Dudley Holmes ’69
Dudley died peacefully on Friday, March 4, 2022 at his home with his family by his side. He was 77 years old. Dudley was born December 8, 1944, the son of Dudley K. & Nancy (Brown) Holmes and raised in Chelsea, MI.
Dudley was a passionate man who always put others first throughout his life’s journey. He emphasized leading with a strong work ethic, continuously giving back to his community, and staying humble. After graduating from Chelsea High School in 1963 as a star athlete, he went on to play football at Hope College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He returned to Chelsea to begin his career at Chelsea Milling Company (“Jiffy”), working his way from the ground up at almost every job before ending as Vice President of Procurement. After 35 years, Dudley retired in 2004 and continued to serve on the Board of Directors.
Dudley’s love for his community ran deep as well. He served on many boards and committees for local businesses and organizations, including Chelsea State Bank, Chelsea Community Hospital, and Chelsea Community Foundation. He is also credited as a founder of the Chelsea Depot Association, a founding investor in The Common Grill, and a proud supporter of the Chelsea Police Department. One of Dudley’s later in life passions was teaching English to immigrants who were preparing for citizenship, and he offered countless other meaningful contributions to groups and individuals publicly and privately.
Dudley believed it was important to shine the spotlight on others rather than himself. However, recognitions such as the Lifetime Achievement Award (2016) by the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce and becoming the first Hall of Fame recipient (2015) by the Chelsea Historical Society were incredible acknowledgments he was deeply proud to receive. He prided himself on knowing every employee by name while at Jiffy, and strived each day to help everyone feel important.
On July 17, 1971, he married Dawn DeWeese, and she survives. Other survivors include two sons, Kevin (Maleeda) Holmes of Pasadena, CA; Scott (Meghan) Holmes of Northville: a daughter, Heather (John) Holmes DeBlasio of Chicago; two sisters, Diane (Robert) Hall of Grand Rapids, Susan (Kim) Schrotenboer of Grand Rapids; 3 grandchildren, Oliver, Parker and Emerson; and several nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.
The family will receive friends at the Chelsea Depot, 125 Jackson St., Chelsea, on Friday, March 11, from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. His funeral service will be held Saturday, March 12, 2:00 p.m. at Chelsea First United Methodist Church, 128 Park St., Chelsea.