SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Saturday served as a celebration of life for the friends and family of Chatham County Commissioner James Holmes, who passed away from COVID-19 last August.
“It’s a great honor today to honor him, to keep the legacy going, to not mourn his passing but to celebrate the fact that we have so many wonderful things to say about such a great man,” said Kimberly Tolson, Holmes’ oldest daughter.
Dozens gathered at Mother Mathilda Beasley Park for the unveiling of a permanent mural dedicated in honor of Holmes.
“It was overwhelming just to see the love, and that’s what was out here today, love,” said Sandra Simmons, his niece.
Several members of the community shared fond memories of Holmes, who was described by all as a compassionate, caring, loving, hard working man.
“He served this community with dignity, respect, and he didn’t harm a soul,” said Alderwoman Linda Wilder Bryan.
Holmes wore many hats in the Savannah community, including public servant, coach, and family man.
“There’s no where you can go where someone didn’t know him or his people,” Tolson added.
Holmes’ family said choosing Mother Mathilda Beasley Park as the permanent location for the mural was an easy choice. Growing up nearby and playing such a pivotal role in the revitalization of Broad Street, it was only right.
“It was overwhelming just to see the love, and that’s what was out here today, love,” said Sandra Simmons, Holmes’ niece. “He’s truly gonna be missed, but we’re not gonna forget him.”
The mural was designed and painted by Scott Stanton, also known as Panhandle Slim.
The Holmes family said there will be a service held at Memorial Stadium on May 13th to honor and remember James Holmes.