Lt. Col (USAF Ret.)

James Lee Holmes, son of Roger and Margaret Holmes was born on June 10, 1938 in Beardstown, Illinois.

He passed away on January 24, 2024 at age of 85.

James graduated from Champaign High School in 1956. He enrolled in the University of Illinois in 1958. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and entered Navigator Training in 1959 in Harlingen, Texas. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.

Assignments included serving as a B-52 crew member at Clinton Sherman AFB, Oklahoma; a DC-130 crew member at David-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona and non flying assignments to Headquarters Strategic Air Command followed by additional assignments to Germany, Montgomery, Alabama, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Tinker AFB, Okla.

Holmes served 18 months in Vietnam where their crew flew reconnaissance missions.

During James’ assign-ment

to Clinton Sherman AFB he met and fell in love with LaVonne Lynch. La Vonne was working in the Base Exchange and they were introduced by a mutual friend. The couple were married at Broadway Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, OK by La-Vonne’s uncle, Rev.

Alvis Merrill.

The couple became parents to two daughters. Melinda was born in 1963 and Angela was born in 1966.

James continued his education all during his military career.

He completed his Bachelor’s degree in economics at SWOSU in Weatherford, OK.

In 1966, he completed Command and Staff college in Montgomery, Al., in 1973 and Air War College in 1975 also at Montgomery, AL. James later earned two Master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma in 1972 and 1976 in the field of business management. James retired from the USAF in 1986 and began working for Frank Kliewer at the Cordell National Bank. He retired from banking in 2008.

After retirement he enjoyed many years of volunteering at the Western Plains Library System in Clinton. He also enjoyed teaching Sunday School classes in Clinton and Cordell.

James also served on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Baptist Retirement Villages.

The couple enjoyed traveling. They were able to visit many countries while stationed in Germany for four years. They enjoyed traveling with other senior adults on organized tours to many states in the USA in their later years.

James is survived by wife La Vonne of the home; Daughters Melinda Olbert, Oklahoma City, OK, Angela Holwick, Fort Smith, AR; Grandsons Cale Olbert, Oklahoma City, OK, Cameron Olbert, Edinburgh, Scottland, Bryce Holwick & wife Emily, Spiro, OK, Aaron Holwick & wife Lexie, Bolingbrook, IL; Great Grandson: Jackson Holwick; Sister-in-law: Joan Holmes, Albuquerque, NM; Nephews: Tom Holmes and wife Anna, (Col.

Ret. USAF) Michael Holmes & wife Melody, San Antonio, TX; Great nephew Ian Holmes and fiancee Natalie, San Antonio, TX.

Preceded in death by his Parents, and Bother: David R Holmes.

Funeral Service: 2:00 p.m., Monday, January 29, 2024, First Baptist Church Cordell, OK.

Interment: Lawnview Cemetery, Cordell, OK.

Under the direction of Ray & Martha’s Funeral Home, Cordell, OK.