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Delfred Olmstead Holmes

Dec 17, 2008

Del Holmes

Delfred Olmstead Holmes, 79, life-long resident of Muncy, died on Saturday, Dec. 6, following a heart attack. He had lived for the previous eight months at the home of his son Timothy and family in San Leandro, California.

Born in 1929 in Mechanicsburg, PA, he was the son of the Rev. Frederick V. Holmes, long-time rector of St. James Episcopal Church, and Mary Diener Holmes, a social worker at the State Correctional Institute.

He graduated from Muncy High School in 1947 and was married the former Jean Hill in 1950 until her death in 2007.

Mr. Holmes studied math at Lycoming College for several semesters and art at both the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and at the Art Students’ League in New York City. He eventually attained his Professional Engineering license, and was a materials handling engineer at Andritz Sprout Bauer (then Sprout Waldron/Koppers) for more than 25 years. After retiring, he became a part-time software and database developer.

He was a large figure in Muncy in the 1960s. As president of the Muncy chapter of the Jaycees, he designed and supervised construction of the first bridge across Muncy Creek into what is now known as Lion’s Club Park. Though it was designed to be a foot bridge, Holmes demonstrated its strength on the day it opened by driving his car across it. That wooden suspension bridge was later destroyed by trees carried by the flood of 1972. After a term as Borough Council President, he served as the borough’s zoning officer for more than three decades. He was also a regular contract bridge player and a serious bicyclist.

He will be remembered as a devoted husband, father and grandfather, a valued asset to his community, and an outspoken liberal and intellectual.

He is survived by two sisters, Joselle Holmes of Cape Cod and Dr. Roselise Wilkinson of Swarthmore, PA; four children: Joseph, 54, of Brooklyn, NY, Jody, 51, of Tucson, AZ, Christian, 44, of Oakland, CA, and Timothy, 42, of San Leandro, CA; and five grandchildren, Julian, 17, Sophia, 14, Branden, 13, Calvin, 4, and Malcolm, 2.

A memorial gathering is being planned for spring 2009 in Muncy.