Joyce D. Holmes, 74

Teacher, gardener

June 03, 2008|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Joyce D. Holmes, a retired special-education teacher and avid gardener, died Wednesday of cardiac arrest at her Hunt Valley home. She was 74.

Joyce Diedrich, the daughter of a farmer, was born and raised in Fairport, N.Y. She earned a bachelor's degree in education from the State University of New York at Fredonia in 1954. In 1970, she earned a master's degree in special education from Northeastern Illinois University.

Mrs. Holmes was a special-education teacher at the Cove School near Evanston, Ill., before moving in 1986 to Hunt Valley, where she continued tutoring special-education students privately.

She was a longtime volunteer at Cylburn Arboretum and enjoyed writing gardening articles for various local publications, including the Valley Times, a monthly magazine.

In addition to her work at Cylburn and writing, Mrs. Holmes maintained a small nursery at her home where she bought and sold plants.

A soprano, Mrs. Holmes had performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra chorus and the Choral Arts Society.

She also liked collecting stamps and owls, which she displayed in her home.

Her husband of 41 years, Lawrence B. Holmes, a mechanical engineer, died in 1998.

Mrs. Holmes was an active communicant and volunteer at St. Stephen Traditional Episcopal Church, 11856 Mays Chapel Road, Timonium, where a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today.

Surviving are four sons, Stephen C. Holmes of Baltimore, Jeffrey S. Holmes of Ann Arbor, Mich., Brian G. Holmes of Raleigh, N.C., and Douglas B. Holmes of Denton, Texas; a daughter, Laura J. Holmes-Binetti of Baltimore; a sister, Sylvia D. Yoder of Phoenix, Ariz.; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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