Thomas Harvey HolmesJuly 24, 1925 ~ September 8, 2017 (age 92)
Thomas H. Holmes; aka-“Pops” left this world at 92 to be with his Lord and Savior on September 8th. He leaves a legacy of Strength, Honor, Courage and Faith to many. Tom was born July 24, 1925 in Albany New York, son of T. Harvey and Ethel P. Holmes. Tom was a Yankee by birth, but a Southerner by choice. Following High School, he entered the Army Air Force and became a highly decorated World War II combat veteran, having flown 21 B-24 missions as an aerial-photo gunner. He earned the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Conspicuous Service Cross, the AEME Service Medal with 4 Bronze Stars and numerous other citations.
Tom was an undergraduate student at the Cornell College of Agriculture under the GI bill. Later he received a full fellowship from the US Department of Agriculture to the University of Virginia Graduate School of Government and Foreign Affairs.
Tom married Ruth Whetstone Holmes and together they raised two children. She died of cancer in 1984. Tom met his second wife Billie Skipper Todd on a cruise and married in 1990. Together, they traveled the world, went on many cruises and enjoyed life together at their home in Emerald Isle.
Tom’s working life was primarily in the field of agriculture. He grew up on a farm and worked many years in the tractor and implement industry. His passion for agriculture and love for people provided a large field of options. Over the years he worked for the major Tractor and Ag Brands at the dealer, distributor and manufacturer levels, ultimately landing a job with the United States Department of Agriculture. Following his retirement from the USDA; he and his son, Scott, opened “The Packaging Store” in Oak Park Shopping Center which they operated together for eight+ years.
Tom had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed performing in front of an audience. He was a part time actor, licensed auctioneer and amateur photographer who loved to share a story. He has been spotted in movies and magazines. Tom also received humble recognition when some of his photographs and jellies placed first at the NC State fair. Tom also enjoyed scuba diving, mountain climbing and hiking the Appalachian Trail. He was a member and officer of the Raleigh Jaycees and Toastmaster International. Tom and Billie were members of the “Friendship Forces” and together they traveled to many different countries. This also led them to open their home to visiting ambassadors from other countries.
Tom is survived by his wife; Billie Skipper Holmes, son; Thomas Scott Holmes (Dottie), daughter; Jennifer Holmes Brock (Dan), stepdaughters; Jennifer Mizell (Ronny), Debbie Brown (Steve), stepson; Arlen Todd, grandsons; Wesley and Dylan Holmes, Christopher and Erik Brock (Mena), step grandchildren; Todd, Coley and Hanna Mizell, great grandson Luke Alexander Brock and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at L. Harold Poole Funeral Service, 944 Old Knight Road, Knightdale, NC 27545. Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 pm at L. Harold Poole Funeral Service Chapel with burial following at Raleigh Memorial Park.
The family would like to provide a “Special Thanks” to Teresa Cooney and Transitions Life Care, especially to Gloria Taylor and Mae Grisham.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to Transitions Life Care, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.