Don Holmes, of Buchanan

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Sept. 29, 1927 — Oct. 23, 2021

Don Holmes, 94, a lifelong resident of Buchanan, passed away Saturday evening, Oct. 23, 2021, in Niles, while recovering from a fall. He was born Sept. 29, 1927, to Wade and Vivian (Hall) Holmes. He was blessed to have lived with his paternal grandparents during his school years.

A graduate of Buchanan High School, Don attended Eastern Michigan University. Don served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War and was extremely proud of serving his country.

Don’s career included years at Clark Equipment Company and working with various newspapers before purchasing the Berrien County Record, serving as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He was a jack-of-all-trades at the newspaper for over two decades before retiring. He was “Mr. Buchanan,” serving as an integral part of bringing the Labor Day Celebration to Buchanan, Michiana Hawks football team where he served as president, coordinating the Buchanan Rural School Reunion, and was a large part of the Mamasan – Papasan Korean Veterans Association.

Never meeting a stranger, Don was a fun-loving guy who enjoyed life to the fullest. In his later years, he started singing karaoke. He loved music and dancing, and was affectionately known as “Dynamite Don.” Don was also a great storyteller and loved to tell stories of his days in the Army, hitchhiking to California twice with his best friends, including “Dutch” Kingery, as well as always having a joke or two to share. His sheepish grin always made people smile.

He is survived by his two daughters, Bonnie (Robert) Chadderdon and Julie (Keith) Chalpan, his special friend, Janis Sexton, and his cats, Willow and Fidget. He was preceded in death by his parents, step-father and grandparents.

A private service will take place in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan with military honors administered by American Legion Post 51. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Fernwood Botanical Gardens in Niles, MI, the Buchanan Area Senior Center, or the Buchanan District Library.

Swem Chapel, Buchanan, has been entrusted with the arrangements.