EARL CLAYTON HOLMES April 7, 1927 – October 7, 2017 Earl Clayton Holmes, age 90, passed away peacefully at the Oasis Hospice Center in Buffalo, MN surrounded by his family on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Earl was born to Mary (Beighley) and Henry Holmes in Northwoods, Iowa on April 7, 1927. He came into this world making a large impression weighing in at 16.2 lbs. and continued to leave that same impact on everyone throughout his life. Earl married Donna Mae Weekley on May 12, 1950 in Park Rapids, MN. Together, they had three daughters; Katherine Eastlack of Buffalo, MN; Francine (Roy) Fredrickson of Blaine, MN; and Julene (Tim) Donnay of Ham Lake, MN. He was also adored and loved as grandfather and great grandfather of Troy (Lisa) Eastlack of San Francisco, Ahyoung and Mia; Steven (Lisa) Eastlack of Scottsdale, AZ, Andrew, Clare and John; Tony (Jennie) Eastlack of Waverley, MN, Olivia, Cooper, and Elwin; Belinda (Dan) Eastlack-Pawloski of Savage, MN; Richard (Fiancee, Annette) Shepherd of Petaluma, CA, Noah and Tyler; Dan (Amanda) Fredrickson of Albertville, MN, Caiden, Connor and Kelsey; Beth (Jordan) DeBilzan of Blaine, Sawyer, Gracelyn and Everleigh; Jacob Donnay of Ham Lake; and Josh Hartman of Dassel, MN and Eva. As a young man, Earl lived on several farms between Iowa and Strathcona, MN before settling on the Hubbard Prairie where he farmed with his parents and brothers. He went to school in Hubbard and Park Rapids. Earl and Donna met while roller skating in Park Rapids, in 1950. They spent the remaining 65 years building their home and family in the Park Rapids area. Earl worked at the Red Owl grocery store for several years before starting in the gas station business. He owned and operated the Champlin Station on Hwy. 34 from 1958 until he sold his business and finally retired in 1995. He built his business based on trust and integrity for every customer. Earl continued to keep in touch with many of the employees he had over the years, and considered them lifelong friends. He was very involved in his community, as an avid Blood Donor, a founder in the Park Rapids Jaycees, a 55 year member with the Park Rapids Lions Club, and a lifetime member of the Antique Tractor Club. He was passionate about helping others, volunteering throughout his community to raise money for various causes. He was a founding member of the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, and the Tall Pine Riders Saddle Club. He loved music and singing, and spent several years in the Park Rapids Barbershop Quartet singing his favorite gospel hymns. Family was very important to Earl, on weekends he was found driving his speedboat on Duck Lake or driving to a horse show somewhere in northern Minnesota. He was a graduate of the Clown College in LaCrosse, WI in 1992 and loved to dress up and entertain children in local parades with his wife as Posie and he as Punkie the Clown. Earl loved to travel to warm destinations in the winter. After their retirement; you would often find him in Florida, Arizona and Texas with his wife, their little dog and a large motorhome. He felt fortunate to have traveled to 49 out of the 50 states in his lifetime with his wife. He hunted and fished with friends and family across the U.S. and Canada. Earl’s grandchildren and great grandchildren all remember him for the many motorized toys that he had on his farm, and they were allowed to ride all of them; from tractors, 4 wheelers, scooters, motor bikes, dirt bikes, and even snowmobiles. He enjoyed having his family around and often sat at the “mandatory campfires” with tears of thanks for having a family that was full of love and caring for one another. His love of hunting and fishing poured onto to his daughters and grandkids, making sure they all learned to love those sports as well. He had many stories about the big ones he got and those that got away. Earl has left a very big footprint on so many people in his community and his family and will be greatly missed by all. We know he will carry on giving directions at hunting camp, selling tickets, and cooking up a big breakfast for everyone as he is reunited with so many who have gone before him to Heaven. We would like to thank the Interim Hospice organization in Roseville, MN, and Oasis Hospice Center in Buffalo for their love and support during these last couple of months. Earl was preceded in death by his loving parents, Mary (Beighley) and William Henry Holmes, brothers, William (Bill) and Delos, and his loving wife Donna Mae (Weekley) Holmes, and beloved son-in-law Galen (Kathy) Eastlack.