Stephen Holmes ’72

Stephen Holmes ’72 died on July 1, 2018, in Scarborough, Maine.

(The following was published online at

Stephen Oliver “Otter” Holmes, 68, passed away on July 1, 2018, at Gosnell Memorial Hospice in Scarborough after a brief battle with cancer.

He was born in Bangor, Maine on February 3, 1950, the son of Theodore C. and Mary D. (Haynes) Holmes. The family moved to Portland in 1955. Stephen graduated from Deering High School in 1968, where he was a member of the State Championship Cross Country team and the band. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1972 with a degree in German Literature. He later studied accounting and computing at the University of Maine in Portland.

Growing up, Steve enjoyed canoe trips in the Allagash and salt water sailing with his father and other relatives, developing a love of water he passed on to his own children. He was also an avid gardener who gladly shared his harvest. Stephen was a champion of the underdog and once coached a Portland Little League team that won the championship after losing every game of the season.

Stephen had a career as an accountant, working for Maine Savings Bank and AAA in Portland before retiring from Utilities, Inc. in Standish. By day he was an accountant, but at heart Steve was a songwriter and musician. His band, Stevie and the Blackouts, played with legendary songwriters Doc Pomus and Otis Blackwell, who wrote many of the hits of the fifties and sixties. Other highlights of his musical career included opening for John Lee Hooker and Sleepy LaBeef. He continued to perform at local venues until he was too sick to hold his guitar.

Stephen is survived by his mother Mary, his daughter Eva Holmes and her partner John McNamara, his sons Edward Holmes and Malcolm Holmes, and his ex-wife Deborah Calabrese. In addition Steve is survived by his sister Julia and her husband Joseph O’Neill of Glenside, Pennsylvania, and nieces Elizabeth and Kathleen O’Neill. He will be sorely missed by the many friends he made along the way.

1 Comment Stephen Holmes ’72

  1. Al DeMoya '72

    Steve was my fraternity brother at Sigma Nu for a while. To me he represented a true free spirit, and marched to his own drum beat. He had an appealing personality, a ready smile, and a wry, off-beat (but never cruel) sense of humor with a satirical bend. I loved his guitar playing. I’m truly sorry at his passing.


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