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WESTVILLE — Charles "Chuck" Holmes, 87, of Westville passed from this life on Friday (May 15, 2020) at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, Danville.

Chuck was born May 13, 1933, in Georgetown, the son of William R. and Kathryn (Rowland) Holmes. He graduated from Georgetown High School and the University of Illinois. He was married to Lois (Gallagher) Holmes from 1954 to 1993, and they had two daughters together.

Chuck’s career included working in labor relations for General Dynamics, San Diego, Calif.; Freeman Coal, Benton; and Tacoma Boat Building Co., Tacoma, Wash. He had high integrity in his profession, treated all employees with fairness, was willing to give someone a second chance, resisted long-standing nepotism, and was proud that he broke with tradition and hired African-American and women coal miners in southern Illinois.

Through the years, Chuck was a devoted, enthusiastic and proud husband, father and grandfather. He was always coming up with clever schemes to tease, delight, entertain and educate his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephew.

Apart from family, he had many passions, including sports, having been an outstanding high school athlete and fullback for the 1952 Fighting Illini football team until sidelined by an injury. Chuck stayed connected with old friends and former classmates. Among those former classmates was Jeanette (Mensavage) Holmes, his beloved second wife, whom he married in 2004.

He also cared about his neighbors, especially children, many of whom considered him a role model. Chuck was active in local athletic programs and, more recently, his church.

Until his last day, Chuck had a mind like a steel trap and could recount with minute detail names and events from decades past. He had a gift for telling stories and jokes that brought hilarity and joy. Chuck’s generosity of spirit was repaid in the love of his family, friends and community.

Two days before his unexpected  passing, he celebrated his 87th birthday by talking to numerous loved ones on the phone. We are deeply grateful for this birthday connection and the chance to tell Chuck once again how important he was to so many people.

Chuck was preceded in death by his sister, Dolores Connelly of Danville. His surviving loved ones include his caring wife, Jeanette (Mensavage) Holmes; daughters, Paula Jean Cummings of Ruston, Wash., and Angela Kay Tinsley of Nevada City, Calif.; sister, Barbara Jackowski; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; along with several nieces and nephews. Charles was blessed with loyal and caring friends, especially Al and Belva Morris, Georgetown, who were considered as family.

A public graveside service (social distancing required) will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 29, at Georgetown Cemetery, with Pastor Phil Miller of First Church of Christ, Georgetown, officiating.

Donations may be made in Chuck’s name to the food bank at the First Church of Christ, Georgetown, or the Sports Booster Club at Westville High School, Westville.