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One of his favorite stories is about a trip to the Rose Bowl game and staying at the USC DX house. When the fire in the fireplace started going out, Brother John “Homely” Holmes ’65 grabbed the phone book and …

“The fire was going out and we couldn't find any firewood,” he explains. “They had several phone books, so I took the oldest most beat-up one to keep the fire going. The next day, the USC brothers were complaining that they couldn't find the phone book. Evidently, the one I used was beat up because it was the one they used the most.”

John remembers the fraternity as a great place to make good friends and to grow — both socially and intellectually. He lived in the house with several roommates — too many to list here (you know who you are). One summer, several of them took a trip to Saugatuck. “Not being rich, we slept on the beach that night,” He says. “It was a good thing the cops didn't come by. I just wished I had been old enough to go to the Coral Gables. It sounded like they had a great band, but I was under age at the time.”

Following graduation, John moved to Connecticut to work on helicopter engines for Avco Lycoming. Three years later, he returned to Michigan to work for Ford and to complete a master’s degree in engineering mechanics at U of M. Over the years, he has worked on gas turbine engine controls and carburetors, was involved in some technical writing and finished his career designing engine powertrain control software.

“I was able to get a good job with Ford, and was able to save enough for a comfortable retirement,” John describes. “The part of my career when I was writing and testing software was particularly rewarding. I learned something new every day on that job.”

Now retired, John and wife, Sandy, celebrate their almost 41 years of marriage by doing a lot of camping. For the past 30 years, they have spent at least a week in Florida over the winter. A former chapter treasurer, John was hoping that he would never have to be treasurer again. But, he was a sport and served as treasurer of their church for a few years. John and Sandy attend most DX reunions, and he stays in contact with his fellow brothers by phone and email.

“I am proud that I can give back by helping financially to build the new house. As I think back, I probably took longer than most to mature. I wish I could have been more aware of the needs of others when I was young, and not concentrating so much on achieving my own goals. I am hopeful that others will remember me as someone who was willing to help those in need.”

John invites his brothers to connect with him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..