Theodore's Story

PORTLAND - Theodore Crozier Holmes, 95, of Portland, died Monday, August 10, 2015 at Maine Medical Center.

Born in Wakefield, MA, on March 8, 1920, he was the son of the late Oliver and Martha (McCleary) Holmes. He received his early education in the schools of Charlotte and Eastport, ME. In the late 1930's, during summer vacations from Shead High School in Eastport, he attended the War Departments Citizens Military Training Camp on Great Diamond Island in Portland.

In November 1941, after brief employment with the Social Security Board in Baltimore, and the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving principally as an aerial gunnery instructor until his Honorable Discharge in 1945.

After World War II, Mr. Holmes continued his education at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, and the University of Maine in Orono. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in history at the University of Maine. Later, he participated in several National Science Foundation summer institutes in mathematics.

Mr. Holmes began his career as a Principal-teacher at Dennysville, Maine High School. He taught school in Machias and Lewiston, and was a mathematics teacher at Lincoln Middle School in Portland for 8 years, Portland High School for 18 years, and for 10 years he taught at the Portland Adult Evening School.

During his career, he served as Vice President of the Washington County Teachers Association, and in Machias and Portland he was President of Parent-Teacher Associations. In 1981, he received the Walter E. Russell award from the University of Southern Maine for excellence in teaching.

In the early 1960's, after felling trees at a family camp in Charlotte, he and his father, using mostly hand tools, constructed a wood replica of the famous sailing yawl, Seabird, which Mr. Holmes sailed locally. For 2 years he served as the treasurer of the Casco Bay Power Squadron, and became a chairman of the Maine chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club canoe committee. He led white water canoe trips and co-led wilderness canoe trips. From 1978 to 1985, he served as a volunteer guide for wilderness canoe trips sponsored by the Maine Audubon Society.

Mr. Holmes and his family enjoyed a camp on Gardner Lake in East Machias. He built small sail boats and doll houses for his grandchildren, wrote and published the genealogy of his family and authored other books related to family history. He was a member of the Maine Historical Society, the Maine Genealogy Society, The New England Historic and Genealogy Society, The National Education Association and was a life member of the Cumberland County Teachers Association. For many years he was a member and program chairman of the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogy Society.

Mr. Holmes was predeceased by his brother, Oliver Holmes, and sisters, Olive Borton and Jacqulyn Hilyard.

He is survived by his wife, Mary (Haynes) Holmes of Portland; daughter, Julia O'Neill and husband Joseph of PA; son, Stephen Holmes and companion Joanne Lowell of Mechanic Falls; grandchildren, Eva, Edward and Malcolm Holmes all of Portland, Elizabeth and Kathleen O'Neill of PA; sister-in-law, Marie Jones Holmes of Eastport; daughter-in-law, Deborah Calabrese of Portland; brother-in-law, Thomas Hilyard of Pembroke; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a period of visitation on Friday from 2-3PM at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland. A Funeral Service will take place at 3PM on Friday at the Funeral Home. Private Burial will follow in Bucksport, ME. To view Mr. Holmes' memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit
Published in Bangor Daily News
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