Archie Le Roy Holmes was born in Altamont, Kansas on June 5, 1927, and passed away at St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with his wife by his side, on September 9, 2021, at age 94.
Archie was the 7th of 8 children of Oren Fredrick (Fred) and Avery Belle Atkinson Holmes, who owned a farm as well as the local implement supply and hardware store. As an amateur genealogist for many years, Archie was proud that all 32 branches of his family arrived in America before the Revolutionary War. Archie graduated from Labette County Community High School in Altamont (population 500) in May 1945, where he was a varsity letterman in football, basketball and track and field (as a high hurdler).
Immediately after high school, Archie joined the United States Coast Guard as a seaman and for two years witnessed the aftermath of World War II in Europe. In 1950, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a Private First Class in Korea and Japan until 1952 and was awarded the Bronze Star. Although he remained friends with many Army buddies, he was scarred by the horrors of the Korean War.
Archie was the first member of his family to go to college, attended the University of Tulsa on the G.I. Bill, starting in 1949 (before Korea) and eventually graduating with Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Philosophy in 1957. He attended the University of New Mexico Graduate School for a semester in 1958, and then won a Fulbright Scholarship in Labor Economics to the University of Cologne in West Germany for 1958–1959. Years later, he was very proud that his granddaughter Virginia won a Fulbright Scholarship to Germany as well, to the University of Hamburg.
In Germany, Archie met his devoted wife of 62 years, Ute Christine Kossmann, of Oppeln and Oberhausen / Sterkrade, Germany, who became a librarian and German teacher in America. Archie and Ute were married in 1959 and their son Achim Maximilian (Max) Holmes was born in Germany in 1960.
Archie worked before, during and after college as a proofreader and typesetter and was a lifelong card-carrying member of the International Typographical Union (ITU), part of the AFL-CIO. In the 1960s, he worked for the Syracuse University Press and the Baltimore Sun, as well as the Art Color Printing Company of Dunellen NJ, whose customers included the New York Times and Conde Naste. In 1967, Archie was a delegate to the ITU's National Convention in Colorado Springs CO.
Starting in 1968, Archie started two businesses which designed and typeset print advertisements for newspapers and magazines. He worked for several years with a partner at Typographic Associates and later formed Archetypes (which continued until his retirement), both of which relied on state-of-the-art German typesetting equipment which has since been replaced by computers.
Archie's wry wit and keen political opinions will be missed by his many relatives and friends. Archie and Ute lived in Syracuse NY, Baltimore MD, Plainfield NJ, Princeton (Griggstown) NJ, New Haven CT, Greenwich CT and Bridgeport CT.
Archie is predeceased by six of his siblings: Wintress Erma Ross, Thomas Max (Tom) Holmes, Glenna Emer Fischer, Oren Frederick (Fred) Holmes Jr., Marvin Dean Holmes and Wanda Joan Rains, as well as by his fellow grandparent and friend, Mary Ann Morsey. Archie is survived by his wife Ute, his son Max and daughter-in-law Marion Boucher Holmes of Greenwich CT, his sister Patricia Fern (Pat) Crawford of Hutchinson KS, five grandchildren (Virginia Anne (Ginger) Holmes, Clayton Randall (Clay) Holmes, Sarah Elizabeth Holmes, Farrell Boucher Jalbert and David Leschen Boucher), and numerous other relatives.
Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Published by Connecticut Post on Sep. 25, 2021.
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