Lillian E. Holmes

The kind, gentle soul of Lillian E. Holmes, 90, of School Street, Marlborough, will be greatly missed by her passing on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, at the Cheshire Medical Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Keene, with her family at her side.

Her parents, David and Pearl (Gould) Spaulding, welcomed their daughter into the world on July 21, 1930, in Canaan, Vt. Lillian spent most of her adult life in Keene, moving to Marlborough five years ago.

Being deaf at birth, Lillian overcame many challenges, allowing her to be successful in anything she set her mind to do. She attended the Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro; VA Community College; and the New York City School for the Deaf where, at a mere “four foot, eleven inches,” she was a successful point guard on the school’s basketball team.

Lillian enjoyed being with and helping people. Her work career encompassed aspects of customer service including working with the National Grange Mutual Insurance Company for 10 years and the Douglas Toy Company for more than 30 years. Following her retirement, Lillian was not happy sitting at home. She returned to the workforce providing services to other that she truly loved doing, working part-time at T.J. Maxx in Keene for 15 years, retiring at the age of 85.

When not hard at work, Lillian continued to keep busy doing ceramics and was an avid “yard-sale attendee.” She loved to go gallivanting with her many girlfriends, and was loved by all who she encountered. Her infectious charisma made her a beloved member of her residence.

Lillian was a longtime member of St. James Episcopal Church in Keene.

She will be greatly missed by many, especially her two children: her daughter, Debra J. Norris, and her husband, John, of Keene; and her son, Allen D. Holmes Sr., and his wife, Paula, of Merrimack; her grandson, Allen D. Holmes Jr.; her granddaughters, Angelica and Monica; her four great-grandchildren: Aurora, Alaina, Damian and Jeovanni; a sister, Sally Corliss, of Virginia; and many nieces, nephews and extended family members. She was predeceased by her husband of 23 years, Harry W. Holmes, in 1986; two brothers: Bill Spaulding and Bert Spaulding; and a sister, Jean Hubert.

In keeping with Lillian’s wishes, a graveside service and celebration of Lillian’s life will be held in the Monadnock View Cemetery in Keene at a date and time to be announced “on a sunny day in May, before 4 p.m., before the bugs come out.” There are no public calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. Holmes’ memory to the New England Death and Hard of Hearing Services, 56 Old Suncook Road, Suite 6, Concord NH 03301; or to the Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave., Suite 102, Washington DC 20002.

The Foley Funeral Home of Keene is assisting the family with the arrangements. To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit