Funeral Announcement – Lilla Jean Barksdale Holmes

Lilla Jean Barksdale Holmes, “Mama Jean”,104, went to be with her Lord and Savior January 10, 2024 at her new home in Tupelo, Ms. surrounded by her loving family at NMMC-Hospice after a brief illness. Services will be 1pm Saturday,January 27,2024 at Trinity Episcopal Church,Yazoo City,Ms. Visitation will be at noon Saturday at the church. Burial will follow at Glenwood Cemetery, Yazoo City, under the direction of Stricklin-King Funeral Home. Pall bearers are her grandsons, Howard Nelson, Brian McGraw, Drew Holmes, Jason Moak, Wynn Vinson, and Rob Simmons.
Jean was born July 22, 1919 in St. Louis, Mo. The daughter of Mary and Ethelbert Barksdale. She graduated from Jackson Central High School, class of 1937. She attended the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1941. While at Ole Miss she was a member of Chi Omega Sorority. At
Ole Miss she met and fell head over heels for the handsome band leader and singer for The Mississippians dance band ,Miller Holmes of Yazoo City.
Shortly after they married, February 14, 1942, Miller went into the Marine Corps. He was in four campaigns overseas during World War Two. He said, “I gave the best years of my wife to the US Marines!” They enjoyed more than 72 amazing and blessed years together with her extraordinary support of his banking career and civic activities. He also said,”All it takes for a marriage to be successful is for one partner to be completely unselfish, and that is Jean.”
Making their home in Yazoo City, she embraced the Trinity Episcopal Church as an active member until moving to Brandon in 1982.They joined St. Peter’s as it grew from mission to parish status.Jean served on the Altar Guild in both churches and was very involved in Bible studies and Women of the Church. They graciously opened their home , hosting guests from Bishops to Bankers!
Growing up in Jackson, Jean was a member of the First Baptist Church. She lived in Belhaven and one of her fondest childhood memories was skating around the capital with her friends.
She was a devout follower of the Reverend Billy Graham.She cherished her time spent with her saintly mother Mamaw, as a companion and later her caregiver.
Jean and Miller loved music,Big Band, and dancing, especially dancing at the Banker’s Conventions when they were usually the last ones on the floor!
Her responses were often “Oh happy Day, Hotty Toddy, and Thanks be to God!”
She was known for her redheaded beauty, wisdom, sense of style and her smile that could light up the room!She was an accomplished pastel artist, sharing her talent with friends and acquaintances as a special gift. Her passions were reading, journaling and Facebook!
After retiring on the Reservoir, they enjoyed cruising around on their pontoon boat “The Mossy” and watching their grandchildren water ski and shopping at Northpark Mall!
Their Christmas tree was filled with collectable dolls from their travels all over the world !
Jean enjoyed celebrating life, toasting with her Zinfandel, crabmeat and Tiramisu.A southern matriarch, charming all who knew her. She was a devoted wife, wonderful mother and grandmother. Her love for her family was only surpassed by her love for her Lord. Her greatest attribute was Godly.
She was truly a saint, an angel on earth to pray for others she cared for and loved. “ God giveth us richly – all things to enjoy “ 1Timothy 6:17.
She quoted “ I believe now I am beginning to see a vision of Reality-
Life Eternal “.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents, brother Bert, sister Gwen Wilson, husband, beloved son ,Miller P. Holmes Jr.,and daughter in law , Vicki Smith Holmes. Survivors include daughters, Dale Holmes Simmons(Jim) and Ethel Holmes Moak(Keith),daughter in law, Bonnie Johnston Garner Holmes.
She is also survived by three granddaughters, Blair H. Nelson (Howard), Posey Simmons McGraw (Brian), and Jacquline Moak Vinson(Wynn); and three grandsons. Lt. Col. Andrew “Drew” Holmes(Bridget) , Jason Moak(Michelle), and James Robert (Rob) Simmons, III (Anne), and fifteen great grandchildren, Logan Nelson (Izzy), Anne Miller Nelson, Mary Lauren Nelson, Luke Holmes, Sophie Holmes,Lilla Riede McGraw, Katie Bell McGraw, Mamie Barksdale McGraw, Hudson Simmons, James Robert Simmons IV, Frances Simmons, Madison Moak Middleton (Dylan), Braleigh Moak, Lydia Vinson, and Moak Vinson; a great great grandson, Miles Joseph Nelson; a niece. Ester Wilson,a nephew George E. Donovan III, and special Goddaughter Hope Carr and cousin Mary Ann Cortright.
The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers of The Orchard Retirement Community, Ridgeland, Ms.and the caregivers at Lifestyles at Tupelo for their tremendous love and support. A very special thank you to Rev. Phillip Parker of All Saints Episcopal Church in Tupelo for caring and devoting his time and love.
In lieu of flowers please consider memorials to St. Peter’s-by-the-Lake Episcopal Church,1954 Spillway Road,Brandon, Ms.39407, or Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O.Box 145,Yazoo City, Ms.39194, or to a charity of you choice.
1 comment
  1. JoAnne Riechert Ertle
    JoAnne Riechert Ertle
    January 17, 2024 at 4:26 PM

    Truly a wonderful lady. I worked at DNB. When she came in she had a smile and a h***o for everyone Prayers for Dale and all family members???? God Bless you all????


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