HOWARD A. HOLMES

H Holmes webphotoHoward Holmes, of Mora, passed away on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at the FristLight Health System in Mora.  He was 98 years old.

FUNERAL SERVICE will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20th at Calvary Lutheran Church in Mora with Rev. Dean Oelfke officiating.

VISITATION will be from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19th at Akkerman-Ingebrand Funeral Home; plus 1 hour prior to the funeral on Saturday at the church.

INTERMENT will be at Riverside Cemetery in Brunswick.

After 98+ years, a big, strong heart of gold has quit beating. Howard passed away Tuesday evening, April 9 at First Light Hospital in Mora, MN.

 Howard Ashton Holmes was born December 23, 1914 to Herbert & Emma (Bergman) Holmes on the family farm in Brunswick.  He spent his childhood working on the family farm and attending Brunswick School.  As a young man, he hauled livestock and had a cream route. In October 1941, he was drafted into the army only weeks before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  In the fall of 1942 Howard volunteered for a “dangerous and hazardous mission”. This mission became known as the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater of Operations. On February 7, 1944 this unit, now known as Merrill’s Marauders, comprised of 3000 soldiers, set out on foot through mountainous, muddy, dense forest and jungle conditions – enduring not only engagements with the enemy, but also sickness, scorpions, snakes, limited air drops of food and supplies, and more – with the goal of overtaking a Japanese airfield.  Howard’s role was that of a mule leader – a pivotal role because the only means to move supplies and weaponry was by mule.  Merrill’s Marauders successfully seized the airfield on May 17, 1944 after marching for approximately 600 miles. Howard was evacuated and sent to a hospital in India weighing 115 lbs. In October 1945, he was officially discharged and headed back to Brunswick.  In 1983, a Bronze Star came to Howard in the mail.  Last fall, he was recognized by fellow Army rangers (retired and current) for his service and sacrifice. Howard “Skinner” Holmes was a proud, but humble, soldier.

 On July 5, 1951 Howard married Bonnie Eaton and raised their family of five children together. He worked for the Mora Police Dept and then Honeywell in Minneapolis until he retired in 1976.  Even after retirement, he worked part-time digging trenches, delivered meals, served as a Kanabec County Commissioner and on Brunswick’s Riverside Cemetery Board.  He also enjoyed playing card games and cribbage for many years.

 Howard was preceded in death by his son, Clair; brothers George and Claire; sisters Helen Hasty, Emma Johnson and Verna Mae Strand.

 He is survived by and will be dearly missed by his wife of 61+ years Bonnie; three sons Harlan (Lucy) Holmes of Omaha, NE; Terry (Bonnie) Holmes of Mora; and Todd (Debi) Holmes of Mora and one daughter Heidi (Mark) McGregor of Rosemount, MN; daughter-in-law Lori Holmes of Independence, MO; 15 grandchildren: Ryan, Katie, Erick, Jocelyn, Jordan, Helen, Dustin, Melissa, Jake, Betsy, Ashley, Colin, Annie, Maureen and Hannah and 18 great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by one brother Dare Holmes of Mora along with numerous nieces and nephews.

16 guestbook entries for HOWARD A. HOLMES

  1. Robert D. Matthews April 11, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    I just want the family to know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. If there is anything that I can do please let me know. Uncle Howard will be very missed.

  2. Nancy Shelton April 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Who could ever forget that grin, sideways glance and his mumbling that we tried to translate!!! He was an original and will be missed by many. Love and prayers to Aunt Bonnie and all his treasured family.

  3. Greg Walker, Secretary - MMPD April 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Howard was a Merrill’s Marauder in WWII and a true American Hero. He was an original “Army Ranger” who volunteered to fight the Japanese in Burma (behind enemy lines) in their dangerous and hazardous mission to capture the airfield at Myitkyina. God Bless him for his valor and contributions to the War effort. “Rangers Lead The Way!” Rest in Peace, Howard … we honor you as you Pass in Review.

    Geg Walker, Secreatary – MMPD
    The Merrill’s Marauders Proud Descendants
    http://www.merrillsmarauderspd.org

  4. Judy (Lindhart) Kadlec April 12, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Sincere sympathy – I have lots of good memories when they lived just down the hall from my Mom in the Pine Crest Apts –

  5. susan osterdyk April 12, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Bonnie and family. Howard was a truly wonderful man and I enjoyed many interesting and special conversations with him. He will be missed by all, and will always be remembered as a very special person.

  6. David Lowe April 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Holmes.

  7. Linda Piazza Hoover April 13, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He and my dad (Phil Piazza) will be having a lot of good talks in Heaven. The Marauder reunions will begin again. RLTW.

  8. Lee Svoboda April 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Howard was a friend for a number of years. He would stop in at the hospital to say hi and enjoy a couple of cookies and conversation. We shared times with visits to the Braham barber shop and then coffee, visits to various local cemeteries,breakfast with him and Terry, and many visits with him and his brother. I enjoyed all the times,some long, even when once, no one knew where we were. I feel sad for what we all have lost loosing Howard, but feel happy for the times we shared. I will remember Howard fondly. Thinking of Bonnie and family at this time of your loss.

  9. Bill Johnson April 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Peace to the Holmes family!

  10. Marjorie Matthews April 15, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Thinking of you Aunt Bonnie and family.

  11. David Hannu April 16, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Old soldiers may slowly fade away, yet their heroic deeds live on in all of us. Thanks to my dear Aunt Bonnie I was proudly able to call him my “Uncle Howard” all these years. Kanabec County loses a living legend who served its citizens far more than most, whereas another Brunswick Boy is home for good.

  12. kay, Jim Pierson & Families April 18, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Our Sympathy and Prayers to all of the family. I always enjoyed visiting with Howard, especially at our Braham Hospital reunions that we used to have.

    Hilderd and Kay (Hancock) Pierson

  13. Robert Whiteford/Louise(daughter) April 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    Bonnie and family you are in our thoughts and prayers. I always enjoyed seeing Howard and it was always a delight when we were able to visit. Dad has such wonderful stories of growing up with Howard. Dad has shared how he is going to miss seeing Howard and that Howard was quite a guy. I pray the family finds peace in the passing of such a wonderful man. Gods blessings to all. Howard will be truly missed.
    Robert Whiteford and Louise Hansen (daughter)

  14. Bruce Arnold April 18, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    RIP Howard, an old time Brunswick neighbor from my childhood days. Greetings to Bonne and family. Bruce Arnold

  15. Barbara & Clayt Oosterhuis April 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Our condolences to Bonnie and family. I still remember working together Bonnie and the laughs we used to have. What an interesting life Howard lived and thanks for his military service-wow!

  16. Ashley April 30, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Miss you Grandpa!

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