Welcome to the
memorial page for
Rev. Dr. Milton Leroy Holmes
February 15, 1926
~ November 2, 2018
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Pilgrim Baptist Church
Red Bank, NJ 07701
Milton Leroy Holmes, a man of many interests, commitments, and talents was the second of seven children born to Joseph (Jody) and Lillie Holmes in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 15, 1926.
His love of knowledge began while attending school in the Baltimore County and City Public School systems; graduating from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School.
Milton began his college life attending Howard University in Washington, DC, followed by attending what was then Hampton Institute in Hampton, VA where he learned he had enlisted in the Army. During World War II, he served in the Army Specialized Training Program at Hampton University in Virginia. As a result, he served as an Aviation Cadet within the Army Corps in Tuskegee, Alabama - the pilot training school for blacks; for which he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor.
After serving in the military, Milton went to work at Federal Howard Veteran's Hospital. Milton's experiences in a segregated military, set the stage for a lifetime of involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. As a US Postal Service employee, Milton marched with the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and fought for equal rights for black workers. In addition to this initiative, Milton worked within the Postal Union to initiate public services to the community by providing baskets of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
During this time, Milton began his married life displaying a great love for family resulting in five girls; Linda, Janet, Sheila, Michele and Angela. During this time, he enjoyed traveling to Virginia amongst other areas visiting family.
Milton always had a love for the youth as well as their educational progression. He became the Director of the Target City Youth Program CORE; a project with a grant that grew from $144,000 to $1,000,000 budget to train unemployed and underemployed inner-city youth. These trainings included service station operations, secretarial services and printing skills.
After serving as the Director of the Target City Youth Program, he served as the Journeyman Investigator for the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Baltimore. In addition to earning a B.S. degree in Business and Public Administration from the University Without Walls (UMass Amherst), Springfield, MA. From there he became the Director of the Newark, NJ EEOC Office. After a fruitful journey, Milton retired from Federal Service in 1985.
It was at this time, Milton courted and married who he referred to as the love of his life, Jacqueline Holmes (Gwaltney). Upon his marriage to Jackie, Milton immediately took on the role as father and provider to Marguerite and Roland.
As time progressed, Milton sought to become an ordained minister. He went on to earn both a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology (Pastoral Care and Counseling) degree from the New Brunswick Theological Seminary of New Jersey. He furthered his call to ministry by earning a Doctorate of Ministry from Drew University in Madison, NJ.
During this time, he held summer camp for his nieces, nephews and grandchildren. Sometimes this endeavor would result in more than 20 children being with the Holmes' for two weeks.
With his ordination came the opportunities to serve as Associate Minister at Quinn Chapel under the pastorship of Reverend Archie Richmond. Additionally, he held the following ministerial positions: Pastor - St. James AME Church, Manalapan, NJ; Pastor - Allen Chapel AME Church, Asbury Park, NJ. While pastoring at Allen Chapel, he counselled many individuals of domestic violence through a court assignment.
Milton's military awards and decorations included the Medal of Honor which was awarded to him in March 2008. Throughout his civilian career he received numerous awards for outstanding leadership. Followed by the publication of Rev. Dr. Holmes' book, Memories of the Unexpected - The Story of a Tuskegee Airman.
Milton remained active in a number of organizations including: The Tinton Falls Rotary Club, member and past president; Black Ministers Council of NJ, Monmouth Center of World Religion and Ethical Thought, Brookdale Community College - World War II Studies in Conflict Resolution; Asbury Park Middle School, Greater Red Bank NAACP Unit, Hannibal M. "Killer" Cox Jr. Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen; Battle of the Bulge; Court Assigned Individual of Domestic Violence Program, Counselor.
Milton had an uncanny way of putting current events into perspective by relating them to his own experiences. This was especially true during meetings with the NAACP. His best advice was to know what it is you want out of life and then work hard to get it. He believed that teamwork and discipline are essential to successful outcomes. Milton inspired all who knew him, to live life with passion, compassion and faithfulness; pursuing knowledge along the way.
Milton departed this life on Friday November 2, 2018. He is predeceased by his parents; his daughter Linda; two brothers - Lloyd and Fred; and two sisters, Novella and Odessa.
He leaves to forever remember his life and deeds, his adoring wife, Jacqueline; six children and their families: Janet Jones (Euvon) children - Cristina, T'hai and Ryan; Sheila Smith (Ronald Sr.) children - Alexis and Ronald Jr.; Michele Rosales (son - Rafael Jr.); Angela Reid (children - Robert Jr. and Shiniece); Marguerite Brooks-Carthon (Bruce) children - Jurrel, Noah and Jaxson; Roland Brooks (daughter - Sierra); 12 great grandchidren; two sisters; Rosa Jane Cook and Delmas Ann Simmons; and numerous nieces, nephews and other family and dear friends.