Robert "Bobby" Harold Holmes
March 2, 1929-April 6, 2014
Robert "Bobby" Harold Holmes, 85, of Biloxi, went home to be with his Savior on Sunday, April 6, 2014. He was a Godly man with an infectious laugh and an extraordinary personality that touched every person he met. "Coach Holmes," as he was affectionately known, was a faithful member of Bay Vista Baptist Church in Biloxi where he was elected Deacon Emeritus in 2013. His love for the Lord and his unceasing gift of ministry was evident in every aspect of his life.
Mr. Holmes was born in Tallassee, Alabama, to DeWitt Benjamin and Mary Katherine Ransom Holmes. He graduated from Tallassee High School in 1947, known for his role in the Tigers legendary 55 game winning streak. He went on to play football at Perkinston Junior College, helping lead the Bulldogs to the 1948 National Junior College Championship and earning Little All-American honors. He completed his college career at Mississippi Southern College, now The University of Southern Mississippi, where he set numerous records as quarterback for the Southerners. His record two punt returns of 87 and 95 yards for touchdowns against Alabama in the same game still stands. While at Perk, he met the love of his life, Bobbie Nell Germany. They married on September 9, 1950. In 1951, he earned his BS degree in Physical Education. Following college, he served his country in the U.S. Army. He later went on to earn his MEd in Administration and his MS AAA certificate from USM. With the birth of his two children, Nollene and Hal, "Daddy" became his favorite name and his children became his pride and joy. He and his family made their home in Moss Point after working in various Mississippi school districts. He had an amazing 36 year career as teacher, coach, and administrator, touching countless lives along the way.
During his career, he received numerous honors and awards. He was elected to The University of Southern Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1966, the MAC Coaches Hall of Fame in 1985, and the MGCCC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. Coach Holmes received both the Distinguished American Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, the MS Broadcasters Association All-State Award, the South Coach of the Year in 1966. He received the Moss Point High School Growler Dedication in 1978 and was named to the USM Century Team in 2000. If you knew Coach Holmes, you knew he could tell many a story about any aspect of his lengthy career. It could be anything from specific plays he ran as a player at Perk to the hilarious antics of Southern Miss athletes to any strategy, play, or score from games throughout his career. Friends often called on him to "dig deep in the steel trap" for answers to most any sports-related questions. These many stories will be treasured by his family and friends in the years to come.
The retirement years began in 1989 when he and Bobbie Nell moved to Biloxi where they began to focus their time enjoying their "grand" children. He was a wonderful "Daddy Bob," as he and "Mimi" loved going from golf tournaments and baseball games to dance and piano recitals. He also enjoyed the occasional, super-competitive game of dominoes or Catch Phrase with his kids and grands, as well as asking them to "google up" things that he was wondering. His unwavering love and support made him a truly incredible Daddy Bob!
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Bobbie Nell; his mother, Mary Katherine Ransom Holmes; his father, DeWitt Benjamin Holmes.
He is survived by his two loving children, daughter Ava Nollene Holmes Wieniewitz and her husband Henry John "Spud" of Biloxi, and son, his namesake, Robert Harold "Hal" Holmes, Jr., and his wife Cynthia Dawn "Cindy" of Vancleave; five "perfect" grandchildren, grandsons Henry John "Trae" Wieniewitz, III, and his wife Amber Lea of Knoxville, TN, another namesake, Robert Harold "Robby" Holmes, III, and his wife Maria Angela, of Astoria, NY, Andrew Joseph "Drew" Holmes of Hattiesburg, and Jonathan Stuart Holmes of Vancleave, and a granddaughter, his "sweetie," Tara Johnell Wieniewitz Jackson and her husband, Eric William, of Spring Hill, TN.
"Daddy Bob" is also survived by five precious great-grandchildren, great-granddaughters Abbie Nell and Lexi Rae Wieniewitz of Knoxville, TN, and Adelyn "Addie" Noelle and Ava Rae Jackson of Spring Hill, TN, and great-grandson, Christian John Wieniewitz of Knoxville, TN.
He will also be missed by his dear sister, JoAnn Holmes Ledbetter and her husband, William, of Tallassee, AL.
A service celebrating his life will be held on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at Bay Vista Baptist Church, Biloxi. Visitation will be prior to the service, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Machpelah Cemetery in Pascagoula.
Memorials may be made in his name to the
, or your favorite church ministry or charity. RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, Biloxi served the family. An online guestbook may be viewed and signed via www.riemannfamily.com
Published in The Sun Herald on Apr. 8, 2014
Riemann Family Funeral Home
274 Beauvoir Road Biloxi, MS 39531