Dean Richard Holmes was born on Feb 29, 1924. He enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor at the age 17 (his half-brother was stationed there during the attack). His mother had to sign for him, although she didn't want to. Dean was the youngest of her children and she already had three sons in the service. He told her that if she didn't sign, ‘he'd just lie about his age and go anyway'. He spent most of his service in the South Pacific, which including Australia, the Philippines, and Admiralty Islands.
Upon his return from the war, he was hired by the new Lafayette Hotel (at that time known as IMIG's Manor) as a bellman, a position that he held for three years. Fortunately for all of us he was able to share many memories of those days with his daughter, Robin. Those memories included some amazing photos, a few hotel artifacts, and of course, fascinating stories. For example, he worked along Chico, our famous ‘little' bellman, and he recounted that the giant mirror at the south end of the Weissmuller Pool had to be taken down because birds regularly flew into it. According to Robin, Dean really enjoyed working at the hotel and loved sharing his memories of those times with her.
He subsequently married Elda after leaving the hotel and the couple moved back to his hometown in Olympia, Washington. He eventually went to work for the Olympia Brewery in the bottling plant. Dean passed away December 10th of 2016, seven months after his beloved Elda. They were married 66 years. We are honored and humbled to share some of Dean's "American Story".