John R. Holmes (Jack) died peacefully on July 3, 2022 at Tidewell Hospice House in Venice, Florida after a battle with cancer at the age of 88. Jack was born in Berlin, New Hampshire on February 7, 1934 to Helen and John A. Holmes. He graduated from Gorham High School in 1953 and after graduation left for boot camp training in Maryland at the Bainbridge Naval Station. He served in the United States Navy from 1953 to his retirement in May of 1983. Following his navy retirement, Jack was employed as a Senior Combat System Engineer for Mantech International Corporation in Virginia until he retired in 2000.
Jack met Joanne Olson, the “love of his life” at Hart’s Pizza Place in 1951 and after bootcamp training in 1953, he returned to Gorham, NH to propose to Joanne, but she was already engaged to be married. In July of 1988, thirty-five years after the first proposal to Joanne, Jack married his forever love and they were married for 27 years until Joanne Holmes died in September of 2015. In their retirement, they enjoyed playing golf together, spending time at the family cottage in Maine and traveling to New York, Idaho and Louisiana to visit family. Together they went on an Alaskan cruise, traveled extensively across the United States and traveled to Spain and Portugal. During their married life together, they were active in the Gorham Congregational Church by picking blueberries and strawberries for the Blueberry and Strawberry Festivals and setting up for flea markets. Jack served on the Board of Trustees and enjoyed singing in the choir.
Jack was predeceased by his parents, Helen and John Holmes, and his brother, Carroll H. Holmes who died in January of 2015.
Jack is survived by his three step children: Donna Keenan (Christopher), Cindy Micucci (Mark), and Stephen Fiske (Geralynn). Jack is also survived by his seven grandchildren: Sarah, Heather, Andrew, Tyler, Christine, Katherine and Stephanie and ten great grandchildren: Olivia, Emily, Alice, Rhett, Hayes, Eliza, Ella, Evan, Noah, and Tessa with one due in January.
A few years after Joanne died, Jack was blessed to be introduced to Christa Ziegler. Christa was a faithful friend and companion to Jack. They enjoyed traveling together to California for the youngest granddaughter’s college graduation, attending Christa’s grandson’s wedding together and visiting at the family cottage in Maine and enjoying family time together. Jack remained active during his eighties playing golf with good friends two days a week, riding around his mobile home park every evening with Christa and enjoying dinners out with Christa and friends. He enjoyed playing in a golf tournament in New York for many years with his long-time friend, Bill Moore. The family is forever grateful to Christa as she became Jack’s caregiver during his battle with cancer.
Jack loved spending time with his grandchildren and was always delighted to see his great grandchildren in person and on FaceTime calls. Jack will be remembered for the support and care he gave to Joanne during her many surgeries and illnesses. Jack was a patient, unassuming man with a gentle soul. He will be dearly missed.
The Memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 7th at 2:00 pm at the Gorham Congregational Church, UCC in Gorham, New Hampshire. Donations may be made in Jack’s memory to the Gorham Congregational Church of 143 Main Street, Gorham, NH 03581. Online guestbook at www.bryantfuneralhome.net