AMORY- Dr. Melvin Richard "Dick" Holman, 84, passed away on Easter Sunday, April 4 at North Mississippi Medical Center-Gilmore Memorial in Amory. Holman was a partner at Physicians and Surgeons Clinic in Amory from 1972 until his retirement in 2000, where he delivered thousands of babies. He passed away the week following his colleague, Richard Hollis.
Dr. Leonard Pinckley was a partner of Holman and Dr. Richard Hollis at the P and S Clinic for 22 years prior to Holman’s retirement and remembers him as a steadfast and focused professional who was a faithful advocate for his patients.
“He had a stabilizing effect on the chaos of a busy practice in rural America,” Pinckley said. “When he retired, he didn’t leave the practice- he left a legacy.”
Holman’s talents extended beyond his professional practice. He was a skilled artisan in stained glass as well as woodworking. He built a corner cabinet for the foyer of St. Helen’s Catholic Church that remains a testimonial to his craftsmanship.
Where other colleagues branched off into social and political issues, Pinkley remembers Holman as remaining steadfast and focused on his philosophy.
“He was a straight shooter,” Pinkley said. “We all appreciated that.”
Gail Guyton was Holman’s nurse for 15 years and characterized Holman as one of the best doctors ever to practice.
“He delivered my first baby,” she said. “My experience with him made me want to work in labor and delivery as a profession.”
Guyton remembered that when Holman came on duty, he would first inspect the instruments to make sure everything was in place and ready to use.
“Our young nurses need another D. Holman to mentor them,” she said. “Things are different now.”
Holman underscored his dedication to his field when he would step in to perform duties and procedures for other specialists during emergency situations while they were on their way.
“I felt like I was his oldest daughter who was my age and had passed away from breast cancer,” Guyton said. “When I had to take my own journey battling the same disease, he cared for me like he was my dad.”
Dr. Kam Otey came on board with the P and S team in later years and recalled how he and his wife spent their first night in Amory as guests of the Holmans.
“He told me ‘You know the science of medicine, and now I’ll teach you how to apply it to your patients,” Otey said.
Per Holman’s obituary, he is remembered as being a simple man by nature and liked nothing better than working to restore an old car, working in the woodshop, or enjoying a sip of good spirits in the evening.
His graveside memorial service was celebrated in unique fashion with his cremains contained in a large whiskey bottle. The family was served shots of a vintage selection of Holman’s that was saved for special occasions to share with his staff. After taking a sip, the participants followed the lead of his widow Judy by splashing their portions on the funeral spray as the committal service concluded.
Holman’s son Chris eulogized his father as a dichotomy of the simple and the complex.
“He enjoyed the music of Marty Robbins, and he enjoyed his whiskey.”