Frank Holmes: 1947-2013
February 5, 2013
Respected equine historian Frank Holmes, 65, died Jan. 12, 2013, with his wife and his church family at his side after an 18-year battle with cancer.
Funeral Services will be held 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 18, at the Majestic View Church in Kiowa, CO. Memorial contributions may be made to Majestic View Church Awana Ministry. Condolence messages may be sent to the family at email@example.com.
Frank was born Nov. 3, 1947, and graduated high school from Kenmare, ND, in 1965.
Frank's love for horses began as a teenager in North Dakota. He was all things horses – tenaciously seeking out mentors from pioneer Appaloosa breeders. In doing so, he came to understand that the people he admired and looked up to may have been considered ordinary people, but were heroes in his eyes. Frank's passion drove him to learn and later pen the history of the Appaloosa breed. Frank submitted his first article to Western Horseman in 1961 when he was 13 years old and was first published at the age of 14.
Frank spent the majority of his early working career as a federal civil servant, but writing was always his vocation. Frank started selling feature articles to horse magazines on a part-time basis in 1965. After almost 18 years as a civil servant, Frank decided to follow his dream as an author and equine historian. His first love in horses was the Appaloosa, and after submitting an article to the Appaloosa Journal, the editor commented that "Frank is the most knowledgeable man I've ever met concerning Appaloosas. If ever there could be called an Appaloosa addict, that person would be Frank Holmes. Like a baseball addict that can remember every batting average, every World Series home run, Frank can recite pedigrees and national champions like scripture."
Frank's interests have always been centered on the historical aspect of the western horse breeds, and his broad-based knowledge of the origins of the Quarter Horse, Paint, Appaloosa and Palomino registries established him as a leading historian on the topic.
As a former staff writer for Western Horseman magazine, Frank co-authored volumes 2 through 6 and was the sole author of volume 8 of the immensely popular Quarter Horse Legends book series and authored The Hank Wiescamp Story.
As the award-winning features editor of The Paint Horse Journal he contributed a steady stream of top-notch personality profiles, genetic studies and historical overviews.
In early 2001, Frank launched LOFT Enterprises, LLC – his own publishing company. Since that time he devoted the lion's share of his journalistic efforts to the research and writing of historical books designed to capture the West's rich history and pass it on in a way that both enlightens and entertains. Among the books authored under LOFT's banner were Wire to Wire – the Walter Merrick Story, More Than Color 1, More Than Color 2, Spotted Pride, King – P234 and a children's book, Crystal's Vision.
Frank's last project was The Dale Wilkinson Story, which is expected to be debuted this coming spring.
Frank's life was more than horses – at its core; it was family and sharing his love for Jesus Christ. He worked as an Awana leader and mentored many of the youth in his church family. Frank loved to laugh – he laughed often and well. He was a friend to many and loved beyond words.
Frank is survived by his wife, Loyce Robertson Holmes; sons, Eric, Craig, Morgan, Gandy and 10 beautiful grandchildren. Additionally, Frank has three surviving sisters; Kathy Dunnan, Patty Poole and Joanne Ranguette and two brothers, Rick and Gary Holmes.
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