Alonzo J. ‘Lon’ Holmes, 92

Published 3:35pm Monday, May 6, 2013

Born: Nov. 6, 1920

Died: May 4, 2013

Alonzo J. “Lon” Holmes, age 92 years of Berrien Springs, Mich., died at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at his home following a brief illness.


He was born on November 6, 1920 in Buchanan, Mich., to Alonzo James and Ardell E. (Burnett) Holmes, Sr. He attended school in South Bend, Ind., and has lived on Scherr Road since 1965.  He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the United States Army.  He participated in two European Theater battles and the amphibious assault on Salerno.

Lon owned and operated Holmes Builders.  His firm completed many projects including the State of Michigan Liquor Control Building in Niles, the original Niles Township hall, portions of Bell Plaza, and the Gateway subdivision around Country Club Drive.  He was also a life member of the National Rifle Association.

On Aug. 13, 1958 in Roseland, Ind., he married the former Sharon Kay DeForest with whom he celebrated last year the fifty-fourth anniversary of their wedding.

Surviving family includes his wife, “Shari” Holmes and their sons, James (and Angela) Holmes of Niles, Michigan and Gary (and Victoria) Holmes of Berrien Springs; Lon’s daughters, Joyce Kerschner and Nancy (and Patrick) Hemminger, both of South Bend; twelve grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and Lon’s sisters, Shirley (and Bob) Byerle of Van Buren, Arkansas and Phyllis Solberg of South Bend; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a son, Sergeant Lonnie Michael Holmes, U.S.Army who was killed in action in Tay Ninh, South Viet Nam on June 15, 1967; and by a sister, Lois Johnson.

The funeral service for Alonzo J. Holmes will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with the Rev. Ray Fulbright of Memorial Presbyterian Church in South Bend officiating.  Committal will follow at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles, and will conclude with Full Military Honors by the United States Army Honor Guard and American Legion Post #51 of Buchanan, Mich.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the funeral home from 6 until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.  Contributions in memory of Lon may be made to the Niles Veterans Memorial at Riverfront Park.

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