Old Friends Are Never Forgotten

By Tony Shepley

We lost two old friends this month. We share our sadness with you at losing them but we got a lot of joy from having known them. They both had a lot of friends in the industry, all around Cape Cod, and far beyond. In order of chronology I’ll start with Kit Holmes Sr. whom we have known since the very beginnings of our company 41 years ago. As a matter of fact, Shepley started in Kit’s mother’s back yard behind her house off East Main Street in Hyannis. Mrs. Holmes was nice enough to put up with us storing pine boards in her field as we had no facility in the very beginning. Without a forklift, in those early days, everything was hand loaded and unloaded. I always appreciated the fact that neither Kit nor his mother told us how crazy we looked. They were wonderful early supporters. As we grew to have a warehouse and a yard, Kit was an early and eager client. I always thought of him as a yardstick because he could truly show us the distance we had come from those early days. He told me recently how proud he was of what we had become. What a compliment from a great friend and supporter! Kit was a great coach, among many other things.

Kit worked hard right up well into his 80’s. Actually he just never stopped working. He was loyal, always pitched in, and never forgot a friend which must have been hard because he had so many. Kit was the type you keep with you forever and we always will!  Our hearts go out to his family. How blessed are we to have Kit’s son, Kit Jr, as a frequent visitor at Shepley. Here’s to one of our all time favorites, Kit Holmes Sr.!

Bill Holzman would understand that alphabetically and chronologically that he might come after Kit but only for those reasons. Bill was a scrapper, fiercely loyal to his family, his friends, and his customers, both internal and external. Bill joined us in 2006 to specialize in selling Andersen Windows and Doors and brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to us. He was generous with all he had and shared his wealth of industry background with customers and fellow employees alike. Bill was a great hockey fan and player. I’ll never forget the day that Bobby Orr paid a visit to Shepley and Bill was out of the office on a sales call. Of all people, Bill who would have enjoyed the hockey conversation he could have had with Bobby, wasn’t here to have it. Thinking fast, we grabbed a camera and photographed Bobby sitting at Bill’s desk, writing him a note and, of course, leaving him a puck. We were able to get the two of them together later, but that photo hung proudly on Bill’s wall after that. They are both champions!

A few years back, when Andersen needed a good architectural rep in our territory, after our old friend Matt Quinn was transferred to another area, Bill came to ask me if he could apply for the job. He said it was his dream to represent Andersen at the manufacturer’s level as a next logical step to the years he had spent honing his Andersen skills. It took 30 seconds for me to give him my support in pursuing that role, even though it meant losing a tremendous salesperson, because it meant gaining a wonderful architectural resource and ambassador for Andersen and Cape Cod.

Bill was taken from us by cancer this month, but not without giving it the fight of his life. He never waivered, never lost hope, and never backed down from what he had to face. He always made us proud. Bill leaves his wife Denise, his daughter Jennifer, and son Andrew, along with many other family members and so many good friends and associates, but Bill also leaves us with his spirit, his tenacity, and his good soul. We are all better for having known him.

To lose two good friends in the space of a few days is very sad. Our sadness however is a reflection of their value in our lives. In their memory our flag will fly at half mast the month of October. We salute you both and are grateful for all you have given us. Thank you, Kit and thank you Bill! God speed!

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