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Roger A. Holmes

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Holmes Roger Arnold Holmes, 85, of Dublin, OH, died on June 16, 2017. He was born August 31, 1931 in Peekskill, New York to Robert Hancock Holmes and Louise Velte Holmes. Roger lived his school years in Dover, NJ and graduated from Dover High School in 1949. Dr. Holmes was a 1953 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. After his honorable discharge from the service, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University where he earned his masters degree and doctorate, respectively, in electrical engineering. During his 37-year career, Dr. Holmes held a variety of positions in both the academic and industrial sectors. Early in his career, he taught electrical engineering at Purdue where he cofounded the Laboratory for Agricultural Remote Sensing. He also authored a textbook on solid state devices. In 1970, Dr. Holmes became the Dean of Engineering at the University of South Carolina. While there, he served as chairman of a NASA/Johnson Space Center working group on Landsat agricultural remote sensing of the Earth. In 1977, Dr. Holmes accepted a position as Dean of Academic Affairs, Provost and Professor of Electrical Engineering at General Motors Institute and conducted remote sensing research under contract with NASA. During the 1980's and 1990's, Dr. Holmes worked on welding systems and robotic controls for the automotive industry at Sciaky, Inc., in Chicago, IL, as well as on sensor design and development for paper and sheet polymer industries at ABB, Inc., in Columbus, OH. Committed to lifelong learning, Roger volunteered his time after retirement at the Dublin Community Center teaching computer literacy classes to seniors, and served on the board for the Cornerstone Academy and Columbus Humanities, Arts, and Technical Academy charter schools. Roger was a meticulous builder of ship models and an active member of the Shipwrights of Central Ohio. He was working on a scale model of the USS Hartford at the time of his illness. Roger also loved spending summers with family at the Carolina beaches. After becoming an avid skier late in life, Roger enjoyed winter trips to the Colorado mountains with family and friends. Beginning as a Coast Guard cadet sailing the tall ship Eagle, Roger was an avid world traveler, visiting many European and Middle Eastern nations. Wherever he travelled, Roger sought out museums of the arts, sciences, and history. Roger was preceded in death by his parents and by his stepmother, Vivian Schmidt Holmes. Dr. Holmes is survived by his wife of 62 years, Esther Bender Holmes; and by three daughters and their families, Carol Holmes Nelms and husband, Keith of Tallulah Falls, GA, Susan Holmes Sennewald of Midlothian, VA, and Ruth Holmes Cornell and husband, Don of Irmo, SC; granddaughters, Sarah Nelms Hafeman and husband, Darren of Frankfurt, Germany, Laura Lee (nèe Sennewald) Miller and her husband, Robert of Falls Church, VA, and Melissa Cornell of Irmo, SC. He is also survived by a brother and his family, Jeffrey and Linda Holmes and nieces, Stefanie Holmes and Sharon Holmes of Oak Ridge and Knoxville TN; and by numerous extended family members. The family wishes to acknowledge the support of Ohio Home Hospice and the Ohio Veterans Affairs. Friends are invited to visit the family at a memorial reception on Sunday, July 16 from 1-3 p.m. at the Dublin Community Center in Dublin, OH. Memorial contributions may be made to the .


Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 25, 2017
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