Joseph Holmes of East Hampton, a familiar face from 27 years of service at the East Hampton Post Office, died of lung cancer at Southampton Hospital on Nov. 27. He was 74.
Mr. Holmes was retired but very active, known for his generosity in helping his elderly neighbors as much for his love of clamming in Three Mile Harbor Creek. Twice a year those passing by on Napeague could see Mr. Holmes on a ladder painting the Clam Bar. His daughter Jodi Jarvis recalled seeing him there on mornings in late fall, up on a ladder when it was windy and cold, “but he didn’t care, he loved it.”
His pastimes were gardening, doing the Newsday crossword puzzle, watching Nascar races, and cooking — he made an “awesome potato salad,” his family said.
He was generous in spirit as well, saving easy clues from the crossword puzzle for others to finish for him. His family said he was known as someone who could be counted on to help anyone who needed it.
He and his wife, Kathy McNeil Holmes, enjoyed traveling annually to Las Vegas. They often visited Florida to see the Daytona 500 and went to races at the Dover International Speedway in Delaware. His favorite drivers were Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jimmie Johnson.
Mr. Holmes was born to Russell and Martha Carter Holmes in East Hampton on May 17, 1938. He grew up here, graduating from East Hampton High School.
He was married to Kathy Holmes for 28 years, and the couple had eight children. In addition to Ms. Jarvis, who lives in East Hampton, they are Christina Vaca of Cincinnati, Joseph Holmes of Southampton, Barbie Kraszewski of Bridgeville, Del., Sherri Smart of Boca Raton, Fla., David Holmes, also of Boca Raton, Patricia Mackay of East Moriches, and Jimmy King of East Hampton.
A brother, Russell Holmes of Mayo, Fla., 17 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren also survive. His twin sisters, Carol and Judy, predeceased him.
A funeral service was held at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton on Saturday. Burial was at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton. The family has suggested memorial contributions to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978, or to Southampton Hospital, 240 Meeting House Lane, Southampton 11968.