FREDERICK H. HOLMES RAF FIGHTER PILOT DEVELOPER OF YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE Fred Holmes passed away peacefully Tuesday January 6 at Sunset Manor Collingwood from complications due to Alzheimer's disease. He was in his 81st year and was surrounded by his family. Born in England July 4, 1923, Fred trained to be an RAF pilot in Canada at Bagotville, St. Eugene and Camp Borden. He received his RAF Wings at Camp Borden in 1943. He was a Flight Lieutenant with the 129 Mysore Squadron among others and flew Spitfires under Fighter Command for much of the War as well as Mustangs. Post War he as part of ferry command, flew British aircraft from India to the U.K. via the Middle East. On one trip he flew from Calcutta to Jodhpur India the personal L.5 aircraf t of the Maharaja of Jodhpur who then recognized Fred with an engraved silver cigarette case. Fred married Randi February 15, 1947, a lady he met during the Liberation of Norway and they moved to Canada in 1949 from the U.K. After a stint as a bush pilot in northern Alberta and the N.W.T., he served in 1954 as a quantity surveyor on Toronto's Yonge St subway project. Fred then entered the property development field working on shopping centre developments in Kingston, Edmonton, London, Bur naby and Halifax but his crown jewel was Yorkdale Shopping Centre, which he incubated, hatched and grew into the giant it's become through his futuristic planning. Rene Levesque's election in 1977 caused Canadian Pacific to shelve its planned Windsor Station redevelopment project in Montreal. Fred was then reassigned to the U.S. as President of Marathon U.S. Realties Inc. There he built office towers in San Francisco, Portland and Atlanta and culminated his U.S. experiences for Urban Developments building SOHIO's head office in Cleveland in 1986, a 1.5 million square foot project. In Canada Fred was associated with building Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Bow Valley Square, Calgary,40 University Ave, Toronto, Flemington Park, Toronto and laying out the Scarborough Town Centre Plan. Fred is a former Life Member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, Caledon Ski Club and a former lecturer at York University in property management. Fred is survived by a brother Arthur and a cousin Pat, both in the U.K.,his spouse of almost 57 years Randi, his son Fred Jr. and his wife Susan, grandchildren Monica (Todd Warnell),David, Richard and the dog Brittany as well as long time family friend, Miss Muriel Code. Fred was predeceased by a brother John and a son Peter Anthony. The family thanks the staff of Georgian 1 at Sunset Manor, Dr. T. Quigg and Pat Piwtorak for all the care and comfort given Fred. At Fred's request, there will be no service. Cremation has taken place.
Published in The Globe and Mail on Jan. 12, 2004.