James Holmes was born on Aug. 3, 1914, the youngest child of parents, Lucy and Andrew Jackson Holmes from Carthage. He lived in his own home until he was 96 years old and passed away on Dec. 2nd, after several months of illness.
His daughter, Judy Holmes, his family, and his friends, will gather for a special service by poet and storyteller, Anne McCrady. The service will be held at Burks-Walker-Tippit Funeral Home in Tyler on Dec. 6, at 10:00 a.m., and visitation will be on Dec. 5, from 5:30 pm until 7:00 p.m.
Mrs. McCrady will tell the interesting saga of James’ life and assisting in the service will be the Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown-Daniel, his granddaughter by marriage.
Mr. Holmes’ father was the first Panola County School Superintendent, bringing modern educational practices to that portion of East Texas. His childhood years were in Carthage until he graduated from high school and then, unable to afford college, he worked in various sales positions in Henderson, Kilgore and Tyler.
In 1939 he married Althea Ward from Henderson. Mr. Holmes was the manager of the downtown Tyler Goodyear store at the start of WW II and later he served in the Army Air Corp as a Crew Chief on a B-24 bomber. On his 7th bombing mission in Europe, his plane was shot down over Poland. Captured on an airfield, he was a prisoner in a German prisoner of war camp for almost one year. His last three months of internment were spent marching in the winter snow, fleeing the advancing Russian Army.
After liberation, Mr. Holmes returned to the U.S and his wife, Althea. Their only child was born in 1946. Mr. Holmes worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in Arkansas and Texas before he moved his family to Orange. He worked with his brother in law, Clifford Ward, in the car business and then started his own successful used car dealership that operated for 45 years.
He made many friends and business relationships during his time in Orange and loved living on the Gulf Coast. His wife Althea died in 1986. Retiring at age 80, he moved to Tyler to be closer to his daughter and his East Texas roots. He was active and lived in his own home with help from family and caregiver, Ana. He volunteered during this time with the Alzheimer Alliance’s Wonderful Wednesday program and he was passionate about his visits to estate and garage sales. He was a generous person, giving financial help to others and to many charities throughout the US.
Mr. Holmes was a loving father and friend to many people and will be missed. He loved family, children and dogs. His ability to tell a story and his sense of humor will also be missed.
He has three grandchildren, and five great grandchildren in three different states and relatives in the Texas area that have always been loving and attentive to him.