February 28, 1921 – April 15, 2019
Jean was born and raised in Hersey, Michigan, the only daughter of the small town postmaster and his wife. A strong student, she graduated from high school a year early and went on to earn her teaching degree at Central Michigan, launching a career in education that would span almost half a century.
She married a young man from Hersey, Ralph Holmes, when he was home from training pilots in the Army Air Corps during World War II. The happy couple moved from base to base until the war ended and then landed in Ann Arbor where Ralph earned his Master’s Degree and Jean began teaching in the Ann Arbor School District at Burns Park Elementary School. They then lived in Seattle, Birmingham MI, Los Angeles and Springfield, Ohio before returning to Ann Arbor in the late 60’s, where Jean became a kindergarten teacher at the newly opened King Elementary School. She loved to teach, bringing joy and music into the classroom and was fortunate to have taught there for 20 years. In 2017, after her retirement, her classroom was dedicated in her name.
Although she loved helping young children get off to a great start in school, her true passion was her family. Love, attention and support poured from her to her two sons, Bill and Jim, and eventually to their spouses, her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She visited her family often and spoke with both of her sons on the phone daily. Jean especially enjoyed attending her grandkids’ sporting events and cheering loudly – she was so proud of them all.
Jean loved long drives through the countryside and just sitting next to a lake or river watching the boats and eating ice cream. She and Ralph spent many happy weekends on their boat. A passionate Michigan fan, they were football season ticket holders for many years and she seldom missed a televised game after going to the game became too difficult.
Preceded in death by her beloved husband Ralph, Jean is survived by her son Bill and Deb Holmes (Traverse City), her son Jim and Kris Holmes (St. Louis, MO) and her grandchildren/great grandchildren Laura Holmes Coleman and Max Coleman (Chicago), Susan Holmes and Rich Ecker, Will Ecker and Josie Jean Ecker (Itasca, IL), and Jessica and Brian Key (Mesa, AZ), Katie Holmes (Santa Monica, CA), Davey Holmes (Seattle, WA) and Sam Holmes (Williamstown, MA) Jean was deeply loved by many family pets over the years and is survived by family dogs Skip, Tuck, and Clancy and cat Stripes.
A short memorial will be held at Glacier Hills Senior Living Community in Ann Arbor on Saturday, April 19 at 11:00 a.m. followed by a light luncheon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Jean Holmes Scholarship Fund, c/o King Elementary School, 3800 Waldenwood Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48105.
Jean Holmes Scholarship Fund
King Elementary School 3800 Waldenwood Dr. , Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
Glacier Hills Senior Living Community
1200 Earhart Rd,
April 19, 2019
Jean made people feel special. It was done through little things that meant so much. My children will never forget her pudding parfaits she'd bring to family get togethers. She was always interested in whatever topic was being discussed. I hadn't seen her in a couple of years, but thought of her often..especially during the holidays when I'd see the snowman door decoration she gave me greeting me everyday.
We're sorry we can't be there for the service, but please know you all have our sympathy & are in our thoughts.
Greg & Sue Tooker