In Memory

Dewayne Holmes VIEW PROFILE

? - 1/27/2016

Holmes, Dewayne, Sr. Age 67 - Jan 27, 2016 Survived by wife, Lillie R. Holmes; son, Dewayne (Gwendolyn) Holmes, Jr., Omaha; 3 daughters, Dwann (Harold) Rollinson, Jacksonville, FL, Kandi K. Holmes, Karmen (David) Worley, Omaha; brother, Nathaniel (Jacqueline) Holmes, Jr., San Francisco, CA; 7 grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives.

VIEWING 5pm Thursday followed by 6pm Celebration Services, Church

FUNERAL SERVICES 11am Friday, Salem Baptist Church, 3131 Lake St. Interment Forest Lawn Cemetery

THOMAS FUNERAL HOME 3920 N. 24th St. 402-453-7111

Retired teacher Dewayne Holmes Sr., 67, was an unsung hero

By Janice Gilmore

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is always delightful to honor the memory of an unsung hero here in our own community.

Dewayne Holmes Sr., who recently died at the age of 67, was one of those community members who deserves to be celebrated.

Holmes had just recently retired from Omaha Public Schools as a career/educational planning specialist. He relished working with students and saw his job as a ministry. His philosophy was that all students deserved a second chance. So he coached, trained and did everything possible to help his students meet with success. Many of them obtained their first jobs because of his help.

He was a gifted musician who used his gift to bless others. He played the organ, piano, sang, directed and taught music. Even after retiring from OPS he found time to share his gift of music throughout the school system playing for graduations and gospel choirs.

His wife, Lillie, said, “After his mother, a kindergarten teacher, observed him tapping away on the tabletops, she immediately ran out and bought him his first small piano. Once he mastered the alphabet, he was enrolled in piano lessons!”

And those lessons were not in vain. He served as minister of music for 35 years at St. Mark Baptist Church; in 2007, he became the minister of music for Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Lincoln. He served there until he recently became ill.

His love for music was expressed in many ways. He wrote and received several music and multicultural grants to help put on workshops and benefit concerts. Because of one of these grants, he was able to bring the well-known gospel writer, author and clinician Margaret Douroux to Omaha for a citywide workshop.

He coordinated the Toni and Otto Burton City Wide Benefit Concert and the Martin Luther King Unity Concert. He was a musician and co-director to the New Era Baptist Convention Choir and a regular attendee of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. It was there that he presented his original piece, “Upon This Rock I Build My Church,” to the New Music Seminar in 2005.

Holmes graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and he and his friend since second grade, Lillie Ruth Davenport, married in 1969. Holmes joined the Air Force, and in 1972 the family was relocated from Louisiana to Offutt Air Force Base.

His accomplishments were many, yet he was a humble man who loved the Lord. He was a strong family man who lived his life with integrity.

His wife said, “Dewayne had a heart full of love. Not only did he take care of me and our children (Dewayne Jr., Dwann, Kandi and Karmen), but he also had a very close relationship with his widowed mother and grandchildren. He was mindful of young boys’ needs and mentored his grandsons with the determination of helping them grow up to be respectable and honorable citizens.”

Holmes would have been thrilled to witness the love and confidence he and his wife put in their children by observing his daughter, Dwann Holmes Rollinson, as she delivered a moving eulogy at her father’s funeral.

As the love shone on the tearful face of her mother and other family members, Dwann delivered a tribute that only one who had been surrounded by a family of love, strength, support and positive modeling could have delivered.

She brought her dad to life with her beautiful word pictures and sentiments of someone so well loved. Her strength and conviction were a testimony of what God can do even though one’s heart is broken. And that would not have surprised her dad.



Click here to see Dewayne's last Profile entry.