Colonel Gilbert Gerald Holmes died December 20, 2019 at the age of 102 after living a long and full life. He was born in Lansing, Michigan on July 20, 1917 to Jennie E. (Knight) and Elwin C. Holmes. He is now at rest with his Lord, his parents, wife Melba I. (Roberts), son Gilbert G. Jr., and youngest daughter Brenda K. Marks. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Herbert Holmes and Robert Holmes, sister Pearl Gaudette, and brother-in-law Ira L. Roberts. He is survived by his daughters: Luvenia Drakey and Trudy Jackson; grandchildren: Anthony Drakey II, Kaylynn Wolfgang, Christopher Drakey (Kelly), Deon Jackson (Cyndee), Kirk Jackson (Caitlin); great-grandchildren: Antonia Wolfgang, Emma Wolfgang, Nicholas Wolfgang, Vivian Drakey, Kathryn Drakey, James Drakey; great-great-grandson, Kayden Scott; and his sister, Ellen Kern, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Colonel Holmes retired March 31, 1975 after serving nearly 40 years in the U.S. Army and the Selective Service System. During this period, he attended West Point Preparatory School, was selected to the First Infantry Officer Candidate School, Command and General Staff College. He was the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, among many others medals, and served on the Honor Guard. After retirement, he graduated with honors from Northwood University. He was known to have been both humorous and serious. He loves most sports and was an avid golfer.
Colonel Holmes was a long time member of the Holmes Road Church of Christ and served as Deacon. Prior to this, his service to the Lord began as a charter member of the Judson Memorial Baptist Church at the age of 15. He was also a member of the Boy Scouts, Troop 32, the Lansing Boat Club and volunteered for several organizations including meals-on-wheels and the Battle Creek VA Hospital. He was a member of several military organizations, including the Retired Officers’ Association, Michigan National Guard, World War II Memorial, Reserve Officers Association of the United States, Military Officer Association of America, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Officers’ Open Mess Camp Graying, and Michigan Christian Youth Camp.
The funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 28, 2019, at Holmes Road Church of Christ, 321 E. Holmes Road, Lansing. Entombment, with military honors, will follow at Deepdale Memorial Gardens mausoleum. His family will receive friends at the church from 12:00 p.m. until service time on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holmes Road Church of Christ in memory of Gilbert Holmes.