The Reverend Forrest Milton Holmes, “Father Milt”,88, of Nampa, went to meet his best friend and The Lord of His Life, Jesus Christ, on May 15, 2020 at a local care facility. Fr. Milt was born on April 22, 1932 in Wapato, Washington; the son of Forrest F. Holmes and Cordelia Willene (Bostwick) Holmes. He spent his formative years in Washington, Oregon and California. In 1951 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed for most of his service time at Castle Air Force Base, California. In April of 1953 he came to Pocatello, Idaho to be best man at a wedding and there he met the love of his life Oudean Ruth Traughber and on March 21st of 1954 they were married. After his discharge in 1955 Oudean, Milt and their oldest daughter Nan Marie, moved back to Pocatello. After a year in the service station business, Milt went to work at what was then known as the National Reactor Testing Station on the Arco desert. Milt’s work as a photographer/cinematographer is well documented in the files at the NRTS. As he traveled back and forth on the bus to work for 4 hours each day for 18 years he studied for the ministry in the Episcopal Church and in 1968 was ordained a Deacon and in 1969 was ordained a Priest. While continuing to work full time Fr. Milt served many of the small congregations in the Eastern part of the State of Idaho. During his tenure at the site 2 more daughters were added to the family. Terri Jane in 1957 and Pamela Sue in 1964. The first Parish Milt was assigned to was St. John’s in American Falls. In 1974 Fr. Milt went to work for the J.R. Simplot plant in Pocatello as the Plant Personnel Manager. While employed with the company he chaired the Mayor’s Committee for hiring of handicapped, served on the Governor’s Advisory Board for Vocational Rehabilitation and was awarded the Governor’s Award for assistance to the handicapped. In 1979 Milt was awarded the prestigious “Citation Award” by the Idaho Chapter of the International Association of Personnel in Employment Security. In 1983 the Teepee Chapter of Professional Secretaries selected Milt as the Executive of the Year. He worked for 12 years at that position and was let go by a reduction in force in 1986. He and Oudean moved to Mammoth Lakes, California where he became Vicar of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and where he continued to work and serve the church. He worked in a hardware store and then as a counselor in a juvenile camp for wayward teenage boys while serving the church. In 1988 he and Oudean moved to Nampa where he took over as Rector of Grace Episcopal Church which he served until he retired from the active ministry in 1997. While in the active ministry he served for 6 years on the Diocesan Standing Committee during which he served as President of that Committee for 3 years. He also served on the Episcopal Diocese’s Commission on Ministry for 4 years and was a delegate to the church’s triennial convention one year. During his life he served on many community and civic boards including CASA, The Pastoral Care Committee at Mercy Medical Center, and on the board of what later became Valley Crisis Center. A few months after his first retirement he became Vicar of St. David’s Church in Caldwell for 14 months. In 1999 Fr. Milt once again took on the mantle of ministry as he became an Adjunct Chaplain at Mercy Medical Center which he enjoyed very much. He served on the board of Directors for SISCRA and he and Oudean loved to travel and to enjoy their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. Fr. Milt’s favorite saying was, “There are no strangers-only friends we have not met.” He is survived by his two daughters, Terri (Scott) Blackburn of Nampa and Nan (Chris Droege) Holmes of Boise; 6 grandchildren; and 8 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Oudean, his youngest daughter Pamela Sue Bailey and his parents. A private memorial service was held at the Middleton Cemetery where he was laid next to his loving wife, Oudean.
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