Carmen S. Holeman
1923 - 2020
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Carmen S. Holeman

Indianapolis - Carmen S. Holeman, 97, born April 29, 1923, in Mauthausen, Austria, died December 17. Her husband Mark M. Holeman predeceased her in May 2020. She is survived by a few relatives in Spain, Italy and Germany.

During World War II Carmen and her sister Gretel were advised to flee Vienna ahead of the Russian invasion. They walked to Dachau, Germany, crossing over mountains and sleeping in hay lofts along the way. She was drafted into the German Air Force and operated search lights to detect incoming bombers.

Carmen became secretary to the mayor of Dachau. It was through that job that she met her future husband Mark who was working with the U.S. Army. He convinced her to marry him. After he was back in the U.S., he arranged for her boat passage to America. Three days after her arrival they were married. She spoke no English at that time.

Carmen was an excellent cook and often fixed native Austrian dishes. She was also very involved in her gardens. She worked for Wm. H. Block department store in the alterations department, eventually becoming the leader.

Both Carmen and Mark were active with the Indianapolis Museum of Art and contributed numerous textiles, artwork and horticultural specimens to the IMA. In 1998 the Holemans funded a contemporary gallery, now known as the Carmen and Mark Holeman Gallery.

They were also active supporters of the Herron Art Library, Indianapolis City Ballet, and Festival Music Society and many other arts organizations.

There will be a private burial service planned at a later date. Contributions in her memory may be made to any of the organizations she supported or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Arrangements entrusted to Flanner Buchanan-Washington Park North

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Published in The Indianapolis Star from Dec. 24 to Dec. 27, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
January 2, 2021
Carmen and Mark were dear friends and at one point neighbors. We were able to spend quite a bit of time together in the last 10 years or so. I miss them greatly!!

Dixie Roe
Dixie Roe
December 27, 2020
I have known both Mark and Carmen for only a short time. We met while both Mark and my mother were in the Care Center at Marquette Manor. Together we ate lunch almost everyday sharing stories about art, Austria and food. The Holeman’s had such huge hearts and made us (me especially) feel like part of the family. Sadly due to the Pandemic we hadn’t visited recently. It was hard to accept that reality and we dearly miss our times together. Being of German descent and my wife Bella also being Austrian, we had many memories to share with each other, Carmen shared her big heart with everyone.
Richard Heilbrunn
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