writes:

Today I lost my hero, the greatest man I’ve ever known or will know. Billie Charles Holt passed away this evening, with my mom and all his kids present, knowing he was loved and respected more than anyone. This man was a god among men, he taught me everything I ever needed to know about being a MAN. Lessons that took a long time for me to realize the truth behind them all.He built the family home by hand and paved the sidewalk of my street when it was just dirt. True greatness.I fed him his last meal, he wanted to rest, and passed in his sleep later.I love you dad. I’m broken. What feels like beyond repair at this moment. But he’s no longer in pain. Thank you to all who ever sent me positive vibes and whoever wished me well during this trying time. Thank you @demmelitionmhfor aiding me to get home to enjoy what was one of his last “good” days he had, that and the day he had with my daughters. Thank you to my band mates in both bands who had my back in every way. Thanks to my brothers and my sister and entire family for bringing strength in this family unit.This is shattering. I feel empty and lost. @lisaholt777 thank you for keeping me from imploding. Super thanks to my niece Ashley , you were the single greatest gift to your grandfathers care and comfort.Dad, I’ll try to live up to your standards in every way. July 6,1933-December 17,2018. Love you forever.This hurts so much

Former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel filled in for Holt during Slayer’s final 2018 tour dates. Slayer will kick off their next leg on March 7, hitting Australia and New Zealand before visiting Japan, Europe and additional parts of the United States.

We’d like to send our deepest condolences to Gary Holt and his family during this difficult time.

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