Jay Robert Holmes passed peacefully on April 27, 2024, at the Ozarks Methodist Manor in Marionville, Missouri. Born April 18, 1934, in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, Jay was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin, and friend to many.
Jay had five siblings and was the youngest boy of two brothers and three sisters. The Holmes family traveled through Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma via two covered wagons. Jay and his siblings lived in a tent for one year, did not enjoy running water, nor electricity, throughout their childhood in Missouri and learned to live off the land with very little. The family raised cattle, gardened, hunted, and fished while living in several towns including Monett, Aurora, Crane, and Springfield.
Jay played football at Aurora High School, served as the team’s co-captain, and was an avid Chiefs fan. He also loved his high school poetry class and recited famous poems for decades following graduation. A handsome, friendly student beloved by many, Jay was Homecoming King his senior year. While at Aurora High, a cute redheaded freshman, Carol Jones, caught his eye. Jay and Carol celebrated 67 wonderful years of marriage on February 22, 2024.
Jay served in the U.S. Army from 1954-56 where he had basic training in Texas, followed by specialized transportation training at Fort Knox in Kentucky. He and his unit were later deployed to Germany. After serving in the military, Jay’s career was in auto body work where he also expertly painted pin stripes and was often asked to paint the most detailed work. His career spanned from Wichita, Monett, Reliable Chevrolet, and eventually to Warren Auto Works in Springfield where he retired as shop foreman. After retirement, Jay and Carol raised cattle, chickens, and enjoyed gardening. Their door was always open to friends and family. They were fond of playing Rook, Dominoes, and board games.
Jay Holmes made his mark in a variety of significant ways and touched many people. Blessed to celebrate his 90th birthday recently, he is preceded in death by his parents, Geneva, and Clay Holmes; his stepfather, Jack Walker; his siblings Fred Holmes, Joyce Van Nortwick, Wayne Holmes, Wanda Mathews, and Jean Shade; his cousin Emery Holmes; his granddaughter, Shana Hight, and her husband, Scott. Survivors include Jay’s treasured wife, Carol; his children, Beth (Holmes) Carter and her husband, Bob; Alison Holmes, and Steve Holmes; granddaughters Amy Grabher and her husband, Chris; great-grandchildren Ethan Jay and Grace Grabher, of California; granddaughter Monica Marshall and her fiancé, Brenden; step-granddaughters, Allison Twist and Jessica Connolly, their husbands, Erik and Doug; and their 12 children in Arizona; cousins, Ben Johnston, Carol Webb, John Holmes, many nieces and nephews.
Visitation and funeral services were held on Tuesday, May 7, at Crafton-Cantrell Funeral Home in Aurora with burial at Maple Park Cemetery in Aurora afterward  with Pastor Mark Reavis officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Reavisville First Baptist Church or the Alzheimer’s Association in Jay Holmes’ memory.
Online condolences may be shared at www.CraftonCantrellFuneralHome.com.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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