Arthur Watson "Bill" Holmes


November 19, 2013

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DURHAM: Mr. Arthur Watson “Bill” Holmes, 94, died Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at Duke Hospice Hock Family Pavilion. Mr. Holmes was born in Wake County, the son of the late Lonnie Holmes and Hattie Green Holmes. He was also preceded in death by his two beloved sons, Arthur Watson “Art” Holmes and Gary Lyn Holmes; his sisters, Elsie Crabtree, Mamie Bowman, and Lois Holmes; his brothers, Allen, Roy, Connie and Norman Holmes.

Mr. Holmes owned and operated the Ideal Sundry, a drug sundry and toy store in West Durham for 40 years. He will be affectionately remembered as the “Lemonade King of Durham” for his delicious frozen lemonade.

Mr. Holmes served his country in the Air Force in the European Theater in World War II and was recalled into the service during the Korean War, for which he received a Letter of Commendation from the Air Force Missile Test Center, Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

He was a longtime member of Grey Stone Baptist Church. He was a member of the West Durham Exchange Club for 35 years and was made an Honorary Member of the Durham Exchange Club in 2004. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of the Exchange Club Family Center and was a member of the American Legion Post No. 7 and the West Durham Knights of Pythias for 57 years. During his years of service to the above clubs, he received many awards, including the Exchangite of the Year Award, the Knights of Pythias Extra Mile Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also a member of the Watts Hospital Hillandale Neighborhood Association and proudly served his “frozen lemonade” at many of their functions.

Mr. Holmes is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Mary Anne Powers Holmes; three grandsons, Jeff Holmes (and wife, Karen), Kevin Holmes of Charlotte, and Tyler Holmes of Durham; and daughter-in-law, Dianne Holmes Duke (and husband, Ron) of Durham.

Funeral service will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at Grey Stone Baptist Church with the Rev. Clay Waters officiating. Burial will follow in the Maplewood Cemetery, Section 9. Pallbearers will be Jeff Holmes, Kevin Holmes, Tyler Holmes, Ron Duke, David Sink and Perry Whitted. Honorary Pallbearers will be Philip Holmes, David Holmes, Bill Holmes, Pete Holmes, L.W., Arthur, and Jimmy Crabtree and the members of Mr. Holmes’ Sunday School Class, West Durham Exchange Club, Board of Directors of the Exchange Club Family Center, and the West Durham Knights of Pythias.

The family will receive friends Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Clements Funeral Home in Durham. Memorials may be made to the Music Ministry or Legacy Center of Grey Stone Baptist Church, 2601 Hillsborough Road, Durham, NC 27705. Flowers are accepted.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Duke Hospice Hock Family Pavilion for the kind and loving care given to Mr. Holmes.