OBITUARY

Clara Bertha Byrd Holmes

February 19, 1928September 4, 2021
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Our beloved, Mrs. Clara Bertha Byrd Holmes of Greensboro, NC, passed peacefully into the arms of her Lord and Savior on September 4, 2021 at the age of 93.

Clara was born in Fort Bragg, NC in 1928 and graduated from Fayetteville High School. She was an active society member in Greensboro throughout much of her life, sharing her passions and talents for social organizing and philanthropy at the Greensboro Country Club, Greensboro Junior Woman's Club, Children’s Home Society and O’Henry Woman’s Club. She married the love of her life, Dr. Curtis Ray Holmes, in April of 1950 and spent many years as a devoted wife and mother. In 1964 she was crowned Mrs. Greensboro.

Clara had a zest for life. She loved to play tennis (which she played well into her eighties), golf, and bridge with friends. She enjoyed outings to Smith Mountain Lake and her beloved Myrtle Beach. She was the first to pull a party together so family and friends could catch up and stay in touch. Mostly she loved to laugh. Whether it was with family in the kitchen, or a complete stranger in the market, Clara had a ready smile and a contagious laugh for all who were near.

Left to cherish her memory is her loving husband of 71 years, Dr. Ray Holmes; their sons, Curtis Ray Holmes, Jr. (spouse Dorothy) and William Bradley Holmes (fiancé Hannah Moody); and three grandchildren, Clara Elizabeth McHone (spouse Tyler), Curtis Ray Holmes III, and William Alexander Holmes.

Preceding her in death is her father, William Dan Byrd, mother, Elgin Humphrey Byrd and her siblings; Billy Byrd, Jewell Poole, Sarah Fuller, and Mabel Berry.

A service to honor the life and love of Clara will be at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 8 at Hanes Lineberry North Elm Chapel, 515 North Elm Street Greensboro. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow immediately at New Garden Friends Meeting Cemetery, 801 New Garden Road, Greensboro.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to The Salvation Army, 1311 S. Eugene St., Greensboro, NC 27406 or https://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/greensboro.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 8, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, September 8, 2021

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  • Interment

    Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Memories

Clara Bertha Byrd Holmes

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Phil Chidester

September 8, 2021

I remember when Bunny and I were married on the beach, Clara and Jewell came to the Fuller's house in Rehoboth Beach to help us get ready. We all stayed up late the night before the wedding, playing music and preparing food in the small kitchen. It was so much fun to spend time together preparing for this important moment. Clara and Sarah gathered daffodils and hyacinths to decorate the cake, and the three sisters made a handpainted banner for the front of the house saying "Bunny and Phil" with hearts on it. In our wedding invitation, we had asked each person to bring their favorite flower to the ceremony. We had planned a very small participatory ceremony, and had written in a part where each person would come up and place their flower in a basket we held, to create Bunny's "bouquet". That also provided time and space for them to say whatever they may want to us privately, as part of the ceremony. Clara came up and put her flower in the basket, and lovingly said to us "Just love each other". It was very special to both of us, and I'd like to share the photos that captured that moment. Thanks Clara, for the wise advice. We are still loving each other 37 years later.

Romona Gravett

September 8, 2021

Being friends with Clara was a source of great joy. She made everything lively and fun. She always had a great story or a good joke to share. She was the best as a friend and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.

Kevin McGinty

September 7, 2021

Clara was a great matriarch of the Tillbrook family and it was a blessing to have her in our lives. Her memory will live forever in our hearts.

Frank Meares

September 7, 2021

The Bible says to let your light shine so others can see Jesus living in you, and that is what Clara did she let her light shine. Her attitude in life was to always put others first. Aunt Clara, Aunt Sarah and Aunt Jewel had a girl's week at Myrtle Beach and the RULE WAS NO MEN. Aunt Clara broke that rule so that our son Christopher and I could go with my wife ( Chris Berry Meares) . We had a terrific time and they told me I could break the rule again. Clara always made me feel like I was the most important person in the room. Because of Clara having the family reunions I was able to meet Chris's family .Aunt Clara and Uncle Ray came to our son's wedding where I performed the ceremony. Aunt Clara expressed how touched she was at how I performed the wedding. I can't explain how deeply that touched my heart. Clara gave us an open invitation to visit her at Myrtle Beach anytime we didn't have to call just show up. She will always hold a special place in my heart.

Chris Meares

September 7, 2021

Aunt Clara was always fun to be around and made you feel so special. She loved children and had a joke or song to share with them. I remember the special times at the farm and Clara and grandmother Byrd making watermelon rind pickles. My mom Mable passed away early in life but she always had a special place in her heart for Aunt Clara. My husband Frank and Aunt Clara always acted like they had a secret that they only knew. Our son Christopher thought Aunt Clara hung the moon. If it wasn't for Aunt Clara we wouldn't have had all the family reunions that we had. I know that all sisters are in heaven eating KFC chicken and hanging out by the ocean.

Bunny Fuller Chidester

September 6, 2021

When mom (Sarah Byrd Fuller) was on her death bed, my cousin Chris Meares wisely advised me to call Clara so Clara could say goodbye to her sister, as they were very close. Mom had been unresponsive for a few hours, preparing for death. When I put the phone to mom's ear, Clara said, " Hey Sarah! You go ahead on to heaven and when I come, I promise to bring you a big bucket of chicken!" Mom smiled! A bucket of KFC meant family to her, and was one of her favorite things in the world. I told Clara mom smiled and heard what she said. It was a very special moment. Clara was so special to all of us, always loving and supportive, and she loved Sarah (my mom) so very much....they were inseparable til the end. They shared a deep love of the beach and the ocean. I remember when mom knew she was dying, she asked me to take her to Clara's condo in Myrtle Beach to say "goodbye" to the ocean. Clara rented a big beach wheelchair (mom couldn't walk very well at this point), and we all took her down to see the ocean. After awhile, everyone left mom and me on the beach. We sat holding hands for what seemed like hours, not speaking at all, just staring at the ocean together. Clara had made it so mom could say goodbye to the ocean. I am so thankful for that. I love you, Clara, so much. And I just KNOW you stopped and got that bucket of chicken for mom on your way up to heaven! Thanks for your light, your laughter, and your love over all these years. I will attach mom's favorite pictures of the two of you as kids, and one I really like. Please keep watch over us all from the spirit realm.

Travis Salters

September 6, 2021

Sorry for your loss…

Suzi and Russ czerwinski

September 6, 2021

Clara and Ray were our neighbors at Smith mountain lake for many years until the young Holms took their place. Clara was charming, always smiling lovely. She was often watching tennis on TV. She was a true lady. Although we haven't seen her lately we have fond memories of Claire.

Bob Holmes

September 5, 2021

Wonderful, wonderful photos! God bless the Curtis Ray Holmes family, & may dear Aunt Clara rest in peace.

Corliss McGinty

September 4, 2021

Clara was the Queen of Tillbrook. Even in her later years she had the neighborhood gang over to share a Christmas buffet. She was a beautiful person and will be missed.

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