IRMO Dr. George R. Holmes died from complications associated with his Parkinson’s on December 12, 2016 at his home surrounded by his beloved wife, Elaine Graffis Holmes, his adult children, Georgia Lynne Holmes Doran, daughter, and Mark Timothy Holmes, son, and grandson James Richard (Jack) Doran, IV. Dr. George R. Holmes was the fourth son of William and Elizabeth Holmes, born June 2, 1939 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his brothers, William Francis Holmes, Jr. (Barbara), Moscow, Pennsylvania; Robert Joseph Holmes (Marian), Kingsville Maryland; and predeceased by John Joseph Holmes (Mary Emma), Hilton Head Island,...
IRMO Dr. George R. Holmes died from complications associated with his Parkinson’s on December 12, 2016 at his home surrounded by his beloved wife, Elaine Graffis Holmes, his adult children, Georgia Lynne Holmes Doran, daughter, and Mark Timothy Holmes, son, and grandson James Richard (Jack) Doran, IV. Dr. George R. Holmes was the fourth son of William and Elizabeth Holmes, born June 2, 1939 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his brothers, William Francis Holmes, Jr. (Barbara), Moscow, Pennsylvania; Robert Joseph Holmes (Marian), Kingsville Maryland; and predeceased by John Joseph Holmes (Mary Emma), Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Dr. Holmes received his primary/secondary school education in the public school system of Scranton, Pennsylvania. After high school, he enrolled in the University of Scranton, a Catholic and Jesuit institution. He graduated with a B.S in psychology.
While an undergraduate, he joined the Army ROTC program. His summer training was at Fort Meade, Maryland and A.P. Hill, Virginia. The 3rd Armored Cav was the regular Army unit supporting his ROTC training. Upon graduation, he received his commission as Second Lieutenant in the Adjutant General Corps, US Army.
Immediately after graduation, for four months, he worked as a psychology technician at the Farview State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. In October of 1961, he began active duty service at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana and completed the two month basic adjutant general officer course. Upon graduation, he was designated a test control officer and personnel psychologist. His first assignment was at the Armed Forces Examining Station (AFES) 12th Corps headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Later he was stationed at the AFES at Ft. Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Holmes was on active duty for two years.
He then attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina and achieved his MA in psychology in 1965 and PhD in clinical psychology in 1969. During his graduate studies, he worked part time at the South Carolina State Hospital as a treatment team psychologist. His pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship was from 1967 to 1968 at the University of Alabama Medical Center, Smolian Psychiatric Clinic, Birmingham, Alabama. During his internship, he specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescent psychiatric patients, inpatient and outpatient. While on internship, he had a one year stipend from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, and part of his stipend was for him to return and serve one year after his internship, in the Department of Mental Health as Clinical and Child Adolescent Psychologist. Upon his return to South Carolina, he became director of the children’s inpatient program at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute.
While in graduate school, he was in the South Carolina National Guard for three years. During his tour in the National Guard, he was communication center platoon leader in the 151st Signal Battalion South Carolina National Guard. His two week active duty periods during the summer were either at Fort Gordon, Georgia, or Fort Stewart, Georgia. At his time of discharge, he was a Captain in the US Army Signal Corps.
He completed his PhD in clinical psychology in June of 1969. His first position, post PhD, was as Chief Psychologist of Child and Adolescent Services, William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, Columbia, SC. During his career as a clinical psychologist, he had a number of impactful learning experiences. The first of which was a two-week experiential learning program sponsored by the National Training Laboratory’s Basic Human Interaction Program, Bethel, Maine. This experience proved helpful in refining his skills as a working member and leader of small task groups.
In the mid-1970s, he was a visiting scholar at the Maudsley Clinic and Royal Bethlehem Hospital, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of London, London, England, sponsored by Sir Michael Rutter, M.D. There he learned new models of clinical supervision and case conference presentations. To this day, his family recalls their time in London fondly. The Holmes family lived in a two-room flat on 5 Murton Street, right off Chiswick Highroad, on the Green Line. The family recalls having high tea and watching the Concorde on its glide path approach path to Heathrow Airport.
During the mid-1970’s, the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute was rapidly transitioning from their only residency, namely the adult residency in psychiatry, to multiple residencies and fellowship programs including child and adolescent. At the Institute, he helped develop the pre-doctoral internship program in clinical psychology. After one year of teaching in the USC School of Medicine Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, he became a university employee, tenure track in the medical school in 1978. He was an active participant in the start-up phase of the medical school and recalled this task as one of the best experiences of his career.
Before the Hall Institute became the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and was still a part of the Department of Mental Health, Dr. Holmes received a special award from the residents in the Child Adolescent Psychiatry Program. He received the Annual Physician House Staff Teaching Award, 1978-1979.
Progressing through his career as a professor in the USC School of Medicine, he had many opportunities to conduct research. In the early 1980s, Dr. Holmes hosted Professor Yugi Sakano, PhD. from Waseda University as a visiting scholar to the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Professor Sakano collaborated with Dr. Holmes on several research projects focusing on comparing responses of Japanese and American teenagers to the adolescent reinforcement survey schedule. Dr. Holmes and Dr. Sakano’s research resulted in several publications in psychological journals and a number of formal academic presentations presented at multiple international meetings.
The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association had a grant from CHAMPUS to evaluate adolescent inpatient psychiatric programs for the children of military dependents and military retirees. As a clinical psychologist serving on the site visit team, he was able to make consultative visits to many of the best adolescent inpatient programs in the United States. This experience helped him with his own adolescent program at Hall Institute.
An additional pivotal experience came with his service as a faculty member of an advanced trauma life support course where he served in the role of Educator. He assisted students in the course with their ability to develop skills in terms of their own lecturing style as well as working in small groups effectively.
A highlight of his career education experiences was a six-month sabbatical at the University of Padua Psychology Department, Padua, Italy sponsored by Professor Emilio Franceschina and Professor Aaldo Galeazzi. He published two articles while at Padua in the journal of Psicoterapia Cosgnitive e Comportamentale. One of his publications was a report on the memories of Joseph Cautela, a behavioral psychologist who died in 1999. Other papers were a collaboration with Italian psychologists comparing Italian and American adolescents’ responses to the adolescent reinforcement survey schedule.
Dr. Holmes enjoyed foreign travel usually tied to professional activities, and locally, family trips to the beach and mountains each year. During his career, he presented thirty research papers before nineteen organizations in six countries. In the community, he provided lectures on child\ and adolescent development and was active in the adult education programs at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church. He also served on a number of boards in the community, some of which include the Carolina Collegiate Credit Union, the University of South Carolina Faculty House, the Parish Council, and Christopher Towers, a high-rise residential facility for the low-income elderly.
In the Columbia area, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, third and fourth degree. Also, he belonged to the American Legion Post 6. In the mid-1970s, St. Peters Catholic Church was growing a great deal and it became important to the pastor to convince some of his parishioners to develop another church in the Irmo/St. Andrews area. He selected Dr. Holmes to form a group called the “Irmo Seven” to explore the possibility of establishing a Catholic church in the Irmo/Saint Andrews area. The church, Our Lady of the Hills, was established in approximately a three year period of time and continues today as an active Catholic Parish in the Irmo/St. Andrews area.
Over the course of his career as a professor, he received numerous awards for his teaching excellence. From his alma mater, the University of Scranton, Penn., he received the Frank J. O’Hara Award for distinguished contributions to education, University of Scranton National Alumni Association. Additionally, he was named an Outstanding Graduate of the University of Scranton for contributions in education, the University of Scranton Alumni Achievement Award. From the University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, he received the Chairman’s Award for contributions to medical education in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science. He was also named Outstanding Psychology Teacher by the South Carolina Psychological Association. From the community, he was named Outstanding Lecturer in the FBI Law Enforcement and Leadership Program, South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. He enjoyed all aspects of his profession, but was particularly excited about teaching students at all levels. Dr. Holmes taught undergraduate psychology students, pre-doctoral clinical psychology students, and child and adult psychiatric residents. He was known for his enthusiasm as a teacher plus a unique capacity to take complex material and communicate it clearly.
Dr. Holmes also belonged to several professional organizations. He was a member of the American Psychological Association and held division status in clinical psychology, psychotherapy, and teaching of psychology. Regionally, he was a member of the Southeastern Psychological Association and the South Carolina Psychological Association. Also, he was a founding member of the Carolina Society for Adolescent Psychiatry. In terms of licensure, he held license #45 State of South Carolina Board of Examiners. On a national level, he was licensed by the Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, certificate #21857. Finally, he was a Fellow and Diplomat in Medical Psychotherapy, license #148735.
The year before he retired, he was named Distinguished Professor in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the University of South Carolina. Once retired, he was awarded Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He created a substantial body of work consisting of 56 research articles and six books. Even after his retirement, he continued to teach one course, Psychology of Adolescents, in the Psychology Department at the University of South Carolina. Additionally, he was a professor in the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He continued to work with a small research group on the task of developing a test to identify potentially mild, moderate, and severe risk factors for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Immediately upon his retirement, he enrolled in a short course in teaching reading to non-reading adults.
The experience working as a volunteer with the University of South Carolina Ambassadors was another highlight in the early phase of his retirement. He often referred to those volunteer students in the Ambassador program as “the best of the best” and really sold the University of South Carolina to parents and their children.
Another fun activity he engaged in during this retirement was writing, which resulted in his memoir, Growing Up in the Valley, a story of his growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania in the Lackawanna Valley during the 1940s and 1950s. The motivation for his memoir came from his daughter Georgia and his son Mark. They wanted him to write down stories about his growing up that he had told them over and over again as they were growing up. He was inspired to write poems about some of the more emotionally-laden aspects of his memoir. These poems were collected in a chapbook, Come Sit a Spell, that contained twenty-eight poems. Another exciting aspect of his retirement was to attempt to write a play, No Wind or Angel’s Gift. In retirement, he was enjoyed good health until 2010 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 1529 Assembly Street (803-779-0036) at 10am on December 16, 2016, with a reception to follow in the Bernadin Center, adjacent to St. Peter’s Church. The rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 15, 2016, at Dunbar Funeral Home, 3926 Devine Street (803-771-7990), with visitation following until 8:00 p.m. Private burial will be in St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Peter's Catholic School Scholarship Program, 1529 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201 or the charity of your choosing.