Alexander Davis Holman

Life Story

After a brief illness, Alexander Davis Holman, 93, passed away in Falmouth on November 24thsurrounded by family. Alex was born in 1921, in Smithfield, North Carolina, the only son of Mildred Sanders Holman and Alexander Davis Holman, Sr.  He grew up in Smithfield and in various parts of the South. For a time, his parents ran the only hotel on Captiva Island in Florida. It was there that he discovered a life-long love of sailing. As a teen, he attended a military prep school in Georgia. During World War II, he joined the merchant marine. He had planned to train in navigation, but his father changed his registration papers to engineering instead, a decision which Alex later came to appreciate. He trained at the newly founded Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy. Alex was proud that while at Kings Point he founded the Color Guard, which is still in existence today. During the war, he served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters in supply convoys. He worked hard to get his chief engineer’s qualification, which served him well. While studying at Colombia University after the war, he met Elaine Libbey, of Lewiston, Maine. They married in 1954 and later moved to Lewiston where Alex worked in textile production with his father-in-law at W.S. Libbey Company. He and his wife raised six children. Alex was famous for teaching his kids and many cousins and friends how to water-ski on Pocasset Lake at the Libbey family property in Wayne. In winter, he took the kids skiing every Saturday and ice-skating every Sunday after church. He and Elaine loved entertaining and were well known for gourmet cooking and large, food-filled parties. Alex’s fried chicken, chile con carne and aged fruit cake were the envy of many in the Sunday River ski lodge. His homemade doughnuts and hand-tossed pizza were unforgettable. In the late 70s, the Holmans relocated to North Carolina for several years, where Alex again worked in textiles before deciding to return to work as chief engineer in the merchant marine. They moved back to Lewiston where they had lifelong friends and family.  During these years, Alex sailed all over the world. At times Elaine, joined him, with extended stays in Casablanca, Morocco and Valencia, Spain. Alex was a Rotary Club member for some forty years, and particularly enjoyed his membership when abroad. He attended Rotary meetings in Karachi, Pakistan, and Alexandria, Egypt, among others. In retirement, Alex purchased a Gulfstar 42′ motor sailboat, the Pegasus II, and for 13 years he and his wife spent October through April cruising the Caribbean, and once sailed all the way to Maine. At age 80, Alex and Elaine sailed the Pegasus II to Cuba and beyond. After that season, they exchanged winters on the sea for winters in Cape Coral, Florida. In 2001,  Alex and Elaine began residing in Maine year-round, most recently at Foreside Harbor in Falmouth. Throughout all the years, and moves Alex remained faithful to his men’s coffee group, which has met early mornings for coffee in Lewiston and Auburn since the 1950s. He couldn’t always be there, but would always make it a priority when he could. He could fix anything, and built many things, from a 28-foot yacht with his best friend the late Dr. Don Horsman, to small sailboats, furniture and so many handy gadgets. Honesty was always his policy, and he was proud to be a gentleman. His wife, Elaine, was his treasured companion to whom he never raised his voice in anger. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Abigail Holman. He is survived by his spouse, Elaine Libbey Holman, of Falmouth, his children: Lee Holman, of Hartford, Maine, Claire Holman and husband, Mitsuru Saito, of South Portland, Sarah Holman and husband, Harold Skelton, of Cumberland, Daniel Holman and wife, Rebecca Dorr, of Mount Vernon, Andrew Holman, and wife, Catherine Holman, of Melbourne, Australia, ten grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank cousin Kate O’Halloran for her affection and support, and gives special thanks to the staff at Foreside Harbor for standing alongside our parents during Alex’s illness.


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