Three Harrisonville High School graduates will become the ninth class inducted into the HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame during Winter Homecoming activities at HHS Feb. 1.
G.R. Milner, Ret. Lt. Col. Renee (Labitska) Holmes, and Dr. Hillary (Rolls) Kelly will be inducted during a banquet and introduced to the community prior to the 7 p.m. varsity basketball game.
Milner graduated in 1958 from Harrisonville High School as the salutatorian. During his youth, he was highly involved in 4-H and band. He is a lifetime resident of Cass County.
Following graduation, Milner went to work as a bookkeeper at Henderson Burris Motors in Harrisonville. He worked in all facets of the business and at 23 purchased shares of stock in the business. He was one of the youngest dealers in the nation to be given ownership approval by the Ford Motor Company. He also graduated from the Ford Motor Company’s School of Accounting and their School of Retail Salesmanship.
In 1977, he became full owner and changed the name to GR Milner Ford Sales and in 1978, he moved the dealership from near the square to its current location on Cantrell Road. During this time, Milner grew the business to one of the largest Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealerships in the state of Missouri and tripled the number of his employees.
In 2012, Milner was honored by the Ford Motor Company for his 50 years as a dealership owner. Milner was a member of the Missouri Automobile Dealers Association and served in numerous leadership capacities including the association’s 60th president in 1998.
As a business leader in Harrisonville, he was a member of the Chamber of commerce, Masonic Lodge and Ararat Shrine.
Milner and his wife, Karazo, will celebrate 22 years of marriage this year. His family includes two children, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Holmes is a 1986 graduate of Harrisonville High School and spent a 20 year career with the United States Marine Corp.
She retired in December.
After high school, Holmes earned her undergraduate degree in nutrition at Park College and then went to Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. She began as a logistics officer and her first assignment was in Hawaii as a platoon commander for helicopter support teams and beach landing teams. Holmes then went to South Carolina where she oversaw the training of Marine recruits at boot camp and then to California where she served as Commanding Officer Material Readiness Company.
Holmes attended the United States Army Captain’s Combines Career Course where she graduated with honors and then was assigned to an acquisition tour in Virgina where she was responsible for the development, testing and delivery of individual combat gear such as body armor, helmets, boots and flame retardant uniforms for soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
She earned her master’s degree in management and Logistics from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2003 and graduated from Command and Staff College in 2005..
Her final assignment at MacDill Air Force Base was in Special Operations Command. She served as an acquisition officer for special operations vehicles, then became the program manager responsible for the development, testing, training, delivery and maintenance of over 5,000 military vehicles. As improvised explosive devices became more prevalent, the team developed mine resistant armor protected vehicles for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan During this tour, Holmes deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
In November 2011, she was the first woman to receive the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics Packard Award for Acquisition in an Expeditionary Environment. She has also received the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation and Achievement Medals and the National Defense and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals.
In addition to her accomplished military career, Holmes has run 10 marathons and nine ultra-marathons (50 miles).
She has been married for 22 years to Michael, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. They have a 13-year-old daughter named Mckenzie.
Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Harrisonville High School. During high school, Kelly was involved in marching band, tennis, National Honor Society and scholar bowl.
Kelly graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 with a major in brain and cognitive sciences and a minor in biology. She went on to earn her doctorate of medicine from Harvard Medical School in 2006.
While at MIT, Kelly was a member of the crew team, serving as captain of the lightweight women’s squad during her junior and senior years. In 2002, she ran the Boston Marathon with a teammate. She was also a member of the MIT chapter of Alphi Phi, where she lived for four years. She served as the house manager and vice president of house operations.
During medical school, her research interests included genetic studies in patients with a neurodegenerative disorder similar to Parkinson’s Disease called Diffuse Lewy Body disease. She also worked with neurosurgeons and radiologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on using functional MRI in preoperative planning for patients with epilepsy and brain tumors.
Following graduation from Harvard, she completed a general surgery internship, followed by a radiology residency and neuroradiology fellowship, all at Massachusetts General Hospital. She was chief resident of the Radiology Department, then Chief Fellow in Neuroradiology. She is currently an attending Neuroradiologist at Massachusetts General. Kelly is also an instructor of radiology at Harvard.
She has earned numerous awards and honors including the Brain and Cognitive Science Outstanding Scholarship award at MIT and the Radiologist-in-Training Award from the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology in 2011. She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa while at MIT.
Kelly is also an accomplished researcher, author and presenter. She has written numerous articles for medical journals, as well as book chapters based on her research. She is also a noted presenter who has traveled across the country.
Some of Kelly’s research focuses on using CT scans to evaluate the vessels of the brain in patients with intracranial hemorrhage. She has also focused on using CT scans in preoperative planning in patients undergoing surgery for hyperparathyroidism, a condition that interferes with the body’s ability to maintain appropriate levels of calcium. Her interests also include medical education, and she serves as a lecturer and mentor in the Radiology Residency program at MGH. She also serves on the MGH Radiology Residency Selection Committee.
Kelly is married to Dr. Jason Kelly. They met at MIT and were married in 2009. They have a daughter, Quinn, and currently reside in Cambridge, Mass.
HHS Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame inductees are selected based on their significant contribution to their community or their field of work. Nominations are accepted continuously with the deadline for consideration each year on Oct. 31.
The induction is sponsored by the Harrisonville Public School Foundation.