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Rev. Richard John Holmes Sr., of Yorktown, died May 11, 2015, at the age of 83.
He was born son of the late Rev. Joseph T. and Ida Ruth Holmes in Farmville on Dec. 5, 1931. He attended public school in Lynchburg and at an early age moved to Knoxville, Tennessee to live with his grandmother and completed his public education there.
He furthered his education by receiving an Associate of Arts degree from Morristown Normal and Industrial College in Morristown, Tennessee and attended Knoxville College. Rev. Holmes Sr. dutifully fulfilled his obligation by serving in the U.S. Army. Prior to retiring from the National Park Service, he also worked at the Naval Weapons Station in Yorktown.
In 1958, Rev. Holmes Sr. was licensed into the ministry and in the early 1960s, God saw fit to bless him to lead the flock of Shiloh Baptist Church as their 15th pastor from 1964 until 1981, when his job sent him to Philadelphia.
In addition to Shiloh, Rev. Holmes Sr. also pastored Little Zion Baptist Church in Williamsburg and First Morning Star Baptist Church, Bena. He was a faithful member of the Rising Sun Baptist Church in Lackey and was affiliated with the Williamsburg Tri-Pastor’s Council and the York James City Williamsburg branch of the NAACP. Rev. Holmes let his light shine in the community by being a true man of God. Through his 57 years in the ministry, he has inspired so many as he shared who God is and why it is important to give your life to Him.
Rev. Holmes was married for 55 years to the former Margaret Ella Johnson and together they built a home and became longtime residents of Lackey. From this union they have three beautiful children, Merna Jones-Stewart, Rosayln P. Shoulders and Minister Richard J. Holmes Jr. (Florence); grandchildren, Michael, Maurice, Randy Jr., Randelle, Robbie, Ashley, Latrice, Rishardia, Reshayla, Andrea and Angelina; great-grandchildren, Carlin, Abraham, Eliana, Randelle Jr., A’Marie, Addison, Janiya, Marlon, Adrionne, Promise and Azionna; aunt, Mary Giles, of Dayton, Ohio; sisters-in-law, Hattie Ball and Ann Johnson, of Richmond and Edith Wyatt (Raymond), of Charles City; brothers–in-law, Robert Johnson (Audrey) and Linwood Johnson (Janet), of Hopewell Virginia; godsons, Ernest and Henry Washington; and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Rev. Holmes Sr. may be viewed from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2015, at Rising Sun Baptist Church, 2300 Old Williamsburg Road, Lackey. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Shiloh Baptist Church, 105 Goosley Road, Yorktown. Interment to follow at Rising Sun Baptist Church Cemetery with military honors. Family and friends will assemble one hour prior to the service at 126 York Drive, Lackey.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Shiloh Baptist Church, Yorktown or the Rising Sun Baptist Church Building Fund.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Whiting’s Funeral Home.
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