Franktown, VA — Dr. Harry Sherman Holcomb, III died on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at his home in Franktown, Virginia. Dr. Holcomb, born on May 22, 1940, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Sherman Holcomb of Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. He attended The Fessenden School, Milton Academy and graduated from Yale University and Yale School of Medicine.
As a young man he embraced service and adventure. His notable experiences included work at mission hospitals in Ghana and Mexico, and sailing to Quebec and Labrador for the Grenfell Mission. From 1970-1972, he served in the United States Navy and was stationed at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, as flight surgeon for Operation Deep Freeze.
Dr. Holcomb completed his residency training in orthopedic surgery at the University of Virginia hospital in Charlottesville in 1977, and started his orthopedic surgery practice on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in that same year. After practicing locally for 20 years, he worked as a traveling “locum tenens” surgeon throughout the country, with assignments that included the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
While living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia he immersed himself in learning about the local culture, natural environment, and history. Over the years, he served on the Boards of Shore Memorial Hospital, the Arlington Foundation, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia Historical Society. He was a founding director of both Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore and the Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust. He also was one of the early volunteers and a former director of the Barrier Islands Center. He personally catalogued over 7,400 historic Eastern Shore artifacts for the Barrier Islands Center.
Dr. Holcomb’s interests and talents were varied. They included woodworking, sailing, watercolors, and maritime history. All who knew him knew of his passion for horology and his skill at repairing clocks. Visitors to his home would be regaled by his large collection of clocks, all of which rang in unison precisely on the hour.
Dr. Holcomb is survived by his wife, Nancy Tucker Lawson Holcomb; his sister and brother-in-law, Hilary and Albert M. Creighton, Jr. of Manchester, Mass.; his two nephews, Albert M. Creighton, III and Peter H. Creighton and their families also from Manchester, Mass.
ARRANGEMENTS: Funeral services will be held at Hungars Episcopal Church, Virginia on September 28. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Barrier Islands Center, P.O. Box 206, Machipongo, VA, 23405; or to the Virginia Eastern Shore Land Trust, P.O. Box 1114, Exmore, VA, 23350.