Holmes, Hechinger executive

A. C.

October 01, 1994|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff Writer

Arthur C. Holmes Jr., a Hechinger Co. executive and boating enthusiast who named his boats after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's characters, died Monday of a brain tumor at his Indian Landing home near Millersville. He was 58.

He was vice president of credit sales for the Landover-based company at the time of his death.

John W. Hechinger Sr., chairman of the board, said, "I hired Mr. Holmes 30 years ago and was very close to him over the years. He was a pioneer in helping establish our own credit card, and he often performed other executive assignments outside of his department.

"He was close to all of his workers and got a great deal done through his sense of humor and lightness of touch," Mr. Hechinger said.

When Mr. Holmes was diagnosed with his illness several years ago and could no longer sail and race on the Chesapeake Bay, he began to collect antique Lionel trains, filling a basement room with an operating layout and trains.

He sailed a succession of boats that he named Sherlock, for Sherlock Holmes. His two antique Chris-Craft speedboats were named Dr. Watson.

His other interests included building clocks and radio-controlled boats and airplanes, and restoring vintage autos, including his favorite, a black 1951 Ford sedan.

Steve Bandy, who sailed with Mr. Holmes for more than 25 years and considered him his best friend, recalled his reputation for practical jokes.

"Ever the practical joker, he brought on board one of his radio-controlled boats, which was a Coast Guard vessel with a blinking light and a working fire hose. We were in a flat calm, and he dropped it over the side and sent it to a boat nearby. As it approached, he turned on the hose and squirted the crew. It was really funny," Mr. Bandy said.

Mr. Holmes was born in Baltimore, the son of Arthur C. Holmes Sr., an insurance company executive, a Sherlock Holmes buff and a beekeeper. He was reared in Millersville and was a 1955 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School.

After graduation, he worked for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. in the collections department while attending the University of Baltimore, where he received a bachelor's degree in 1961. After working as an insurance salesman, then for Montgomery Ward & Co., he joined Hechinger in 1964.

His professional memberships include the Society for Consumer Credit Executives and the International Credit Association of Greater Washington Inc.

Other memberships included the Annapolis Yacht Club, the Indian Landing Boating Club, the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association, the Antique and Classic Boat Society, the Early Ford V-8 Club, the Porsche Club of America and the St. Georges Society.

His first marriage, to the former Margaret E. Norman, ended in divorce.

A memorial service was to be held at 1 p.m. today at Our Lady of the Fields Roman Catholic Church, 1070 Cecil Ave., Millersville.

Survivors include his wife of 11 years, the former Kathie Hermann; a daughter, Judi Lohn of Fallston; a sister, Lillian Billmann Greaves of Ruxton; and a grandson.

Memorial donations may be made to the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Development Office, 550 N. Broadway, Baltimore 21205; or to the Hospice of the Chesapeake, 8424 Veterans Highway, Millersville 21108.

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