Charles Mason Holmes, longtime Transylvania English professor, dies at age 90

May 24, 2014 

Charles Mason Holmes taught English at Transylvania from 1960-92.

A longtime English professor at Transylvania University, Charles Mason Holmes, 90, died Tuesday at his home.

Mr. Holmes, who served as acting vice-president and dean for two years, taught at Transylvania from 1960 to 1992 and chaired the university's humanities division. He also wrote a book, Aldous Huxley and the Way to Reality.

He was a U.S. Navy veteran who held bachelor's degrees in chemical engineering and English from Cornell University. He worked at Merck & Co. before he decided to change careers and enrolled at Columbia University to earn master's and doctorate degrees in English.

Mr. Holmes taught at Tufts, Duke, Emory and Washington universities before landing at Transylvania.

After retiring, he chaired the Bluegrass chapter of the United Nations Association and served for 15 years as a discussion leader for the Foreign Policy Association's Great Decisions discussion series on world affairs. He was a University of Kentucky Donovan Scholar and a participant in the Christian Muslim Dialogue.

Mr. Holmes is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carolyn Lyons Holmes, three children, and three grandchildren.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at Milward Funeral Directors' Southland Drive location. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Hunter Presbyterian Church.

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