Royal B. Holmes, 1921-2017

LANGDON, N.H. – Royal B. Holmes, 96, of Langdon died Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. He was born on Ball Hill on July 25, 1921, the third son of George A. and May (Barnes) Holmes. He attended school in Langdon and graduated from Bellows Falls Union High School in 1939, graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1943. He married Marion (Kemp) on Aug. 13, 1944, and together they raised their six children on the family farm. Marion passed away Jan. 25, 2002.

Royal proudly served his country during WWII in the 97th Infantry Division in Germany and France and later in Fukushima Province, Honshu, during the Japan occupation. He joined the Army in June of 1943 and was discharged from active duty in October of 1946. After the war he joined first the National Guard and then the Army Reserves. He continued his service in the USAR through 1981, when he retired with the rank of full colonel. During that time he attended basic airborne training and served in a leadership capacity with units in Manchester, Concord, and Keene. Royal was also honored recently as a continuous 70-year member of the Britton-Porter Post 57, American Legion.

“Bucket” farmed with Registered Jerseys a good part of his life on the Holmes Farm. He was a member of the N.H. Farm Bureau, serving twice as Sullivan County president, and in 2008 was awarded the N.H. Farm Bureau Profile Award. He was a lifetime member of both the New England Jersey Breeders Assn. and the N.H. Jersey Cattle Club. He also belonged to the American Jersey Cattle Assn, carrying on the farming tradition passed on to him.

He served 12 years as postmaster of the Alstead Post Office and sold life insurance part time with Provident Mutual. In addition, he served as a special deputy Forest Fire Warden for New Hampshire. When he wasn’t working at any of the above, he was either hunting, fishing, playing cribbage or cheering for the Red Sox!

“RB” was active in town affairs, serving 26 years as supervisor of the checklist. He was a member of and held several positions in the Langdon Congregational Church and was for many years an active member of the Langdon Players.

Royal was predeceased by his wife, Marion, and his brothers, G. Allen and Clifford Holmes. He is survived by his second wife, Dianne (Holzinger), whom he married in Nov 1, 2003, and his brother, Herbert of Barre, Mass. Also surviving him are his six children: Richard (Mary) of Charlestown, N.H.; Susan (Gary) Murata of Swanzey, N.H.; Ellen Hollingsworth of Virginia and Florida; James (Laura) of Northwood, N.H.; and Steven (Jody) and Jeffrey (Lisa) of Langdon, N.H.  Also surviving are his 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held 5-7 p.m. at the Fenton and Hennessey Funeral Home in Bellows Falls, Vt., on Thursday, Oct. 5. A celebration of life will be held at Fall Mt. Regional High School at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Alstead Friendly Meals, P.O. Box 191, Alstead, NH 03602, or the Marion Kemp Holmes Summer Reading Program, Shedd-Porter Library, P.O. Box 209, Alstead, NH 03602.

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