Obituary Notices and Memorials


HOLMES, Ralph R. MD Feb. 8, 1925 - Jan. 11, 2014 Long-time Antelope Valley resident Ralph Randolph 'Randy' Holmes, M.D., passed away peacefully on January 11, 2014. Dr. Holmes was born and raised in Phoenix, Ariz., February 8, 1925, one of seven children born to Fred Gooding Holmes, M.D. and Lore Weber Holmes. He enlisted in the Navy at 17, and was sent to attend the University of California, Berkeley in 1942 when World War II was in full swing. He completed his college degree in two years and the Navy then sent him to boot camp in San Diego. After Boot camp he was sent to medical school at Northwestern University Medical School, where he graduated in 1948. Dr. Holmes spent four years as a resident physician at Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital and two years as a doctor in the Air Force during the Korean War. Following his surgical residency, he completed a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Southern California in preparation for a career as a thoracic surgeon. It was at USC that he met Dr. Marshall M. Mercer, a charter member of the new Antelope Valley Hospital Medical Center (AVHMC). Dr. Mercer invited Randy to come to the Antelope Valley and he joined his practice here on April 15, 1956. At that time, there were few doctors in the valley and no specialist to speak of, and so Dr. Holmes found himself focusing on general surgery so that he could be of service to as many patients as possible. Randy opened his solo General Surgery practice here in 1957. In 1966, Dr. James A. Larson joined him in practice for a few months before being deployed in Vietnam for two years. When he returned from war, they continued their partnership until 1993, when Dr. Holmes went back in to solo practice. Dr. Holmes worked at AVHMC from 1958 until his retirement. During his long tenure with the hospital he served in many capacities, including several terms as Chief of Staff. In addition to his medical practice, he served on the AVHMC Board of Directors for twenty-four years, holding various positions including President of the Board and Secretary of the Board. In 1992 he retired from the board but continued serving as an advisor when needed. Community service was very important to Randy, and he was active in the Rotary Club of Lancaster from 1958 until his death. He participated in all Rotarian events, and long-time Lancaster residents may remember him serving hot dogs from the Rotary Club booth at the Antelope Valley Fair. He was also a member the Lancaster Elks and Camper Club. He served as the physician for the Rural Olympics for many years and as the team physician for the Antelope Valley High School football team. Dr. Holmes made weekly visits to the former Mira Loma prison to care for the inmates. In 1978 he earned a private pilot's license and flew weekly up to a clinic in Avalon, California to provide medical care. He provided medical care at a second clinic in Boron, California. Next to medicine and his family, Randy loved to fish. Deep sea or gigging for frogs, Randy loved it all. He and his friends went on annual, long-range deep-sea fishing trips off the coast of Mexico. He was well-known for his hand-made fishing rods. The family hosted Brazilian teenager Jose Humberto 'Beto' Ubiali Jacinto as a foreign exchange student. He looked up to Randy so much; he made a vow to become a doctor like him. He kept his vow and became a neurologist when he returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Randy loved his children and happily took them and their friends on long driving vacations in a converted Greyhound bus, waterskiing, tobogganing, and mule skinning down the Grand Canyon. He married his wife Phyllis in 1983 and was happily married for 30 years enjoying many years of trips on their boat and in their motor home. They loved to travel and made trips rafting down the Colorado River, Mexico fishing, China, Tahiti, Hawaii, and the East Coast. He remained in Lancaster for the rest of his life. He is survived by his wife Phyllis; her children; Patrick Stebbins, Steven and spouse Catherine Stebbins; and his children; Randolph P. Holmes M.D., and wife Cynthia S. Holmes, Kathleen E. Hervan, Theresa Holmes, Christopher P. Holmes and wife Nicole Rutherford, and Barbara A. Holmes and spouse William B. Hamilton, as well as ten grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son John S. Holmes (2006). His big smile, warm hands, soft lap for 'Chico the Chihuahua' will be missed and forever remembered by all. We want to thank Optimal Home Care and especially Gage Boatwright for their wonderful care. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 pm, Saturday, February 8, At Lancaster Elks Lodge B.P.O.E. 1625, 240 East Ave K, Lancaster, CA 93535. Arrangements Entrusted to Halley Olsen Murphy Funerals & Cremations Lancaster, CA In Lieu of flowers, the family request donations are made to the following organizations: American Heart Association Online donations at or mail a donation to American Heart Association P.O. Box 742030 Los Angeles, Ca 90074-2030; American Cancer Society or mail a donation to America Cancer Society P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718; Rotary Club of Lancaster P.O. Box 2124 Lancaster, CA 93539; Hoffman Hospice 655 W. Ave Q, Suite A Palmdale, CA 93551

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