JOHN “PETE” HOLYOKE
DEDHAM - John “Pete” Holyoke, 91, died peacefully, May 19, 2020 at his home. He was born February 11, 1929, in Brewer, the son of John Harris and Elsie (Morrill) Holyoke.
Pete attended Brewer Schools and started out as a carpenter before joining his brother-in-law, Owen Young, as partners in Holyoke and Young Foundations – a very well respected concrete foundation business. He married his true love, Marilyn Lois Young, and they recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. They settled in Brewer to raise their family until Pete’s retirement at the young age of 57, when they moved to Moulton Pond in Dedham and later to 56 McGinnis Road where he thoroughly enjoyed 12 years of being a “gentleman farmer”. The two of them had four dream vacation trips to Alaska to visit family, sight-see, and fish.
Pete was a member of Dedham Congregational Church, actively giving of himself in many capacities. His woodworking talents of a baptismal font and wooden cross are present in the sanctuary to date. He was also a long standing member of the Rising Sun Lodge #71 A.F. and A.M. of Orland.
Pete was a “jack of all trades” and could build anything from a butter churn to an entire house. On a snowy day in winter you would find him in “the shop” figuring out his next project or completing a request from a member of the family. Through the years he shared his many talents with all his family, teaching them not only hands-on skills, but many of life’s lessons as well.
Spring was his favorite time of year because it meant ordering seeds from Johnny’s and getting out on “Kubby” to create his beautiful gardens. In his later years he would set a goal to “spring out” which to him meant to live to see another gardening season. He and Marilyn annually canned and froze berries and vegetables, harvested peaches, apples, and plums and made the best homemade bread – all of which they shared with love. Pete’s family was his pride and joy. He was quick to say “I love you” and had a huge and generous heart and a gentle soul.
“Pete, John, Dad, Gramp, Grampy, Framp, Uncle Pete”, was adored by 4 children, Donald Holyoke and wife, Bonnie, Robin Holyoke, Kelly Fitzpatrick and husband, Greg, Mark Holyoke and wife, Jamie; twelve grandchildren; thirteen great grandchildren; several special nieces and nephews, and many friends. His siblings “thought he was perfect”. He taught the whole bunch of them to love unconditionally and in return was unconditionally loved by all.
A private graveside service will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery, Brewer, at a date and time to be announced.