David W. Holmes ’56

David W. Holmes ’56 died on March 18, 2017, in Blue Ridge, Virginia.

(The following was published in The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on March 20, 2017:)

BLUE RIDGE, Va. – David W. Holmes, 82, born in Brunswick, Maine, a Virginia resident since 1962, passed away March 18, 2017, surrounded by his family.

David was educated at Bowdoin College, Harvard University, and University of Illinois. His love of music brought him to Hollins College where he taught music for over 30 years and retired as dean of academic affairs.

His prolific musical performance history ranged from playing organ as a young man, tuba in the marching band, recorder, piano and harpsichord. In addition to the many home private concerts, he also performed in various musical groups on campuses, at local events, and the White House. From time to time, he shared his vast musical knowledge as a part-time music reviewer for the Roanoke Times.
His passion for equality and his work in the 1960s for the civil rights movement, marches in Washington, restaurant minority sit-ins, and multiple editorial letters to the editor, all contributed to help make Roanoke a better place for all of us. He was a continuous supporter of non-profit organizations that combat intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation.

He had a charmed sense of humor that all who knew him appreciated. In his family he instilled a passion for travel, outdoors, and history.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Connie; daughter, Elizabeth Holmes Holladay; his second wife, Dolly Doughty; and his brothers, Julian and Peter Holmes.

David is survived by his sister, Janet Holmes Carper; three daughters, Marcia Holmes Alexander, Carol Holmes Marand, and Susan Holmes Holt; and seven grandchildren, Josh Alexander, Hannah and Will Holladay, Sean and Evan Deyerle, and Lillian and Charlotte Holt.

1 Comment David W. Holmes ’56

  1. Fred Myer '60

    My condolences to Dave’s family. I became friends with him when he filled in at the music department during Tilly’s sabbatical. He let me teach a couple of Music 1-2 classes.


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