Max Harrod Holmes, devoted husband, father and grandfather, passed away from a heart attack unexpectedly at his home on February 16, 2020. His life will be celebrated Thursday, February 20, at Lutheran Church of Hope - West Des Moines. Visitation will be held 9 a.m.-11 a.m. with service following at 11 a.m.
Max was born on February 15, 1949 and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended Dowling High School and served six years in the United States Army Reserves. He attended Denver Business College and Drake University. In 1968, Max joined his father’s Oldsmobile dealership, which began a successful 46-year automobile dealership career. “Holmes has ‘em” and “There’s no place like Holmes” became well-known slogans in central Iowa. He married Janelle Feddersen on May 25, 2003.
Max enjoyed flying, being outdoors, fishing and hunting. From a young age, he spent summer days at Lake Okoboji. He continued to love Lake Okoboji, spending many summers and winters there enjoying the lake with his family. He earned his pilot license before he could drive and flew many hours between Des Moines and Okoboji. He loved flying his Dad’s Oldsmobile customers to Detroit to pick up their new cars fresh off the assembly line.
Max took pride in his hometown of Des Moines and enjoyed helping and serving his community. He served on the Dowling High School Foundation Board, Mercy Hospital Board, Better Business Bureau Board, Polk County Bank Board, and was a member of the Iowa Automobile Dealers Association. For 22 years, the Holmes dealerships hosted Labor Day fundraisers to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association and, in 2008, Max was honored as “Humanitarian of the Year” by the organization. In 2006, Max founded Kids Against Hunger of Central Iowa, which developed into the current Meals from The Heartland organization.
Max loved his family. Having seven children brought him great joy. Birthdays, holidays and family trips were everything to him. Anyone who truly knew Max knew his heart and generosity, and his love for his wife and kids.
Max is lovingly missed by his wife, Janelle, and his seven children (each of whom were his favorite): Kate Keylon of Clive, Iowa; Julie (Kevin) DePhillips, of Clive, Iowa; Christine Holmes (Tim Modlin), of Altoona, Iowa; Max Harvey (Erica) Holmes, of Clive, Iowa; Hilary (Paul) Lacy, of Littleton, Colorado; Caroline Holmes, and Natalie Holmes, both of Des Moines, Iowa. He also is survived by seven precious grandchildren, Elizabeth, Isabelle, Parker, Charlie, Taylor, Max, and Emma of Clive, Iowa; his three sisters, Susan Wood, of Naples, Florida; Nancy Holmes, of Des Moines, Iowa; and Sally Holmes Holtze, of Clive, Iowa; his ex-spouse, Linda Holmes, as well as two nieces and two nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Max Edward and Doris Holmes.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran Church of Hope;The Outreach Program; Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp; or the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ DUNN'S CHAPEL
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