EDWARD M. HOLMES

Posted July 25, 2010, at 7:09 p.m.

PROSPECT – Edward M. Holmes, 99, died July 23, 2010, at Tall Pines Assisted Living, Belfast. Ted was born Sept. 27, 1910, in Montclair, N.J. He moved to Maine with his wife, Jane M. Holmes, in 1939. They lived for several years on Gotts Island, near Bass Harbor. They also lived in other coastal towns, including Winter Harbor, Boothbay Harbor and Bernard. Inland they lived in Princeton, Ellsworth Falls, Ellsworth, New Vineyard, Old Town and Winterport. Since 2003 Ted lived in Prospect with his daughter and her partner. He recently moved to Tall Pines Assisted Living, Belfast, where he felt cared for and comfortable. Throughout the years Ted worked on a floating theatre in New York, in the shipyards in Maine during World War II, organizing lobster fisherman cooperatives in coastal towns and on the islands, digging clams, trucking lobsters and working as first mate on cruise schooners out of Camden. He taught high school in Princeton and Ellsworth. Many students recall him with affection. Ted graduated from Dartmouth College and later received master’s degrees from the University of Maine, Orono, and Brown University, where he later earned his doctorate as well. Ted began college teaching in 1954 at Farmington State Teacher’s College, now the University of Maine at Farmington. He came to UMO in 1956, where he taught English and then honor’s courses well into his 80s. In the 1960s and 1970s Ted was active in supporting civil rights, and then protesting the war in Vietnam. He acted as the faculty advisor for the Students for a Democratic Society. Ted is remembered vividly by many students at the UMO for his teaching and for his omnipresent white standard poodle, Jolie. Ted was an excellent teacher. Into his 90s he still received letters and phone calls of appreciation from students who wanted to thank him and share what they were reading. After his retirement he volunteered for years in the Smith School library, Winterport. Ted may be best known as a writer of short stories and essays about the Maine coast and its people. He was a careful listener and tried to write the truth, without adornment. He was an influence on many younger writers, teaching such writers as Stephen King and Sandy Phippen. His books include “Mostly Maine,” “A Part of the Main” and “Driftwood.” He published one novel, “Two If By Sea.” He also wrote a column for Downeast Magazine for a number of years. He was published in various periodicals, including Yankee and Echoes. One of Ted’s stories, “Drums Again,” was chosen for publication in The Best American Short Stories of 1972. Ted loved to fly kites, sail, explore the Maine coast, read and read and read some more, quote poetry and prose, and write. He loved to tell stories about his life and many of his neighbors in Winterport recall his Saturday evening “soiree,” where he would stand in front of the fireplace and tell stories. Ted was predeceased by his wife, Jane, in 1983. He is survived by his daughter, Caroline S. Marsh and her husband, Lawrence E. Marsh, of Solon, Iowa; his daughter, Virginia Holmes and her partner, Shirley A. Glubka, of Prospect; and his daughter, Constance J. McCarthy and her husband, Daniel C. McCarthy, of Belfast. He is also survived by his granddaughter, Anna L. McMaken-Marsh and her partner, Kimberly A. McMaken-Marsh, of Arlington, Mass.; his granddaughter, Lucy Marsh of Putney, Vt.; his grandson, Jacob E. McCarthy and his wife, Anna K. Fiedler, of Lansing, Mich.; his granddaughter, Robin C. McCarthy of Belfast; and two great-grandchildren, Sylvie Jane and Willa Jean McMaken-Marsh. There will be a memorial gathering 2 p.m. Aug. 7 at Union Meeting House, Winterport. The family requests no flowers, but donations may be sent to Westside Food Pantry, P.O. Box 767, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679 or Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 201, Topsham, ME 04086.

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