Robert Stephen Holcomb

April 15, 1933March 2, 2019

Robert Stephen Holcomb age 85 of Knoxville went to be with the Lord on Saturday, March 2, 2019 surrounded by family. Bob loved his country passionately and served 8 years in the 316th Logistical Command of the US Army Reserve leaving as Captain in 1964. He was an avid sports fan who loved the Tennessee Vols and died a few hours after the Vols beat Kentucky on Saturday. He was born in Springdale, Arkansas on April 15, 1933 to the late Joe Latimer Holcomb and Elva McKeown Holcomb. He was also preceded in death by his beloved wife, Darliene Steele Holcomb; brothers, Herbert and Dwight; sisters, Joelva Giblon Johnson and Beverly Jean Holcomb and granddaughter, Christina Combs. He was raised on a farm in Springdale where he learned the values of hard work, integrity, and a lifelong love of Jesus Christ. He married Darliene in September 1954 and graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1955 with highest honors from the College of Engineering. He spent his career of 42 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he worked as a design engineer and traveled to many power plants all over the country. With ORNL he also had the opportunity to work in London, England for an adventurous year. Bob was a charter member of Cumberland Baptist Church and a longtime member of Grace Baptist Church in Karns where he actively served as deacon and Sunday school teacher for many years. Bob was an extremely loving and kind man who exemplified for his family the importance of loving Jesus, honesty, integrity and education. He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Jean Holcomb; children and their spouses, Sandra Major, Deborah and Tim Panella, Ronald and Kim Holcomb all of Knoxville and Linda and Bill Weaver of Auburn Indiana; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and 3 on the way. He is also survived by Shirley's children, Michael, Pamela, Jeff and Lisa and her grandchildren who loved and adored Bob. Family and friends will meet at 1:45 pm Thursday at Woodhaven Memorial Gardens for a 2 pm graveside service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Auburn Baptist Church, 1700 Old Brick Rd., Auburn, IN 46706 where his son-in-law, Rev. Bill Weaver serves as pastor. Bob's story lives on in each of us. Condolences may be left at


  • Graveside Service Thursday, March 7, 2019

Robert Stephen Holcomb

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Fred Reed

March 6, 2019

Although I was not acquainted with Bob, I was close to his brother Herb and Henrietta (my first cousin).
I am offering my condolences to the family and best wishes during this time of grief.
Fred E Reed
I grew up near the Holcombs and now live in Springfield, Ohio where I am retired.

Sandy Major

March 6, 2019

Deb, Ronnie, Linny and I had the best Daddy anyone could ever ask for! Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are: when I stood on his feet and he walked around and whistled a happy tune, when I sat with him in his recliner and played with "the bug" ( a large mole on his upper lip that he would wiggle around when I put my finger on it) my 8th birthday when he and Mother bought a piano, blindfolded me, sat me down in front of it and put my hands down on the keys, and how every evening we had "family Bible reading" around the living room coffee table where he read Scripture and the Home Life magazine daily devotional to us. I rejoice today knowing he is free from all pain and suffering and is with my mother and daughter in their eternal home with Jesus, our Lord and Saviour!!


March 5, 2019

Bob's passing marks the last of the four siblings to my father, Herbert Holcomb. Remaining family members of our extended family celebrate a well-lived life of a loving husband, a wonderful father to his children, a caring brother to his siblings, and as a much loved uncle and great-uncle. The exchange visits between Arkansas and Tennessee over many years were marked with fun and memorable times, creating memories now held close by many of us. We will continue to hold you in prayer as you gather for a service and in the days ahead.

Clayton Gertz

March 5, 2019

I was very saddened to hear of Bob's passing. He truly was a sweet, kind and humble man. Without a doubt God has certainly welcomed home one of his Best. Mission accomplished Bob, you served so well. God Bless You and my condolences to your extended family.