Don E Holmes

Don E. Holmes, 101, of Longwood, Florida, passed away on March 27, 2024. He was born in New York City, New York, on August 1, 1922.

Don served in the Army Air Corp as a First Lieutenant from 1942 to 1946 serving as a bombardier on a B24. He flew 31 combat missions and returned home. In 2015, Don was awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal for his service in defending France.

After Don left the service and graduated from the University of Wisconsin he began his sales career with Burroughs in 1947 in Madison, Wisconsin. He then moved to Winter Park, Florida in 1957 and worked with LeFebure until 1962. Ultimately, Don became an owner and Vice President of Foreline Systems based in Tampa, Fl. He retired from Foreline Systems in 1982. Don’s 35 year career was in sales to the banking community. For the next 30 years, Don served in various capacities in the construction industry. His last position was Director of Sales for Deatrick Engineering. He loved the position as it allowed him to connect with a wide range of individuals throughout the construction industry. Don followed his two sons into construction as compared to the more normal path of the sons following their father. Don worked until the age of 92 when he relinquished his drivers license. He was sorely missed by all of his clients.

Don was an excellent card player and he loved to play bridge and poker and later in life Dominos. His favorite poker club met for almost 50 years and he looked so forward to those poker games. Don other activities centered around his faith and his church. He was member of the vestry at All Saints Church, Winter Park and Church of the Good Shepherd, Maitland, and served on the Diocesan Board of the Episcopal Church of Central Florida. In addition, he delivered food for the Meals on Wheels Program, led Faith Alive Weekends, was active in the Kairos Prison Ministry, Band of Brothers and the Cursillo Movement.

Don lived a very full life and he touched many people along the way. He was one of the most optimistic, joyful people you would ever want to meet. He had a unique ability to love so many….. and if ever met you and heard your story, he would remember it and tell it to someone else with with the same enthusiasm. Don would always make you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He had a sincere and genuine interest in others and their life stories. He was so proud of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and he would tell everyone who would listen about them. Everyone would ask him how he lived to be 101 and his answer was always the same. Faith, Family, Chocolate, and a Margarita. And sometimes he would add… And I never took vitamins. Family and friendships fueled his long life. And in the end, his faith in Jesus Christ shined through as he repeatedly stated he had lived a long and faithful life and was ready to go home.

He is survived by his son, Bruce Holmes, wife Kathie Holmes, daughter – Charlotte Carrier and her husband Justin, their children Andrew, Caroline, daughter – Emily and her husband Davy, their children Charli, Koby, Maggie, Wesley, daughter – Alicia and her husband Austin, their children Norah, Eloise, Josie, daughter -Briana, and sons – Isaiah and Noah. Don is also survived by his son William (Bill), his wife Ann, and their daughters Saralynn , Carmen Coleman and her sons Jake and Josh Purvis , son Randy Coleman and wife Lindsey and daughter Kaylyn , Trisha Trnka Stone and Kelly Trnka Stone and son Zackary , Daughter Ashley Rivera and husband Carlo , their children Luca, Beau and Addie . Don is also survived by his daughter, Sara Holmes Hogan, husband Brian, son Jack Hogan, son Nick Hogan and his wife Nicole, their children Connor and Cami, and daughter Ann Hogan Murphy, and her husband Adam and their children Ava and Andrew and step daughter, Debbie Stockton, husband Jim, and their children Madison Foster, husband Brian, and children Callie and Rory, and James Stockton.

Don was preceded in death by his wife, Sara Gallemore Holmes, his mother Florence Edwards Thrall, and his father Charles Holmes Thrall.

Don graduated from Florida Military Academy in St. Petersburg, FL, and later earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. His places of worship were The Community Oratory, Orangewood Church, and The Church of the Good Shepherd.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Maitland, FL on Saturday, April 13th at 2:00 pm. Contributions in his memory can be made to Orangewood Christian School.

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