Cover photo for Rev. Olivia Holmes's Obituary
Rev. Olivia Holmes Profile Photo

Rev. Olivia Holmes

November 28, 1944 — December 11, 2023

Peterborough, NH

Rev. Olivia Holmes

The Reverend Olivia Holmes, 79, passed away on December 11, 2023 in Peterborough, NH. She was born on November 28, 1944, in Boston, MA to the late F Stacy Holmes and Olivia Stone Holmes. 


Olivia received her high school education at the Winsor School in Boston, and later earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School. 


A life-long Unitarian Universalist, Olivia heeded the call to the ministry after a successful career building a mid-sized market research and strategic planning firm serving Fortune 100 companies.  With the United States Agency for International Development in partnership with host countries, she worked on social programs, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, where she traveled extensively.


Ordained in 1991, Olivia served congregations in Connecticut and New Jersey before becoming the Director of International and Interfaith Relations for the Unitarian Universalist Association.  


In that capacity, she traveled the world to represent Unitarian Universalism at major world interfaith conferences, and supported the work of the poorest of the poor in India to improve their living and working conditions.  In 2007 she retired from this work, choosing Temple, NH., as the community to which she would retire. 


Never idle, Olivia became a specialist in helping congregations do the work of grieving when a beloved minister retires or moves on, and of preparing for a successful new ministry.  She has served congregations in Keene, Concord, and Nashua, NH., and in Burlington, VT.


Olivia was a passionate skier, sailor and gardener who also designed and cut mahogany jigsaw puzzles, sang in several local choruses and chamber choirs, and served on the boards of severed  denominational organizations.  Additionally she was the Chaplain for the Temple Volunteer Fire Department, the Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport Connecticut and she was very active in the Temple FD Ladies Auxiliary.


Olivia is survived by her beloved brothers Sidney and Leonard Holmes. She is also survived by her nephew, Nicholas Stone Holmes and her nieces, Sarah Tucker, Danielle Ginestro, and Melissa Holmes, and her beloved cat Wiley


Olivia's family, friends, and wide ranging community will gather to celebrate her life in a special ceremony that will be held 4 PM on June 29, 2024 at Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Peterborough New Hampshire).  The Celebration of Life will continue after the service at the Timberdoodle Club, 26 Webster Hwy, Temple, NH 03084.


Donations in memory of Olivia can be sent to the Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 25 Main Street, Peterborough, NH 03458 or the Temple Fire Department, PO Box 191, Temple, NH 03084.


Please join us in remembering Olivia Holmes, a cherished sister, aunt, and friend, whose warmth and love touched the lives of all who knew her. She will be deeply missed and forever remembered. Condolences to the family can be sent to Sidney Holmes ( email: )

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. Olivia Holmes, please visit our flower store.

Upcoming Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Unitarian Univeralist Church

25 Main St, Peterborough, NH 03458

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Starts at 5:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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