Harry Jay Holmes “Jay”, 75, passed peacefully in his Spring Hill, Tennessee home with his wife by his side on Monday, July 26, 2021.
Family invites you to stop by and share your favorite Jay story or joke at The Coffee Shop on Friday, August 13, 2021 from 4:00 PM -7:00 PM. A Celebration of Life will be held at First Baptist Church in Pampa on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 10:00 AM.
Jay was born in Pana, Illinois on May 3, 1946. His family lived in Nokomis and later moved to Tuscola, Illinois. As a young man, Jay was a talented artist and developed a lifelong interest and encyclopedic knowledge of cars, body work, and auto mechanics. He loved drag racing his 1971 Vega and kept it running over the years with the help of his friends at Jewett Automotive. Jay married his wife Becky in 1974 and relocated from Tuscola to Pampa, Texas in 1975. Jay joined First Baptist Church in Pampa through profession of faith in Jesus Christ and baptism and was an active and faithful member for over 45 years.
Jay sold cars for several car dealerships, worked for Bob Douthit Auto, and also owned Street & Strip Speed Shop in both Tuscola and Pampa, but perhaps his most defining role was that of the Auto Tech teacher at Pampa High School. He was Mr. Holmes to hundreds of students over his 20-year career, and his “kids” and colleagues knew him to be a trusted friend, mentor, class clown (even though he was the teacher), and on-call expert on all things cars. Jay was known by friends far and wide for his zany and hilarious personality and for his jokes. He loved making people laugh and bringing happiness to his friends and family members.
For Jay, no situation or opportunity for a joke was off-limits, which invited feelings of endearment and occasional embarrassment from his family members. Jay was a grateful recipient of a heart transplant in 2014, and although the audience for his extensive catalog of jokes eventually shifted to his nurses and doctors at appointments and in the hospital, he never lost his love for life, and he worked hard every day to make the most of each moment he was given.
Jay was a proud and loving dad and pawpaw to his two daughters and four grandkids. He was loved dearly by his family and was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Genny Holmes; father-in-law, Freddie Slate; and niece Brittany Maynard. Jay is survived by his best friend, caregiver and loving wife, Becky Holmes; mother-in-law, Kay Slate; his two daughters, Bonnie Bruner (Derek), Katie Morin (Chris); grandchildren, Oliver and Emery Morin, Lizibelle and Alfie Bruner; two brothers, Chuck Holmes (Sara), Gary Holmes (Deborah); sister-in-law, Julie Barbee (Roger); and adored numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Pampa, 203 N. West St., Pampa, TX 79065.