American Patriotic 10

Gene Holmes

September 27, 1927 ~ February 9, 2021 (age 93)


Service Information:

Gene Holmes, 93,  of Shenandoah and formerly of Essex, entered into eternal rest on February 9, 2021 in Shenandoah, Iowa.  A private family Celebration of Life memorial service for Gene will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Essex with Pastor Ann Albert officiating.  Open visitation will take place Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with the family present greeting relatives and friends from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Nishna Valley Funeral Home in Shenandoah. Social distancing will be observed, and face masks are suggested for all attending.  Inurnment will take place in the Essex Cemetery in Essex with military rites accorded by the Shenandoah American Legion Post #88.  Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church and sent to: C/O Holmes Family, P O Box 277, Shenandoah, IA 51601.  


Darrell (Gene) Holmes, son of Clifford Albert and Dorothy Fern (Flynn) Holmes was born on September 27, 1927 on his maternal grandparents’ farm northwest of Essex, Iowa. He entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at Windsor Manor in Shenandoah, Iowa attaining the age of 93 years, 4 months and 12 days.

His early life was spent growing up northwest of Essex where he attended Windy Summit country school.  The family later moved east of Shenandoah where he attended Arbor Dale “Frog Pond” country school.  He then attended the Shenandoah Community Schools graduating from Shenandoah High School with the Class of 1945.  Gene participated in track and FFA.  A true patriot, Gene enlisted in the Army Air Corps ACER program (precursor to the National Guard) as a Junior in high school during WWII.  He enlisted on October 31, 1944 and received his honorable discharge from enlisted reserve on June 21, 1945.

From 1945 through 1951, Gene worked for the Soil Conservation Service. Once again feeling the need to serve his country, Gene enlisted in the United States Navy in January of 1951.  He attained the naval rank of 1st Class Airman Mechanic.  He was Honorably discharged in November of 1954.

On September 30, 1951, Gene was united in marriage to Helen Louise Christensen at the Naval Air Station Chapel in Monterey, California.  They lived in Monterey, California and then Coronado, California.  Following his discharge from the Navy, they moved back to Iowa to where they lived on his maternal grandparents’ farm (Fisk and Maggie Flynn).  Gene resumed working for the Soil Conservation Service and farmed until he rented another farm, then farmed full time.

In later years, Gene and Helen enjoyed traveling around the United States and other countries, especially Sweden and Australia. Gene was a baptized and lifetime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Essex where he served as a council member.

Preceding Gene in death were his parents; beloved wife of 64 years, Helen; great grandson, Noah Holmes; daughter-in-law, Belinda Holmes; brother, Robert Holmes; sister-in-law, Mary Lou Holmes; brother-in-law, Wesley Christensen and his wife, Beth; and sister-in-law, Marjorie Scharp.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughter, Marla Rae Schmidt and husband David of Lone Rock, IA; son, Darwin Gene Holmes of Essex, IA; four grandchildren, Benjamin Schmidt of Algona, IA, Laura Brogan and husband Chad of Huffman, Texas, Tyler Holmes and wife Johanna of Katy, Texas and Cliff Holmes and wife Ashle of Essex, IA; seven great  grandchildren, Brody, Harper and Avery Holmes of Essex, IA, Sophia and Isabella Holmes of Katy, TX and Cole and Carli Brogan of Huffman, TX ; brother, Wayne Holmes of Shenandoah, IA; sister-in-law, Marilyn Holmes of Shenandoah, IA; brother-in-law, William Scharp of Shenandoah, IA; six nephews; four nieces; other relatives and many friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gene Holmes, please visit our floral store.


Open Visitation
February 25, 2021

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Funeral Service

Visitation Memorial Gathering
February 25, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Nishna Valley Funeral and Cremation Service (Shenandoah)

Private Service

St. John's Lutheran Church
104 East St.
Essex, IA 51638

Private Committal

Essex Cemetery
1450 E Ave
Essex, IA 51638


St. John's Lutheran Church
104 East St, Essex IA 51638
Tel: 1-712-379-3331

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