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Lewis D. Holmes


Lewis D. "Homer" Holmes, at the age of 88, passed away Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center in Chanute, Kansas.

Lewis Dwayne Holmes was born June 24, 1935, in Altamont, Kansas, the son of George Washington Holmes and Flora Alice (Reedy) Holmes. He grew up in Altamont and graduated from Labette County High School in 1953. He later attended Parsons Junior College in Parsons, Kansas. He served his country with the United States Army and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan from 1956 until he was honorably discharged in 1959. After his service, he attended Pittsburg State University and graduated with a bachelor's degree in education in 1962. He was a center for the 1961 Pittsburg State National Championship Football Team.

On March 4, 1956, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia he was united in marriage to Louise Frame, and she survives at home.

Homer was a celebrated teacher and coach. He began his teaching career at Warrenton, Missouri where he started the school's first football program. He later taught in Greensburg, Kansas, Labette County High School in Altamont, and retired from teaching in 1994 after 33 years at Fredonia Junior and Senior High Schools. Homer taught History, Industrial Arts (small engine repair and Auto Mechanics), and Computer Technology in middle school and high school. He coached football, wrestling, and track during his tenure. After he retired, he coached both boys' and girls' high school golf teams. He was honored as KSHSAA Golf Coach of the Year with the Fredonia girls' golf team.

His life was full of many highlights, including coaching junior golf, organizing canoe trips along area rivers and the Elk River in Noel, Missouri, making cat houses, and taking walks around Fredonia with a trash bag to pick up litter. You could find him quite frequently hanging out at Fredonia Hardware on his many walking paths. He even built Homecoming floats as the Student Council Advisor for the parade.

Homer received his nickname when he was a young boy playing baseball. He hit a baseball so far that it has yet to be found.

Homer's hobbies included golfing, hunting, canoeing, and cheering on the Pittsburg State Gorilla Football team. He was a beloved figure in the community and will be deeply missed.

He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fredonia, Fredonia Golf Club, Pittsburg State Alumni Association, and Pittsburg State Gorilla Club.

Survivors include his wife Louise of the home; children, Dee (Cindy) Holmes of Fredonia, Kansas, Dr. Darin (Liz) Holmes of Fredericksburg, Texas, Mendy (Randy) Mitchell of Grand Prairie, Texas; 7 grandchildren, Randy (Ashley) Tindle, Jennifer DePriest, Tresslie McGraw, Cody (Andrea) Holmes, Scott Mitchell, Sarah Mitchell, and Sam Mitchell; 14 great-grandchildren, and many others who called him Papa Homer.

He was preceded by his parents and two brothers, Charles, and Gene.

A Private Family Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, July 22, 2023, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fredonia, Kansas with Father Stuart Smeltzer, celebrant.

Private interment will follow at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery.

A Celebration of Homer's Life will be held for the public from 6:30 P.M. until 8:00 P.M., Saturday, July 22, 2023, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Parrish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the "Homer Holmes Hero Scholarship Fund", a scholarship awarded to a Fredonia student attending Kansas State University created in his honor by the Eplee family.