David Sheridan Holmes, 82, Westwood Hills, died Monday, December 20, 2021, at Brookdale Senior Living, in Overland Park, Kansas.
Dr. Holmes was born June 9, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Conrad and Margaret Lambrecht Holmes. After high school he went to Northern Illinois University and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1961. He completed his graduate work at Northwestern University, where he received a master’s degree in 1963 and a Ph.D. in 1965. Dr. Holmes did his clinical psychology internship at Harvard University Medical School from 1963-1964.
After years of academic life at Northwestern University and the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Holmes took a research position at the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, but soon realized that he missed teaching. In 1971, Dr. Holmes accepted a position at the University of Kansas in the Department of Psychology and, in a career that spanned over 43 years, taught thousands of students. He was known as a passionate teacher who was deeply dedicated to his students. He shared that enthusiasm not only in the classroom but when students would talk with him outside of class. He loved sharing with undergraduate students the basic foundations of psychology as well as exciting new findings and he was supportive as a mentor to students pursuing their Ph.D. research. He won many awards, both local and national, for his teaching, including the prestigious University of Kansas Chancellors Club Teaching Professorship. He was equally acclaimed for his best-selling textbooks and peer-reviewed research publications, which numbered more than 120.
David led an active life that included regular exercise, especially swimming and running. In addition to psychology, David had many other interests. He appreciated art and looked forward to visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as well as art fairs in the Kansas City area. Music and the theatre were important to him and he delighted in going to the symphony and to other performances at the Kauffman Center. David also loved to read and would eagerly pick up a new book or re-read an old favorite and he enjoyed cooking and was especially proud of his homemade pasta. His interest in architecture inspired his home remodeling and many woodworking projects.
Survivors include his close friend, Kristin Scott of Lawrence; one sister, Ardith Kanabay and husband Bob of Hinsdale, Illinois; five nieces and a nephew, Jodie, Melinda, Stacey, Sabrina, Sharon, and Robert; colleague and long-time friend, Tom Burish and wife Pam of Granger, Indiana; former students, Rochelle Harris, Dave Bennett, Abbie Ellicott, Randy Frost, Barb Reinke, and many others too numerous to name and whom he appreciated greatly; and many colleagues and friends.
Dr. Holmes is preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Kelly; and one brother, Terry.
Messages & Condolences
I knew David from taking class from him as an undergraduate and for having him as a mentor during graduate school. He was an excellent teacher and researcher and provided valuable guidance to me during graduate school during the late ’70s and early ’80s. He pushed me when I needed it, sympathized with me when times were hard, made me laugh, and was always there with sage advise.
While he did not advise my Master’s Thesis or Dissertation (I had a child psychology focus), he was a positive influence when I faced the challenges and struggles that come with graduate school. He was an avid runner and inspired me to start running, which was very important in maintaining my mental health and fitness during that time. He also owned a sailboat and was out on Clinton Lake sailing many weekends, often inviting students who knew how to sail (e.g., Bob Newby, Barb Reinke, and me) to crew for him. He was a treasure and I am among all those who will dearly miss him.
David will always be special to me. I was a teaching assistant for him in Graduate school at KU in the early 2000’s. He taught me a lot about teaching and about teaching psychology. He had high standards and I have maintained those myself, even all these years later as a full professor myself. Rest in peace, David.
I work in the Psychology main office (1997-present) and met David on one of my first days. He was tough but fair. I liked him immediately. He was very encouraging to me, a lowly staff member, and as my responsibilities grew, so did our friendship. we had many great talks over the years and I’ll never forget his support. He became like a second father to me at times. I’ll miss him so much. David will always have a friend in me!
I was one of those undergraduate students in the honors psychology program in the early 70s who will forever remember Dr. Holmes as a dynamic and ebullient professor whose passion for the subject matter was infectious. I always looked forward to his classes and never missed them, no matter how many late nights I had pulled! One of my all time favorite teachers. A life well lived.
David Holmes was my research advisor and mentor during the years I was a graduate student in the clinical psychology program at KU. He was an exceptional advisor who was deeply committed to helping his students. David and I subsequently became good friends and colleagues. His influence on my personal development and on my professional growth as a psychologist was profound. He was a tough advisor and had very high standards for his students. This was frequently challenging but enabled me to achieve more professional success. I will miss him dearly and will always be grateful that I knew him.
I knew David Holmes through my work as a KU librarian that oversaw the psychology collection. He was my liaison with the psychology department and was very generous with his time, expertise and spirit. He brightened my life during that time period through his friendship, sharing of so many stories, and by making me laugh. So saddened to hear of his passing. My condolences to those who were close to him. The world has lost a bright light.
David Holmes was my dissertation advisor and a true mentor throughout my time at KU and as an ongoing supporter of my professional development. He eagerly shared his enthusiasm about other interests in life – making home-made pasta, attending the symphony, remodeling the homes that he lived in. I will always cherish the image of his chasing my gleefully giggling toddler around the front lawn of his house in Mission Hills! David will be missed by all of us who knew him. He also sparked an interested in psychology for thousands of undergraduates who took his introductory course at KU. I appreciate having had the opportunity to know David and to benefit from his knowledge and support.
Dr. Holmes was a great professor. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.
Such a bright spot for me in my years at MU. My sincere condolences to all who were close to David.
Great guy and great friend to my dad.
Great teacher. Great guy
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