Mary Louise Victoria (Conover) Holmes
January 2, 1932 – April 2, 2023
SERVICE: Thursday, April 13th, 11am, Dundee Presbyterian Church, 5312 Underwood Ave, with a luncheon to follow in the dining hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.
To view a live broadcast of the Service, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.
Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mary Lou was the beloved daughter of John and Hattie Conover and younger sister to John and Sterling. When the stresses of the Depression drove her father to an early grave, and her brothers were away at war, Mary Lou helped out by working at a summer camp in the Catskills and conniving with her best friend Jane to unite their widowed parents.
Mary Lou graduated from the University of Delaware and pursued teaching. After that, she got a job with DuPont in the computer department feeding punch cards into the Univac in Wilmington, Delaware. She was a true pioneer of the computer age.
While golfing with friends, she was introduced to Keith Holmes. When the other couple decided to call it a day, Mary Lou wanted to keep golfing and assured them that she would catch a ride home with “Herbert.” Eventually, she got his name straight, and they married in May of 1958 and built their first home in Chester, Virginia. Convinced that they couldn’t have biological children, they were thrilled to adopt Chris. God proved the doctors wrong; Keith Jr. followed Chris, and Jeff completed their family.
As Keith Sr. rose through the ranks at DuPont, Mary Lou oversaw their frequent moves to new locations, organizing the schools for the kids and doing it all while making many friends along the way, hosting fabulous parties, and looking smashing as she did it. Church and singing with the choir were always central, and golf courses were always explored. When the opportunity to move to Europe came their way, she moved the family to Switzerland. Mary Lou embraced the experience, taking French lessons and exploring the continent and Great Britain with her family. She did not return to the United States unscathed: she broke her leg skiing in the Alps!
By the time they returned from Switzerland, their sons were all out of the house, so they retired and relocated to Hilton Head, South Carolina, and “leaned in” to their love of golf.
They often went on excursions with their friend group, the Wood-Eyes, and went golfing at St. Andrews for their anniversary. They also found themselves traveling to visit their grandchildren and hosting those same offspring at their home, beautifully decorated by Mary Lou. Mary Lou cooked wonderfully and made everyone warmly welcomed. They made many friends wherever they lived and were active in their churches at each home.
Mary Lou will be much missed by all who knew her.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Hattie; her husband, Keith; and her brothers, John and Sterling. She is survived by her sons and their spouses, Janice and Alice, and her grandchildren: Alyssandra, Anna, Conner, Nelson, and Sophia. She is also survived by great-grandchildren: Leanna, Zachariah, Arlo, Jodee, Ashley, Lydia, Logan, and Kamryn.