John Doherty

John Holmes ""Holmsie"" Doherty

Monday, September 25th, 1933 - Monday, June 29th, 2020
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Surrounded by his loved ones, John “Holmsie” Doherty passed away peacefully at age 86 on June 29, 2020.

Born in Wilmington DE, to the late Gerald and Myrtle Doherty, he grew up in Rockford and the Forty Acres area where he attended Ursuline Academy, Archmere Academy, and later Villanova University. From there, Holmsie went on to work for over 30 years as the Director of the Port of Wilmington. Upon retirement from the city he worked at Vandemark & Lynch for some years before retiring for good. In addition to his work at the Port, Holmsie was a past State Deputy of the Knights of Columbus, and a member of the Bishop Curtis Council. He was a head football coach at St Ann School, and a pivotal founding member to the Right to Life movement in Wilmington.

Holmsie’s passions included spending time with his family wherever that was, at home, on vacation, or at his grandchildren’s sporting events. He also loved spending time outdoors, from hunting and fishing in Delaware and Pennsylvania, to occasionally taking trips to Canada. He enjoyed his yearly vacation to Cape May, NJ with his immediate and extended family.

He is predeceased by his brothers, Gerald and Phillip, as well as his sisters, Myrtle (Sis) and Helen.

He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Joan; his daughter, Linda (Brian), his four sons, Steven, Rick, John Jr. (Sandra) and Thomas (Renee). He is also survived by his brother, Bill; and sisters, Katherine and Nancy. Holmsie enjoyed his time with his grandkids, Ryan, Adam, Madeline, Amanda, Katherine, Luke, Nathan, Joshua, Teale, Noah, Jonah, and several great-grandchildren.

Holmsie had a deep faith in God and was a proud member of both St. Ann Church and St. John the Beloved parish for many years. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at St Ann Church, 2013 Gilpin Ave Wilmington, DE 19806, on Monday, July 6 at 12:30pm. Friends may call at Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home, 1400 Kirkwood Hwy Wilmington, DE 19805, from 10am-12pm. Interment will be at the Gracelawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and the Delaware Right to Life Inc.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday, July 6th, 2020 | 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Monday, July 6th, 2020 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home
    1400 Kirkwood Hwy.
    WILMINGTON, DE 19805
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, July 6th, 2020 | 12:30pm
    Monday, July 6th, 2020 12:30pm
    St Ann Catholic Church
    2013 Gilpin Avenue
    WILMINGTON, DE 19806
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Gracelawn Memorial Park
    DuPont Highway
    NEW CASTLE, DE 19720
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Franny sent flowers to the family of John Holmes ""Holmsie"" Doherty.
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Posted at 06:04pm

Sincerely, the C&N HR team

Posted at 03:35pm
To the Doherty Family, Our sincerest condolences to your family, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of John Doherty — Plant a Tree Now

Fran Lynch

Posted at 02:38pm
Uncle Holmsie will be missed by many. I really think it was he and Uncle Tim who taught me how to fish! I remember catching tons of flounder out on the bay and having Uncle Holmsie Crack us up with his jokes. I’m not sure I have been fishing since then! He was a great Uncle.


Posted at 01:30pm
So sad to hear of Uncle Holmsies passing. I have great memories of fishing for flounder on the bay in that little boat! Love Franny and Michelle
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Franny purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of John Doherty. Send Flowers

Mike Gallaway

Posted at 10:57pm
The man never aged! Bumped into him at UD fishing expo about 20 yrs ago; walked right up to me and said,well hello Mr Gallaway! He look just he did when I played CYO football at St Ann's! The stories he started telling my young son about the football at St Ann's and all the funny stuff that happened gave me a laugh. Then saw him when I retired at his house and was delivering flowers; would stop by a talk with him! He will be missed! Thank Holmsie, for being there for me when I was a kid!

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