Cover photo for Ronald “Ron” Edward Holmes's Obituary
Ronald “Ron” Edward Holmes Profile Photo
1954 Ronald 2023

Ronald “Ron” Edward Holmes

March 28, 1954 — March 28, 2023

1954 ~ 2023

It is with great sadness that we, the family of Ronald “Ron” Edward Holmes, 68, announce his death at his home on the Brokenhead River, Beausejour, Manitoba on March 23, 2023.

Ron was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Doris (nee Freedy) and Bernard Holmes. He is predeceased by his father and infant son, Connor.  He is survived by his wife Carol Tomandl, mother Doris (Winnipeg), sisters Betty Laurencelle (Winnipeg) and Leslie Fitzpatrick (Lockport), brothers Ian (Seven Sisters) and Bruce (Calgary). Brothers-in-law Ron Laurencelle and Ed Fitzpatrick, and the Tomandl families in Wisconsin and Michigan.  Additionally, many nieces, nephews, aunts, and uncles, and his special canine co-captain, Winnie. 

Ron attended schools in Winnipeg and Brandon.  He spent many summers with his family at the camp on Lake Malachi traveling there by way of the CN Minaki Campers’ Special. His job at Sal’s as a teen was one of his favorites. Wanderlust sent him to sea at the age of 17 by joining the Royal Canadian Navy where he served four years.  This literally set the course for the rest of his professional career.  After many years and hours of sea time, ongoing training, education and exams for many levels of licensing and certifications, he obtained his Master Mariners License (for Unlimited Tonnage, any Oceans). His early years found him working on the Lord Selkirk as a third and second mate and bosun.  He worked on many cargo and bulk carriers, as well as towing tugs in the North Sea. Ron also Captained the Malachite, a small passenger seasonal day/overnight cruiser out of Vancouver. Additionally, he served on The Terry Fox, a Canadian built heavy icebreaker for BeauDril, an Arctic drilling system for Gulf Canada in the Beaufort Sea.

In 1995, though he had no intention of ever working on a cruise ship, a friend suggested he try a several week relief job with Royal Caribbean Cruises.  He said after he had a look at the Windjammer cafe buffet, he thought this would be a great job! Ron served on six Royal Caribbean ships. As Captain, his last ship was The Allure of the Seas. Ron spent 51 years at sea.  Professionally, he will be remembered as a great navigator and mentor, a champion to his crew, a kind and generous man with a great sense of humor.  As Captain, the safety of his crew and guests was always his first and foremost priority.  As a true Canadian, he had great respect and understanding of the sacrifices his international crew had made in order to provide for their families by working on ships. 

His greatest joy was to cook and spend time with his family and friends.  He was especially revered for his great Yorkshire pudding, finding an unusual brand of scotch, and serving an ice-cold Martini.  He loved older model Cadillac Deville’s and a good Wisconsin Supper Club.  He was a lifelong avid reader, lover of music and movies.

We are grateful for Palliative Care – Interlake-Eastern, Dr. Puff and Laura RN.  We thank you for your care and compassion provided to Ron in his last few weeks.  Thank you to Home Care nurses, Jenelle and Chantel.

Cremation has taken place and there will be no service as requested by Ron.

Donations in his name may be made to:

 – Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority Palliative Care Program Services

 – Animal Humane Society in your region

  -April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month.  Heartburn can cause Cancer.  Please consider a donation to ECAN – Esophageal Cancer Action Network.

“Fair Winds and Following Seas, Winterpegsailor”

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