Tribute to Stanley L. Holme

by Dan Johnson

1934 — 2020

Stanley Lawrence Holme M.D. was born in Stambaugh, Michigan on February 17, 1934. He and his older sister Alice and brother Mel were raised in a Christian home by father Sigvald and mother Laura (Larson) Holme. Stan loved his childhood growing up in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he learned to love the outdoors. He was a true “Yooper” and proud of it.

He loved the church he grew up in, Grace Covenant in Stambaugh. From early on, he experienced God’s graciousness there. For him grace was a provider and teacher — “it was grace that made his heart to fear and all his fears relieved.” One of the biggest reasons he was so confronted by the power of grace was his mother, whom he described as a walking storehouse of grace and a living demonstration of grace.

Stan had many wonderful memories of Covenant Point Bible Camp. As a teen he met Ruth Helgren from Iron Mountain at Covenant Point. They would be married in 1958.

He graduated from Stambaugh High School in 1952, finished his first two years of college at North Park in Chicago and graduated from the University of Minnesota. He then went to the University of Michigan Medical School, where he graduated in 1960. He completed his medical internship in Duluth, Minnesota and San Antonio, Texas before serving in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon at Grand Forks, North Dakota.

In 1963 he and his family moved to Salem, Oregon, with two main purposes: to start his medical practice and help start Trinity Covenant Church, where he and Ruth became charter members in 1964. The Covenant’s Pietistic roots served as a template for the formation and development of Trinity.

A man of great character, Stan loved Jesus and served his church with passion, persistence and humility. He was also a man with a calm presence and determination. At Trinity, he led the building process, taught children and teens, sang in the choir, served in a variety of leadership roles and ministries including establishing a free medical clinic at the church and feeding homeless families. He was a mentor and friend who walked alongside many. If you came to Trinity, within weeks you would be invited into the Holme house to share a meal and receive their love and welcome.

He also served the church beyond Salem, as a member of North Park College’s board of directors and the executive board of the Evangelical Covenant Church. All three of Stan and Ruth’s children attended North Park.

His faith frequently found expression in his dealing with patients who entered his office with their health needs. As a family practice doctor, he had a profound ability to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable with words of encouragement and grace. He had a keen interest in the need for physicians to be current in their practice. This prompted him to initiate development of a medical library at Salem Hospital. He also served a term as president of the Salem Hospital medical staff.

Stan enjoyed the beautiful outdoors and there were numerous family backpacking trips in the wilderness areas of Oregon and Washington. A love for the mountains and its streams led them to purchase a cabin on the Little North Fork of the North Santiam River, where for decades the family and countless friends enjoyed swimming and floating in the cool waters of the river. That cabin, destroyed in the 2020 Oregon wildfires, had also been a sanctuary for many seeking spiritual solitude and renewal.

In the later years of his life he experienced chronic health challenges, always facing them head on. He always demonstrated perseverance and a positive approach to life’s problems. He made a point of helping others, demonstrating genuine empathy and love.

Stan is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ruth and their three children, Dianne Holme, Mark Holme (Mary Skrzynski) and Sarah (Mike) Morelli, as well as six grandchildren, Kurt, Eric, and Peter Wakeling and Tobias, Violet, and Flannery Holme.