Saturday, August 15, 2009

MSP Melvin Paul Holbrook - Obituary / Funeral

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Melvin Paul Holbrook
Ludington Daily News
August 13, 2009

Melvin Paul Holbrook III, 53, of Beulah, died Monday, August 10 at his home. Paul was born on Feb. 7, 1956 in Ionia, the first child of Melvin and Maureen (Doram) Holbrook Jr., and graduated from Greenville High School with the class of 1974. Paul furthered his studies at Albion College, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1978.

He worked in Grand Rapids as an accountant for seven years before joining the Michigan State Police, graduating from recruit school on April 6, 1986. He served at the Coldwater, Ionia, Manistee, and Traverse City posts, the latter for the past 10 years. Paul enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, and playing several sports, and volunteered for the Benzie Central High School track team. He was a member of Northpointe Community Church in Traverse City, and was actively involved with the church worship team.

He was preceded in death by his father in 2008. Paul will be remembered by his mother, Maureen Holbrook of Miami, Okla.; his children, Paul Holbrook IV of Nashville, Tenn., Sabrina Wallington of Toledo, Ohio and Alana Holbrook of Beulah; his grandson, Cameron Reuther; his brothers and sister, Matthew (Sheri) Holbrook of Milwaukee, Wis., Maurice (Maria) Holbrook of Ludington, Mark (Christine) Holbrook of Springfield, Mo. and Meleen (John) Froman of Miami, Okla.; his aunt, Kathleen Holbrook of Petoskey; his uncle, Ron (Dorothy) Doram of Houston, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services with State Police Honor Guard will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15 at the auditorium of Benzie Central High School, with his pastor the Rev. Ted Mulder, and Capt. Steve Eccles, MSP Chaplain officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City. Friends may meet with his family for a time of visitation on Friday from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Benzie Central High School.

Those who wish may make contributions to the Benzie Central High School Track team in Paul’s memory. Please visit to sign his guestbook, or to leave a memory of Paul for his family. Arrangements are being cared for by the Wyman Funeral and Cremation Services - Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville.

Melvin Paul Holbrook III
Tuesday, February 07, 1956 - Monday, August 10, 2009

VisitationsFriday, August 14, 2009
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Benzie Central High School
9300 Homestead Road, Benzonia, MI 49616

ServicesSaturday, August 15, 2009
10:30 AM
Benzie Central High School
9300 Homestead Road, Benzonia, MI 49616

If you asked Melvin Paul Holbrook III who he was, he would have responded “A Michigan State Trooper.” His dedication to his job was of the highest priority to him and he was driven to excellence in his career. Paul was much more than a trooper; he was a son, brother, and father who possessed a diverse palette of interests through which he brought light and life to all those within his reach. Paul was a man of faith who used his gift of music to minister to his church family and bring peace to his soul.

The 1950s were an unprecedented period of time in American history as it was during this decade that racial segregation was declared unconstitutional in public schools by the Supreme Court, the vaccine for polio was discovered, and the world was introduced to the sounds of rock ‘n roll. It was also during this time that Melvin and Maureen (Doran) Holbrook, Jr., of Ionia, Michigan, were pleased to announce the birth of their first child, their son Melvin Paul, on February 7, 1956. Melvin, who was usually known as Paul, was later joined by four younger siblings: Matthew, Maurice “Maurie,” Mark, and Meleen. From an early age he fostered close relationships with his siblings that would follow him throughout his entire lifetime. Paul’s father supported his family through his work for Jackson Vibrator, a manufacturer of railway equipment that is now known as Harsco Track. His mother was a homemaker who cared for her children and kept their busy family schedule intact.

There were a few interests that Paul developed during his formative years that were an integral part of his life as an adult. He loved sports and was a talented and intense opponent during his high school years at Greenville High School. Paul was an All-State fullback in football, played basketball, and was an All-State quarter miler and sprinter on the track team. Paul also had a passion for cars and rebuilt a Barracuda into a street rod. He was passionate about this car as evidenced by his immersion of both time and money. His car was fast, it was loud, it was cool, and most importantly, it was all his! His brothers can still recall the car’s specs – “440cc V8 with a massive carburetor and a tricked-out rear end!”

After graduating from high school in 1974, Paul continued his education at Albion College where he played football for two years. It was also during his time as a student at Albion that he married his high school sweetheart. The young couple soon welcomed two children, Paul IV and Sabrina. Paul graduated from Albion with his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting in 1978, and began working as an accountant for a tool & die company in Grand Rapids, where he worked for seven years. Paul discovered that this is not where his heart truly was, and he braced himself for a career change. He applied for acceptance into the prestigious Michigan State Police School and he worked hard to gain admittance. He proudly graduated from recruit school on April 6, 1986.

Paul’s career path then led him to work for the Michigan State Police from a few different posts throughout Michigan including Coldwater, Ionia, Manistee, and for the past ten years, from Traverse City. It was after he became a trooper that Paul remarried and welcomed daughter Alana into his heart.

There were so many things that made Paul unique. He enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting and fishing, and he continued to play a variety of sports including softball. To Paul, physical conditioning was more than just a job requirement, it was a lifestyle. He fostered a spirit of generosity, volunteering his time for the Benzie Central High School track team where he worked with shot put and discus throwers. He had attended Resurrection Life Church in Traverse City, and had recently gotten involved in a Bible study at Northpointe Community Church where he also served as a member of the worship team, playing his guitar. It was his faith that helped sustain him when he grieved the death of his father just one year ago. Paul loved music and gained much peace and fulfillment through music over the years. He was a very structured and disciplined individual who always saw things in black and white. Paul was a bit of a perfectionist and thrived on order and structure in his life.

Melvin Paul Holbrook III was a hard working man who was a community servant through and through. He was dedicated to whatever he put his mind to and could always seem to accomplish whatever goal he set forth for himself. Paul was athletic and musically inclined as well, and with his sacrificial nature combined with the love for the people in the communities he served, he impacted lives far too numerous to count.

Paul will be remembered by his mother Maureen Holbrook of Miami, Oklahoma, his children Paul Holbrook IV of Nashville, Tennessee, Sabrina Wallington of Toledo, Ohio, and Alana Holbrook of Beulah; his grandson Cameron Reuther; his brothers and sister Matthew (Sheri) Holbrook of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Maurice (Maria) Holbrook of Ludington, Mark (Christine) Holbrook of Springfield, Missouri, and Meleen (John) Froman of Miami, Oklahoma; his Aunt Kathleen Holbrook of Petoskey; his Uncle Ron (Dorothy) Doran of Dallas, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services with State Police Honor Guard will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, August 15 at the auditorium of Benzie Central High School, with his pastor Rev. Ted Mulder, and Capt. Steve Eccles, MSP Chaplain officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City.

ContributionsBenzie Cental High School Track
9222 Homestead Road Benzonia, MI 49616

Send Flowers To:
Benzie Central High School
to be delivered Friday afternoon by 3:00 PM

Former local MSP sergeant shot, killed
By Don Reid
The Daily Reporter, Coldwater Michigan
Fri Aug 14, 2009, 12:01 AM EDT

Beulah, Mich. - The wife of a Michigan State Police sergeant — once assigned to the Coldwater Post — is being held on open murder charges in Benzie County.

Joni K. Holbrook, 47, admitted she shot and killed Melvin P. Holbrook, 53, as he slept at their home around 1 a.m. Monday.

Benzie Sheriff Rory Heckman told the Traverse City Record Eagle it would be “premature” to provide details of Joni’s statements to police. He also wouldn’t identify the firearm involved.

The couple had been married for 10 years but had separated a number of times. Neighbors told the Traverse City paper there had been instances of abuse.

Holbrook was assigned to the Coldwater Post for six years before he transferred in the early 1990’s.

Holbrook services are this weekend
Published: August 14, 2009 07:30 am

BEULAH -- Funeral services for Michigan State Police Sgt. Melvin Holbrook are scheduled for this weekend.
Services with the state police honor guard are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Benzie Central High School. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City.
Visitation will be held at the school today from 5 to 8 p.m.
Holbrook, who worked as a desk sergeant at the Traverse City post, was shot and killed inside his home in Benzie County's Homestead Township at about 1 a.m. Monday. His wife, Joni K. Holbrook, is charged with an open count of murder and remains in jail without bond.
Related Stories:
- Suspect's friends troubled by murder charge
- Questions build in trooper's death
- Wife charged in death of policeman
- Police sergeant killed in Benzie

Michigan State Police troopers and other officers watch as the body of Sgt. Melvin P. Holbrook is taken from the Benzie Central High School auditorium after a funeral service. The casket is followed by family members.
Douglas Tesner / Record-Eagle

Sgt. Holbrook remembered at funeral
Trooper's wife is charged with his murderTraverse City Record-Eagle
Published: August 15, 2009 08:00 pm

BENZONIA -- Several letters arrived at the Michigan State Police Traverse City post after the death of Sgt. Melvin Paul Holbrook, but one especially touched his friends and family.

Holbrook worked as desk sergeant at the post and constantly dealt with the public, either by telephone or in person. Sometimes people would complain, and other times they needed help.

Holbrook's friend and pastor, the Rev. Ted Mulder, read a letter to a crowd of people gathered in Benzie Central High School for Holbrook's funeral service Saturday morning. The letter was from a man who often called the post and spoke with Holbrook.

"I was sorry to hear about Sgt. Holbrook ... I always felt like he actually cared about my rather no-problem problems," Mulder read from the letter. "He was always very kind and sympathetic to me, and I'll really miss him."

Police believe Holbrook's wife of ten years, Joni K. Holbrook, shot him inside the couple's Benzie County residence at about 1 a.m. Aug 10. She is charged with an open count of murder and is jailed without bond.

Mulder and others who gathered for Holbrook's funeral service said he constantly went out of his way and took extra time to help others. He was heavily involved in his church, as well as with Benzie Central's bowling and track teams.

"The truth is, he was dependable," said his younger brother, Maurice Holbrook. "When people had a problem, and they needed help, they knew they could ask him, and he always stepped up. That's just the way it was."

Holbrook, 53, joined the state police in 1986 and served in Ionia, Richmond, Manistee and Coldwater. He worked at the Traverse City post from 1997 to 1999 and then from 2002 until his death.

Holbrook, a native of Ionia, graduated from Greenville High School, where he was an all-state fullback on the football team, played basketball and ran track. He earned an accounting degree from Albion College, and worked as an accountant at a tool and die shop before enrolling in state police recruit school. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved music, playing guitar for his church.

Dozens of police officers from several law enforcement agencies attended his funeral, including state police director Col. Peter C. Munoz. Burial was scheduled at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City immediately following the service.

Among the officers and former officers at the funeral was Scott Rothermel, who trained under Holbrook about 10 years ago. Rothermel said Holbrook always spent extra time to help young troopers and was highly regarded at the post.

"He had street smarts as well as book smarts, which combined to make him a very fine trooper," Rothermel said.

Retired Trooper Brett Nichols, who also trained under Holbrook, agreed.

"He'd do anything for you," he said.

Police are still investigating the events that led up to the alleged shooting. They haven't released details about the weapon or Joni Holbrook's statements to police. Maurice Holbrook said during the service that the Holbrook family grieves for her along with Melvin.

"We truly, truly are hurting for her and her family as well," he said.

MSP Trooper laid to rest
Wife is charged with open murder
Up North Live
By Courtney Rehmer
Saturday, August 15, 2009 at 8:10 p.m.

BENZIE -- A community gathers Saturday to say goodbye to one of their own. Michigan State Police Sergeant Melvin Paul Holbrook was laid to rest Saturday.

"He always came to work with a smile on his face and a willingness and his strength was he wanted to help people," said Captain Tim Rod of the Michigan State Police. "That was his goal everyday is to do what he could for others."

Benzie County Sheriff deputies found the body of Sgt. Holbrook at his home on Derby Lane in Homestead Township near Honor early Monday morning. Holbrook's wife, Joni, is charged with open murder after police say she admitted to shooting him.

Inside Benzie Central High School Saturday, Sgt. Holbrook's younger brother shared with family and friends his fondest childhood memories and his brother's love for athletics and his job.

The pastor of the church that Holbrook attended also spoke of Sgt. Holbrook's strong faith and dedication to the church.

Holbrook's career with the Michigan State Police took him to several posts throughout the state, but it's at the Traverse City post where he would make a home for the past ten years. His colleagues described him as a trooper's trooper, a man dedicated to his job.

"He stayed close to the road and he knew what they were doing and what they were dealing with, with the citizens and complaints and he was sensitive to that," Rod said. "He made sure the troopers had everything they needed to do their job."

Sgt. Holbrook leaves behind three children and one grandson.

"He loved his family, he loved his daughter, he was very active with the community, this school where we stand on this property," Rod said.

Captain Tim Rod says Sgt. Holbrook will be greatly missed by everyone at the state police post.

"Whether you're talking to him in person, or over the phone, he wanted to help you. That's what we'll miss the most...he was there for us," Rod said.

A private burial followed at the Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City. For those who wish to do so, contributions are being accepted to the Benzie Central High School track team in Sgt. Holbrook's memory.Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

continued from my previous post...
In no way do I think he deserved what happened, I just pray that the living can get the help they need to keep on living. I also pray that the pain lightens each day for both sides of the family......