Assembly Point Association Historian
Dr. W. Robert Holmes


LAKE GEORGE/Apple Valley, Calif. --- Dr. Walter Robert Holmes, 82, of Knox Road, Assembly Point, died Thursday, Sept. 3, 1998, at Glens Falls Hospital one week after suffering a stroke in Lake George Village.

Bob was born on July 18, 1916, in Bowen, Ill., the son of Albert Allen Holmes and Eunice Emily McGill and grew up in southern Illinois.

He majored in history at Wheaton College where he was fullback on the soccer team and president of a literary society, and graduated in 1938. In 1946, he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in history at the University of Illinois.

Bob taught history at North Park College in Chicago from 1943-47. As a missionary to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) from 1947-60, he taught history, coached basketball, and activated the Islands Evangelism Committee. While in the USA on leave in 1952-54, he was an administrator at Wheaton College. After his missionary services, he became Dean of the Junior College of Albany from 1960-62; taught history at Russell Sage College in Troy from 1962-64; directed the College Year in India Program for the University of Wisconsin 1964-67, and was appointed director of the Fulbright Foundation for India from 1967-71 during the ambassadorships of Chester Bowles and John Kenneth Galbraith.

Returning to the USA in 1971, Bob became the Assistant Director of Continuing Education at Schenectady County Community College until 1978. Upon his retirement, he went back to Sri Lanka until 1980 to write a book, Jaffna 1980 (Sri Lanka) about Tamil life in northern Ceylon.

Since 1980, Bob has lived on the shore of Lake George where he organized annual tours to India, participated actively in the First Presbyterian Church of Glens Falls, pursued his life-long interest in birding, worked energetically for the Lake George and Assembly Point Associations, and led various efforts in the ministry to aid senior adults.

Through weekly letters to friends, shut-ins and others, he shared his with and wisdom with nearly 100 people. Visits to nursing homes made him a well-known personality in the Lake George/Glens Falls area and the Mojave Desert region of California.

Bob's first wife, Frances (Frannie) Gray Crawford, was the daughter of H. Vance Crawford of Schenectady who built their summer place o Assembly Point, Lake George in 1953. In 1993, Frannie died. Bob remarried a Wheaton (1938) classmate, Julia Voget Hurlbut of Apple Valley.

Bob remained active on the boards of Lady Doak College in Madras, India and Jaffna College in Sri Lanka. He maintained a network of friends internationally especially in Sri Lanka and India, and cultivated lasting friendships from all eras of his life.

He is survived by his wife, Julia Voget Holmes; a sun, Robert C. Holmes and his wife Nora of Hopewell, N.J.; a daughter, Caroline Holmes Norment of Houston, Texas; Mohammed Kalim (Bob's "Indian son") and family, as well as two grandchildren and several step-children and step-grandchildren.

Bob donated his body to the Albany Medical Center.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8 at the First Presbyterian Church, 400 Glen St., Glens Falls.

In lieu of flowers or memorials, contributions may be made to the Lake George Association P.O. Box 408, Lake George, N.Y. 12845.

This article appeared originally in the Glens Falls (New York) Post Star, Sunday, September 3, 1998 edition.

Home |  What's New |   About the Association |  Officers |  Meetings |  History |  Related Resources