American Patriotic 10


Wilbur Blanton Holmes

September 4, 1923 ~ May 4, 2018 (age 94)
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Wilbur Blanton Holmes, Bamberg SC

Mr. Wilbur Holmes, age 94 died Friday at the Veterans Victory House in Walterboro, SC.

Memorial Service at 11:00AM Saturday, May 19, 2018 at Spring Branch Baptist Church, 655 Deacon Road Bamberg, SC 29003. Family will receive friends at 10:00 AM one hour before the service. A Memorial Service will also be held in Tampa, Florida at a later date.

Mr. Holmes was born on September 4, 1923 in Waycross, GA to Vance Blanton and Ella Bell Smith Holmes. He married Eileen D. Rollison after returning from World War II and spent most of his career in Tampa, Florida. He married Marilyn Ayer Herndon in 2001 and moved to Bamberg, SC. He lost Eileen to osteoporosis along with other health complications and Marilyn to cancer.

Mr. Holmes enlisted in the Army in 1943, fought in both European and Pacific theaters, and was trained in anti-aircraft and advanced infantry warfare. The Queen Mary sailed troops from New York to Scotland. His battalion fought in England, France and Belgium. Not long after fighting in the Battle of the Bugle, Mr. Holmes was hospitalized for six weeks in Brussels, Belgium for food poisoning and a frozen foot. He was in Bayreuth, Germany when the war ended in 1945. His battalion was reassigned to the South Pacific where they sailed from France through the Panama Canal to Manila, Philippians. In Nagoya, Japan they served as occupational troops. In February of 1946 they landed stateside in Seattle Washington. After being away from home for three years, Mr. Holmes was honorably discharged when World War II was over.

Mr. Holmes worked for National Gypsum for nearly 50 years and retired from the Tampa, Florida plant as Plant Supervisor after serving in this role for over 26 years. He was employed by National Gypsum after his military discharge and worked for the company in Savannah, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York; and New Orleans, Louisiana, before being transferred to Tampa.

He was a member of the Port Tampa Blue Lodge #153 and for the last ten years was a dual member of Denmark Lodge #246. In 2017, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida recognized Mr. Holmes for over 50 years of service. He was also a member of Egypt Shriners in Tampa, Florida.

Wilbur’s passion was cooking. He loved to entertain and prepare an overabundance of food for large groups. He oversaw the steak grill for the Shrine Club of Tampa, Florida for a number of years.

He is survived by one stepdaughter Patricia Hill and her husband Frank Baia of Atlanta, Georgia, one stepson Henry “HotRod” Herndon and his wife Shannon of Bamberg, South Carolina, two step grandchildren Clint and Carey Herndon, and his dear friend Janie Skowron of Cope, SC.

Memorials may be sent to Shriners Hospital for Children 2900 Rocky Point Drive Tampa, FL 33607 .

Cooner Funeral Home, LLC ( is in charge of service arrangements.


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