Cover photo for Gary O. Holmes's Obituary
1961 Gary 2021

Gary O. Holmes

August 9, 1961 — December 18, 2021

Gary O. Holmes, age 60 years of Berrien Springs, Michigan; husband, father, grandfather, brother, whitetail deer hunter, and rock ‘n’ roll fan died peacefully at 3:20 a.m. on Saturday, December 18, 2021 at his home following a brief illness.

He was born on August 9, 1961 in South Bend, Indiana to Alonzo J. and Sharon K. (DeForest) Holmes.  He was graduated from Berrien Springs High School and continued his education at Southwestern Michigan College.  He was employed in quality control at Jessen Manufacturing in Elkhart, Indiana for many years.  He has lived in this area all of his life, moving with his family to the Scherr Hills development in 1964.

Gary enjoyed playing the guitar, and when younger played in a local rock band.  He still maintained an impressive collection of guitars including a classic Ibanez in sunburst – a treasured gift from Vicki.  He also enjoyed listening to rock music such as AC/DC, and heavy metal bands Metallica and Queensrӱche.

He was also an active outdoorsman, hunting whitetail deer with the usual firearms, and using a variety of weapons, having recently switched from compound to crossbow due to an injury from a tree-felling accident.  He has always enjoyed fishing, sometimes from the pier at Saint Joseph, often at Magician Lake near Sister Lakes, and more recently at South Manistique Lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – about an hour west of the bridge.  The U.P. became such a favorite destination that it replaced a history of twelve trips to Hawaii, and has been the preference for the past 5 years.

He was also quite a fan of the University of Michigan, which challenged some of his closest relationships, especially in the same house.

On August 10, 2002 at the gazebo outside of that very house, he married the former Victoria Sue Griffin.  He and “Vicki” – spoken by only Gary – celebrated the nineteenth anniversary of their wedding earlier this year.  He was sadly preceded in death just twenty-nine days ago by his son, Gary Michael Holmes on November 19, 2021 – in the same house, of the same disease.  He was also preceded in death by an infant granddaughter, Emma Holmes in 2009; by his parents, Lon and Shari Holmes in 2013 and 2016; and by a brother, Sgt. Lonnie Michael “Mike” Holmes, Jr.,  U. S. Army who was killed in action in Tay Ninh, South Vietnam on June 15, 1967.

Surviving family includes his wife, Vic Holmes and his daughters, Lisa Tyler Holmes of Berrien Springs and Chelssy Elizabeth Bennett of Mishawaka, Indiana; grandchildren Caydence Holmes, Elleanor Holmes, Finnigan Bailey, Logan Fritz, Cheyenne Fritz, Olivia Holmes, and August Holmes; and Gary’s siblings, Jim (& Angela) Holmes of Niles, Joyce Kirschner of South Bend, and Nancy (& Patrick) Hemminger of South Bend; and many nieces and nephews including Katie and Zach Holmes, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Plans for a combined Memorial Service for Gary Holmes and Gary Michael Holmes are in-progress, and will be announced on this webpage.  Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.  Online condolences may be left at:

Gary clearly enjoyed life and always searched-for – and found – more to life: at work, taking a second-look at components to verify the quality; when hunting, determining which weapon to use; in music, selecting from a variety of “axes”; and when vacationing, enjoying both the heat of Hawaii, and the cool lakes up-north.  But more than all of these, he loved the people around him, especially his kids, his grandkids, and Vicky.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary O. Holmes, please visit our flower store.

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Halbritter Wickens Funeral Services

Federal Forest Highway 13, Wetmore, MI 49895

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