Howard Frank Holmes

May 21, 1931March 22, 2013

HOLMES, HOWARD FRANK - age 81, of Knoxville, died Friday March 22 at Shannondale Nursing Center. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Gaynell Holmes; brother Sam Holmes of Sacramento California; sister Jean Leitch of Toledo Ohio; son Winston Holmes and wife Michelle Holmes; daughter Lois Reed and husband Terry Reed; grand children Joe Reed and Alexis Holmes.

He was born May 21, 1931 in Toledo Ohio and raised in Red Boiling Springs Tennessee. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in 1950 and received his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Chemistry in 1958. Howard was a Korean war veteran, serving in the US Army from 1952 to 1954. Doctor Holmes was on the research staff of the Chemistry division of Oak Ridge National Lab from 1959 to 1994. He was a member of the American Chemical Society and Electrochemical Society. He authored or co-authored more than fifty scientific publications and reports in refereed journals and has given invited talks and presentations at various scientific conferences and seminars.

Howard was a long time member of West End Church of Christ.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Association , PO Box 96011, Washington DC 20090-6011. The family wishes to thank the caregivers at Atria Weston Place for the excellent care given to Howard.

The family will receive friends at 5:00 pm at West End Church of Christ, 8301 East Walker Springs Lane on Thursday March 28, with service to follow at 7:00 pm, Jim Lovell officiating. A private interment for the family will be held 10:00 am Friday March 29 at Lynnhurst Greenwood. Arrangements by Lynnhurst/Greenwood Chapel. Friends may leave their condolences at


  • Visitation Thursday, March 28, 2013
  • Funeral Service Thursday, March 28, 2013

Howard Frank Holmes

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Lois Roark

March 31, 2013

Dear Nell, Bob and I want to let you and your family know how much you have been in our thoughts and prayers since Howard's passing. I know it leaves a great void in your lives and hearts and we pray God will give you the strength and peace only He can. Watching Howard's decline had to be so difficult for you since he was such a brilliant man and now that pain has to be relieved knowing he is waiting for you in Heaven and is whole again. God bless you all and keep you in the shelter of His wings. Love, Lois

Jason Warren

March 26, 2013

I am so sorry to hear of Howards passing.Howard was such a good man.It was my honor to be able to care of him.I miss seeing his face as soon as I got to work.He was always smiling.I enjoyed his company.He is in a better place ,and I know sometimes it is hard to accept a loved one passing.Howard will be missed by all of us at Atria
Jason Warren,Knoxville,TN.

March 26, 2013

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." 1 Corinthians 15:54

God bless your family.
Scott, Cara, Julyn, & Spencer Cross

March 25, 2013

Dear Aunt Nell, Winston, Lois and family,

My childhood is filled with great memories of the visits our two families made to each other's homes in TN and NC on an annual basis, then with the added fun of a week or two together at Long Beach in late summer. Your dad and mom were as close to me as any biological uncle and aunt, as they were my parents' best friends. Our dads met at UT as chemistry PhD candidates, and our moms shared an apartment together. Most importantly for me at least, Howard and Nell introduced my parents to each other, which I'll always be forever grateful for!
Please take solace in the fact that your father was one of the sweetest, kindest, most brillant of men. He will be missed by many.
Susan Grindstaff

Diana Massie McMahan

March 25, 2013

Nell so sorry to hear about Howard passing away. I have so many good memories of Mom, Dad and I coming over to have white beans and cornbread. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

March 24, 2013

Howard was one of the most pleasant men I have had the pleasure of caring for. I will always remember the hours we played Jenga together. He was so serious but content. He will be missed by all who knew him! Marty


March 24, 2013

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
©Copyright 1998

Delva Birdwell Morris

March 24, 2013

Nell, Winston, Lois and families,
My memories of your family visits to Momma and Daddy's place are still fresh decades later. Sonny was more than a nephew to them--and felt like more than just a cousin to us. My heart goes out to you all--with fond thoughts of a special man who will be remembered by this cousin for his brilliant mind and dry wit.