Mary Jane Holmes|
March 22, 1946-Nov 20, 2012
Resident of Oakland
Mary Jane's entire career - except for two years as a teacher in the Peace Corps in Western Samoa in the 1970s - was as a public elementary school teacher in Fremont, California. Her longest tenure was a science specialist at Parkmont Elementary School. She retired in 2007. She passed away after a long, courageous battle with breast cancer.
Mary Jane was widely traveled, played the piano and guitar, and enjoyed hands-on arts. Her favorite hobby, however, was geology. In 2006, she was honored with the K-12 Geoscience Teaching Award of the Northern California Geological Society, of which she was a member. She also was an active member of the Mineral and Gem Society of Castro Valley.
Mary Jane was born to Frederick B. and Leila Davis Holmes and grew up in West Sacramento, Calif. She graduated from James Marshall High School and went on to earn her AA degree in Biological Sciences from Sacramento City College, then her AB degree in history from the University of California, Davis. She earned her teaching credential from the Graduate School of Education at the University of California at Berkeley, moved to Oakland, and then went to work for the Fremont Unified School District.
She is survived by her husband, Thomas B. Debley of Oakland, and two step-sons, Jason S. Debley and his wife, Cara, and Marc A. Debley, all of Seattle, Washington; two sisters and their husbands, Freda and Robert Barron of Hayward and Priscilla Holmes and Robert Schleef of both Ventura, Calif., and Hawthorne, Nevada; and one brother and sister-in-law, Jonathan and Diana Holmes of Carmichael, Calif. She is also survived by three step-grandchildren and three nieces and a nephew.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, at Montclair Presbyterian Church, 5701 Thornhill Drive, Oakland.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome in Memory of Mary Jane Holmes to Rosie's Girls, a program serving at-risk middle school girls in Richmond, California through the Rosie the Riveter Trust and the National Park Service. Send donations, marked "In Memory of Mary Jane Holmes for Rosie's Girls," to: Rosie the Riveter Trust, P.O. Box 71126, Richmond, CA 94807-1126.
Published in Inside Bay Area on Nov. 28, 2012