Caryl Helen (Crilly) Holmes, 87, of Rancho Palos Verdes, died the morning of August 18, 2011. A memorial service to honor her life will be held at St Paul's Lutheran Church of Palos Verdes at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2011. Caryl was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1924 to John and Marjorie Crilly. She had an older brother, Jack, and a younger brother, Harlend. Growing up, her time was spent in Chicago and at Fox Lake, where her family maintained a second home. A bright child, Caryl passed several grades in school and, as a result, was only 16 when she went away to Blackburn College. It was here, at 18 years of age, she attained her Associate of Arts degree and where she met the love of her life, Francis Holmes. Following her graduation from Blackburn College, Caryl worked as a chemist at Revere Copper and Brass and later at Hawthorne Dairy. As much as she enjoyed the work, she happily left chemistry behind, in January of 1946, when she said "I do" in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and became Mrs. Francis Holmes, a naval officer's wife. Over the next 24 years, she became extremely adept at packing and unpacking, as they moved 15 different times, to various locations in Florida, Illinois, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maryland, Louisiana, Iowa and Virginia. Throughout it all, she managed their household, but also a growing family, with the births of their three children: Donald in Illinois, John in Hawaii, and Cindy in Maryland. In 1966, following Frank's retirement from the Navy, and the start of his second career with TRW Systems, they relocated to Rancho Palos Verdes. While this would remain her permanent residence, Frank's career still involved travel, and they spent time living abroad in Italy and later in Australia. They continued their excursions, even after Frank's second retirement in 1990, enjoying a myriad of cruises and traveling extensively throughout the world. Always active in the church, Caryl served on the Board of Directors at Ascension Lutheran Church, and later, as a member of St Paul's Lutheran Church of Palos Verdes, she was in charge of the Altar Guild for a number of years. Caryl's greatest love was her family: her husband, children, and grandchildren. She was deeply devoted to all of them. Caryl is survived by her loving husband of 65 years, Francis Holmes; children: Donald Holmes, John Holmes, and Cindy (Holmes) Knapp; and her four beloved grandchildren: Rachel (Knapp) Miller, Ashley Holmes, Ian Knapp, and Samantha Holmes. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Palos Verdes, 31290 Palos Verdes Drive West, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 or Blackburn College, 700 College Avenue, Carlinville, Illinois 62626 Attn: Nate Rush or Please use this website to send the family messages and share memories, or to obtain directions to the services.

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