Joseph F. Holman (1925 – 2008)

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FARMINGTON – Joseph Frederick Holman, 83, of 129 Orchard Street, Farmington, a prominent, retired third generation lawyer, died on Oct. 12, 2008, of cancer.

He was born August 15, 1925, son of the late Currier C. Holman and Rosa Skillings Holman at Farmington, his cherished hometown. He attended Farmington public schools where he was a member of the Farmington High School State championship basketball team of 1942. He graduated from Hebron Academy in Class of 1943, where he played football.

In the summer of 1943, he was admitted to Bowdoin College from which he later graduated. In October 1943, he volunteered in the U.S. Navy, pilot training program and attended Middlebury College and midshipman’s schools obtaining his commission. The V-5 pilot program was cancelled. He was discharged in 1946 as a lieutenant.

After graduating from Bowdoin College he attended Boston University School of Law, finishing in the Class of 1950. He was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Maine in 1951, and joined his father Currier C. Holman at the family law firm started by his grandfather Joseph C. Holman in Franklin County in 1874.

Joe’s professional associations included being president of the Maine Medical-Legal Society for 1957-58; member of Maine Trial Lawyers Association; and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; American Bar Association; member of Maine State Bar Association, executive committee 1963-71. He was elected its president 1971-1972, as were his grandfather, Joseph C. Holman and his father Currier C. Holman.

Joe served local and state government positions over the years. He was elected to three terms as County Attorney 1953 -1958. In 1954-55 he was appointed as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council of Inland Fisheries and Game. During 1957-72 he served by appointment of the Governor as Public Administrator for Franklin County. He was elected as Assessor of the Farmington Village Corporation 1956-1976, and since 1980. In 1955 he initiated the first land use zoning ordinance in Farmington as the Farmington Village Corporation Zoning Plan adopted October 4,1955, for the purposes of guiding Develop State Senator for Franklin County, an office earlier held by his father, grandfather and great grandfather. He served by appointment of the Governor for three four-year terms since 1990 as Attorney Member of the Maine State Claims Commission, which involved deciding on the damages of eminent domain proceedings throughout Maine.

Always active in the community, he was for many years counsel and trustee of Farmington Home for Aged People, Clerk of the Farmington Cemetery Association, and Trustee of Farmington Public Library, as well as President of the Library. He was a past president and director of the Nordica Memorial Assoc at different times as trustee and deacon. He was a life member of Maine Lodge #20 of Masons at Farmington and a past commander of Pilgrim Commandary #19, and president of Franklin Shrine Club of Kora Temple.

Always a Republican, he was active in town, county and state committees, and enjoyed attending National Conventions and Presidential Inaugurations.

Joe enjoyed alpine skiing, locally and in New England as well as Austria and France. He skied in the Rockies during the early days of Aspen and Vail. He was an original stock holder of Sugarloaf Mountain. He was an organizer and director of Saddleback Mountain ski area.

In 1977 he married Brenda Hart of South Hope, Maine. They shared their interest in skiing together but their interest in their old home on Orchard Street was of most importance. They spent many happy years there, always in flower gardens. Joe learned to hunt and fish with his father spending many youthful hours on the lakes and in the forests of western and northern Maine. He held a Maine Master Registered Guide’s license. Spending years fishing on Rangeley Lake and admiring a cottage at Haines Point, around 1950 he was successful in purchasing it. One of his greatest joys in life was there with Brenda and his family. He also had great time in Aroostook County at his log cabin at Nine Mile Bridge during earlier years of plentiful partridge and deer hunting.

Fly fishing was his favorite sport and for over 40 years he was clerk and a member of the Megantic Fish & Game Club where the trout fishing was always good and where his cabin “Wigwam” was a favorite retreat for him and friends.

He and his father were partners in their lawfirm for nearly 30 years, except for a while when they were also joined by Ronald Cullenberg. During their extended partnership he and his father enjoyed a busy practice including probate, real estate, domestic, criminal defense and corporate law. During the senior years of his parents Currier and Rosa Holman, which extended to their late nineties, he was especially devoted to them, to their mutual enjoyment. His sister, Dr. Loraine Holman Erhard, and her family spent each summer with Joe and his family at Rangeley and the tradition continues with his niece Susan Erhard Todd, and her husband Rob and their two sons Currier and Joseph being there.

Joe was appreciative of the many years Frances Dyke served as his private secretary. He was also thankful for the caretaking of his homes by George and Judy Lowell.

Joe was a tall, friendly country lawyer who took an interest in whomever he met. He always appreciated that he was fortunate to have lived in Franklin County with the people and environment that he loved.

Friends wishing may make donations in his memory to the Franklin Memorial Hospital, 111 Franklin Health Commons, Farmington, Maine 04938.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Oct. 18, 2008 at the Old South Congregational Church in Farmington. The Reverends Cathie Wallace and Scott Plating will officiate.

Arrangements under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan.

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