Philip Dearborn Holmes of Falmouth, a civil engineer who founded Holmes and McGrath, died at home on October 18. He was 98.

He was the husband of Jean Edith (Harper) Holmes, to whom he was married for 76 years.

Born in Whitman, he was the son of Carrie E. (Chamberlain) Holmes and J. Albert Holmes.

He was a graduate of Whitman High School, Class of 1940, where he was active in its sports program and played on the football team during his junior and senior years. He attended Williston Academy after high school in preparation for his acceptance to Brown University.

During World War II, he served in the Merchant Marine. He was trained as a radio operator and served on three Liberty ships and one Victory ship. The SS Henry Austin took him to the British beach heads Gold, Juno and Sword during the invasion of Normandy. He shuttled between London and the French coast with soldiers through August when the areas were considered secured. He served on other ships off Iran, Antwerp, Mozambique, through the North Atlantic, the Suez Canal, Red Sea and Persian Gulf to bring fighting personnel and equipment.

Returning home from the war he married Jean Harper on November 6, 1945. Their first home was in Providence, Rhode Island, as Mr. Holmes returned to Brown University and received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1949.

The couple moved to Cape Cod in the mid-1950s when Mr. Holmes took a civil engineering job at Otis Air Force Base. After several years at Otis, he started his own company, Philip D. Holmes–Registered Civil Engineer And Land Surveyor, in Falmouth. His work took place during a period of changes in all areas of town. As his company grew he chose a partner and, in June 1979, the name changed to Holmes and McGrath Inc.

Mr. Holmes retired 1983 and Michael B. McGrath took over as president of the firm.

“I’m retiring a little early to a large extent because of the property in Maine,” Mr. Holmes said. He and his wife then spent the majority of their time at Rising Fields Tree Farm, their property in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, about 35 miles northwest of Bangor. There they managed a 250-acre woodlot and grew several acres of balsam fir Christmas trees. These eventually were sold on their grounds, where families came to choose-and-cut their own tree, and share a snowy sleighride and hot chocolate in the warm barn.

He and his wife worked with a forester to become educated in managing their land, on which they did a lot of logging and even built a pond. They enjoyed snowshoeing on the property in the winter and each New Year’s Day their children joined them for a huge bonfire out in the field in front of the house. In spring, they tapped the maple trees in their grove.

In 1999 the couple returned to Falmouth to be closer to their children and growing families.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Holmes leaves five children, Martha E. Nickerson, Nancy J. Sweeney, Susan A. DeJong, Judith A. Abbruzzi and James Philip Holmes; six grandchildren, Matthew Sweeney, Sarah Allers, Lauren Medeiros, Molly Holmes, Rory Holmes and Taylor Holmes; six great-grandchildren; and extended family.

He was preceded in death by a grandson.

A memorial service will be tomorrow, Saturday, November 6, at 11 AM at First Congregational Church of Falmouth, 68 Main Street.

Burial will be private at a later date.

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