Monday, October 2, 2023
October 2, 2023

Jean Alberta Holmes (nee Doerr)



1918 – 2015

Jean passed away peacefully at the Lady Minto Extended Care Unit on Salt Spring Island Friday, May 29, 2015 at the age of 96. Although we are sad to lose her, we are thankful that she led a full and rich life and contributed in so many ways to her friends and community.

Jean is survived by her niece Betty, her stepson Donald [Judith], daughter in law Jane, grandchildren Pamela, Kenneth, Angela, and Marcus as well as six great grandchildren and family in Ontario. She was predeceased by her brother Sinclair, stepson Barrie and husband of 50 years, Marcus Holmes.

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1918, Jean was brought up by her mother Margaret in Middleville, Ontario. After high school, she entered nursing training and graduated as a registered nurse from the Ottawa Civic Hospital.

With the advent of World War Two, Jean enlisted as an army nurse and served the troops of her country in Britain and on the continent in Belgium and Germany. Following the war she continued her nursing career mostly in northern Canada, Yukon and Northwest Territories. During this time she rose to the rank of Captain. While posted in Churchill Manitoba, Jean met and married Major Marcus Holmes [a widower].

In 1960 Jean and Marcus retired to Salt Spring Island where they both carried on a different and very active new life. She helped him realize his dream of opening up and developing a large piece of land on Isabella Point. They developed a fruit orchard and an experimented with a commercial peach orchard. For many years Jean became known locally as the “peach lady’ for providing beautiful fresh peaches for many of the Salt Spring residents.

Jean was also active in many other pursuits. She volunteered as a hospice nurse. Jean was a great supporter and one of the co-founders of Salt Springs` Trail and Nature Club in which she led many walks and coordinated bird counts. She was an active member of the local war nurses group.

Jean contributed greatly to her husband Marcus` political career when he was the Salt Spring representative on the Islands Trust in the late sixties and early seventies. During these hotly contested times, Marc fought to retain much of Salt Springs` rural character against overzealous developers some of whom looked at this beautiful island only from the aspect of making a profit.

We are grateful to the staff of the Lady Minto Extended Care Unit for their excellent care of Jean.

Jean led a remarkable life and will be dearly missed by her family and her many friends on Salt Spring and other areas of Canada.

A celebration of her well-lived life will be held June 27, 2-4 P.M. at the Harbour House Hotel, Salt Spring.

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