Roland w. Holmes ’42

Roland W. Holmes ’42 died May 27, 2012, at his home in Plymouth, Mass. He was born on August 7, 1920, in Plymouth, and graduated from Plymouth High School. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He earned a master’s degree in education from Boston University in 1957 and studied English at Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University). He served to captain in the Navy and commander in the Naval Reserve. In World War II, he commanded LCT-251 during the invasion of Tarawa and saw action in several other islands in the Pacific Theater. He also served on LST-1083, the first such ship to drop anchor in Japanese waters prior to the signing of the peace treaty in 1945. He commanded Naval Reserve Units in Massachusetts and in 1959 served on a Naval Promotion Board in Washington, D.C. He taught at Plymouth High School and Plymouth-carver High School from 1946 to 1966, serving as head of the English department. In 1966, he was appointed assistant dean and lecturer at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He also served as director of general curriculum and director of independent plans of study. He retired in 1980 and returned to Plymouth, where he and his family and friends designed and built two houses on the family’s land. The first, a unique passive solar design, was built between 1953 and 1960; the second broke ground in 1982. He was an Eagle Scout and alter in life was a member of the National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Manomet Bird Observatory, South Shore Bird Club, Vermont Natural Resources Council, and Eel River Beach Club. He was a trustee of the Pilgrim Society and a volunteer at Plimoth Plantation. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Margie Decker Holmes; three sons, Stephen J., Evan W. and Peter A. Holmes; a daughter, Joanna Holmes; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.