Dr. Howard Ian Holmes

Dr. Howard Ian Holmes

Thursday, January 2nd, 1947 - Sunday, April 18th, 2021
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Dr. Howard Ian Holmes, DDS., Dip. OMFS, FICD, FACD, FPFA, peacefully passed away on Sunday April 18, 2021 surrounded by his loving children and family.

Dr. Holmes' professional career and personal life paint the portrait of an exceptional man. As a child of polio, Dr. Holmes was impressively taught in the face of adversity. Despite his ailment, Dr. Holmes pushed through the inconveniences of his disability and went on to become one of Canada’s most distinguished oral and maxillofacial surgeons. He laid the foundation and groundwork for the study of oral dentistry at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry and helped to advance the careers of young dentists, many of which credit his pedagogy, wisdom, and great practical value as a big part of their success. Dr. Holmes was particularly proud of his career at the U of T which spanned over 37 years, and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Fellowship Program he helped to create. Nothing meant more to him than resident education, and to prepare and support the next generation of researchers, clinicians, practitioners and educators.

As a surgeon, he considered this role to be one of privilege and responsibility, both of which he embraced. For Dr. Holmes, being a good surgeon meant the selflessness of service - he was always available when called upon. Dr. Holmes also espoused the humanistic and empathetic side of medicine. His pleasure came from the prospect of advancement of human health and medicine, the continued excellence expressed in his students and colleagues, and mostly, through the patients that trusted in him and the countless testimonials of those whose lives were changed as a result of his treatment.

A devoted companion to his life-partner Lucy. A wonderful and loving father to his two children, Ian (Laura) and Keegan. A proud grandfather to Julia and Lucas. Revered and respected by his sister Marilyn (Paul), Ferraro and Sasso sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and greatly cherished by his many nephews and nieces, great nephews and nieces, cousins, extended family, cherished friends, patients, and dear colleagues. A mentor to his students and residents, and the bedrock of his oral surgery practice, he exuded compassion towards everyone in his life. Despite the praise and accolades, Dr. Holmes exemplified a tremendous sense of humility; he would never tell you how smart he really was, but somehow you just knew.

He and his ‘golden hands’ will be forever missed.

Due to the pandemic and public health restrictions, a celebration of life will take place at a later date., with details to be communicated.

His family is deeply moved by the outpouring of heartfelt messages and well wishes received from many of his friends, patients, students, staff and colleagues. In lieu of flowers and gifts, please consider a contribution to the DR. HOWARD HOLMES OMFS EDUCATION FUND that is being established at the Faculty of Dentistry.” would be
greatly appreciated allowing his legacy to live on. To donate please copy and paste the link below into your browser.

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33 trees have been planted in memory of Dr. Howard Ian Holmes

Claudette Sobers, Paul Shahroch-Shahi and Sally Samoojh

Posted at 05:43pm
Great souls never truly leave us. Dr. Holmes, your integrity, dedication, kindness & grace will forever inspire us. You live in our hearts always.

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Alex, Mindy, Roshan

Posted at 11:46am
Dr. Holmes. You will be missed but forever in our hearts. See you upstairs for that dinner we never had. Love from your favourite O.R. girls.

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Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 09:27am

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Dr. Sneha Honnabovi

Posted at 10:12am
A supremely skilled surgeon. An eloquently gifted teacher. A quintessential gentleman with a caring heart. Dr Holmes, You will be greatly missed.

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Posted at 09:31am
Be at peace gentle soul. Love, Gaye

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