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John W. Holmes

November 15, 1920 ~ January 20, 2018 (age 97)
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John W. Holmes,

97, died on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at St. Rita’s Hospital, Lima.

He was born November 15, 1920 near Bluffton, Ohio to Roscoe I. Holmes and Eva L. (Eckenwiler) Holmes, who preceded him in death. He married Betty J. Vandemark, July 30, 1941, who died March 30, 2008. They were happily married for over 66 years.

He was a Free and Accepted Mason, having been a member of Lima Lodge #205 and a 32nd Degree Member of Scottish Rite, Valley of Dayton, since 1948. He was a World War II Veteran, having served in the Army Air Corps, as a Flight Engineer and a Staff Sergeant in the China, Burnma, India, theater and on Okinawa.

 Mr. Holmes had been a partner of Holmes Brothers Service Station, Holmes Brothers Market, in Elida and was a founding partner with his brother, V.R. (Red) Holmes, in Holmes Realty Company where he retired in 1997, after 40 years as a Realtor in the Lima area. He had also worked at Excello Corporation when they first came to Lima. He was a long time member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Elida where he was active for many years, having attended there since 1936. He loved his family and enjoyed fishing and competitive pistol shooting as a member of Lima Sabres Shooting Association.

He was preceded in death by a brother, V. R. (Red) Holmes; sisters, Mary Gaiffe and Nora Mericle; son-in-law, Larry Ward; several sister-in-laws; brother-in-laws and nieces and nephews.

He is survived by a daughter, Shirley D. Ward of Diamond City, Arkansas and a son Ronald K. (Donna) Holmes of Burbank, Ohio; five grandchildren, John D (Michelle) Ward, Robert B. Holmes, James M. (Patty) Ward, Dana L. (Tony) Freund and David Holmes; ten great-grandchildren. He is also survived by nieces and nephews who all shared in his love.

Visitation will be held at Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home, Lima, Ohio from 5 to 8 PM on Monday, January 22, 2018. Masonic Services will be held at 8 PM following the visitation.

The funeral service will held at 10 AM Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at     Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home. Interment will be in Greenlawn Cemetery, Elida, Ohio. Military Rites will be conducted.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Elida, Elmcroft Senior Living Community Activity Fund or to any charity of the donors choice.

Condolences may be expressed at


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