James F Holmes
July 28, 1936 – May 23, 2019
James F. (“Jim”) Holmes was born in Madison, Wisconsin at St. Mary’s Hospital on July 28, 1936 to Frank & Helen (Acker) Holmes. The following day at the same hospital, his wife to be Virginia Ann (Hill) Holmes was born. They didn’t officially meet until 6th Grade at Blessed Sacrament school. Jim & Virginia would eventually date during high school, and were married on April 12, 1958. The couple had seven children together: Gail Holmes Allen of Fort Worth, Texas, Steven James Holmes (deceased), David Holmes of Longmont, Linda Holmes of Hygiene, Jay (and Kyla) Holmes of Longmont, Jeff (and Suzanne) Holmes of Longmont, and Kara Holmes of Denver. Grandchildren include Kendall & Kristen Holmes, Alexa Holmes Ballard, Fiona & Finley Holmes, and Christian & Julia Lopez.
Jim graduated from Edgewood High School in Madison, Wisconsin, Class of 1954 where he was an All-City athlete in baseball, basketball, and football. Jim was named Edgewood’s Greatest Athlete of the Decade for the 1950’s. In 2010 he was named to the City of Madison’s list of Best High School all-around athletes by the Wisconsin State Journal. Jim was also inducted into the prestigious Straka-D’Orazio Hall of Fame.
He went on to the University of Wisconsin where he joined the football team. After playing on the freshmen team in 1954, Jim spent two years serving in the U.S. Navy, stationed at Norfolk, Virginia. He returned to Wisconsin in 1957 to become a three- time letterman as a Tight End and Defensive End, and a two-way starter on Wisconsin’s 1959 Big Ten Championship team that played in the 1960 Rose Bowl. He also was a boxer at Wisconsin, competing in the heavyweight class. Jim remained active in athletic activities throughout adulthood, playing rec league basketball, flag football, and competitive racquetball. In 1972, Jim was one of the founding members of Fox Hill Country Club and eventually became an avid golfer. He was a single digit handicap for a period of time, and continued to play golf with his regular group until a few years ago. Jim was well known for his generous “gimme” putts and a personal crusade to speed up the pace of play on the golf course. He was very proud of the hole in one he made in 1992. He passed on his love of sports and competition to his children, teaching them how to throw a football, shoot a basketball, play tennis, and ride horses. Jim’s life-long love for horses started in high school when he began competing in calf roping. He eventually migrated into riding cutting horses. Jim was passionate about cutting horses, both competing and raising them. As a breeder of cutting horses, Jim put together the foundation of what is now the 2nd All Time leading industry sire and leading broodmare sire, Dual Rey. His horses were his extended family which he made a point to visit daily while he physically could. Jim served as president of the Western States Cutting Horse Association and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2002.
After college, Jim joined his father and brothers in their family business running a Michelin tire franchise in Madison. In 1971, he decided to venture out on his own and bought two Michelin tire stores in Colorado, moving with his family to Longmont. He eventually owned and operated nine Michelin stores stretching from Pueblo to Cheyenne. In the late 1970’s, Jim began selling off the tire stores and entered the oil and gas business. He started Colorado Gas Compression which he operated for nearly 20 years. Jim continued as an entrepreneur for the rest of his business career, and loved getting involved with small companies in a variety of industries. He co-owned and operated businesses in trucking, residuals management, janitorial services, contract manufacturing, and real estate amongst others. Jim loved all aspects of owning and operating a business, and continued going to his office daily until he was 80 years old.
Jim was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. He was instrumental in several fund raising campaigns since joining the parish in 1971, and served on the finance committee for a number of years. He also supported his wife Virginia to help launch the Longmont Community Foundation in the early 90’s.
Jim was known for his sense of humor and sharp wit. You always had to be on your toes when you were around him. “Big Jim” was a large presence and had a significant impact on everyone he met. He was never afraid to tell you how things were. Jim is survived by his children and grandchildren, sister Ann Mary (and Joe) Boberschmidt of Longmont , and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers George Holmes & Will Holmes.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: The Steven Holmes Fund c/o Longmont Community Foundation 636 Coffman Street, Suite #203 Longmont, CO 80502
The family would like to thank the warm & caring staff at LifeCare Center, where Jim made friends over the past 15 months. They also wish to thank the compassionate care givers from Suncrest Hospice.
- Gail Holmes, Daughter
- Steven James Holmes, Son
- David Holmes, Son
- Linda Holmes, Daughter
- Jay (Kyla) Holmes, Son
- Jeff (Suzanne) Holmes, Son
- Kara Holmes, Daughter
- Kendall Holmes, Grandchild
- Kristen Holmes, Grandchild
- Alexa Holmes Ballard, Grandchild
- Fiona Holmes, Grandchild
- Finley Holmes, Grandchild
- Christian Lopez, Grandchild
- Julia Lopez, Grandchild
- Ann Mary (Joe) Boberschmidt, Sister
- George Holmes, Brother
- Will Holmes, Brother
- Bud Cash
- Cork Rowley
- Joe Kelliher
- Jay Mills
- Tom Darrah
- Mike Kellog
- Visitation Thursday, May 30, 2019
- Rosary Prayers Thursday, May 30, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Friday, May 31, 2019
- Burial Friday, May 31, 2019
James F Holmes
John and Carol Saeman
May 31, 2019
Condolences to Virginia and the family
I have many wonderful memories as I was a high school classmate of both Jim and Virginia. Jim was a great person and I will remember him for being a wonderful person who lived A LIF WORTH LIVING.
May he rest in Peace..
May 30, 2019
Big Jim's family-
First, my condolences to the entire family on Jim's passing. Big Jim was truly one of a kind....bigger than life, in my eyes. Some of my fondest childhood memories were spent with your family, and I'll always cherish them. Jim and Virginia always treated me with great love, from the day I met you as a snotty, bratty kid, to today.....thank you for that. By the way, Jay and I did indeed sneak out of the tent we set up in the backyard at the occasional sleepover......but we didn't do anything too stupid. I looked up to Jim, and respected him for always telling it like he saw it. You never had a doubt about what he thought, or where you stood with him.....and I found that trait to be a great lesson in life. Jim's passion for business, his work ethic, and his unbelievable generosity for others are things I've always admired about him as well.
I also have great memories of seeing Jim and the crew at Fox Hill, and occasionally getting to join them on the golf course over the many years. I truly appreciated his generosity with the 5 footer, when he'd slap it back and say "that's good". (I love that you all acknowledged that as well, in reading about his life). At the horse ranch, I was mesmerized watching Jim work the horses.....it was amazing to see. And then, there were the days of watching football games with Jim....some great memories! I could go on and on, but I won't.
Virginia, and the entire Holmes family, thank you for sharing Jim with us. He truly led a wonderful life, and made a huge impact on the lives of a lot of people. May he rest in peace.
God Bless you, Big Jim..and God Bless your family.
May 29, 2019
Linda and family,
I am so sorry to read about your dad's passing. Keep his memories close and enjoy all the time you had together. A person lives until the last person with a memory of him dies.....God Bless.
May 27, 2019
We, the Murphy family have great memories of Jim and his family in our horse days. Working out of his barn in Longmont we established a friendship that has continued through the years. I have been personally involved with daughter Gail as a friend and in business and have a friend relationship with Virginia as well. My personal favorite memory of Jim is him coming to the barn, eating lunch and teasing me about how I must have spent all morning baking “twinkies”. A standing joke that has remained all these years. Thoughts and prayers for all the family and may you RIP Jim. You will be missed.
May 24, 2019
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. He was a kind friend to both Thom and myself.