John C. “Pat” Holmes, age 77, of Cambridge Springs passed away on Monday, December 10, 2018, at Arista Care at Park Avenue, Meadville. John was born on July 3, 1941, to Art and Frances Holmes. At an early age John and his mother moved to Cleveland to be near his beloved Aunt Pete who had a major part in helping his single hard-working mother raise him.
He graduated in 1959, from Cambridge Springs High School and one year later enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. After showing high integrity, strong morals and leadership skills, John was able to retire after 29 years of service with the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. He was awarded several medals and decorations during his career including Coast Guardsmen of the Year in 1989. John was stationed at various bases on the East Coast and while stationed in Michigan he captained the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Mackinaw known as the “Queen of the Great Lakes.” Later in his career John was assigned captain of the U.S. Coast cutter Obion which patrolled the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and also participated in special operations patrolling international waters surrounding Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
John was not a man of many words, but when he spoke others listened. He disciplined his children with love and understanding. He was a generous father, grandfather and friend. John enjoyed spooky movies, collecting lighthouses, knives, and dogs.
John’s life will be remembered by his wife, Wanda, who was his teenage sweetheart; his children: Patrick, Shawn, and Nancy; stepchildren: Rebecca and Bill; and his seven grandchildren.
A private service will be held for family and friends on Saturday, December 15.