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Barbara Ann Holmes

January 8, 1933 November 7, 2013
Barbara Ann Holmes
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Obituary for Barbara Ann Holmes

Barbara Ann (Meewes) Holmes, 80, of Vinton, died Thursday, November 7, 2013, at Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab in Vinton after a courageous battle with cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
     A Celebration of Life for Barbara will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, November 14, 2013, at the home of Jeff and Angie Holmes, 705 1st Avenue, Vinton. A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 16, at the Presbyterian Church in Vinton with Rev. Jessica Crane-Munoz officiating. Inurnment for Barbara and Don Holmes will be in Maplewood Cemetery, Vinton, with military rites for Don performed by U.S. Navy Funeral Honors, Great Lakes, Illinois. 
     Barbara was born January 8, 1933 to Leo and Erna Gertrude Esther (Lauterbach) Meewes on the family farm outside of Reinbeck, Iowa. She graduated from Reinbeck High School in 1950. On December 16, 1951, she married Donald K. Holmes at the First Congregational Church in Waterloo, Iowa. Don and Barb had one son, Jeffory, who was born May 29, 1957.
     Barbara followed Don to Philadelphia and Newport, Rhode Island, while he was in the Navy, then back to Iowa. In 1957, the family moved to Manchester, eventually moving to Vinton in 1961 where they lived for the last 52 years.
     Barbara loved her music. For over three decades she was a member of first the Vinton, then later, the Cedar Rhapsody Sweet Adelines choruses. Sweet Adelines took her all over for shows and competitions, from Kansas City and Minneapolis to Hawaii, New York and London. She also sang for many years with the Vinton Presbyterian Church choir and was a sought-after soloist for weddings and other events all over the area. She was a member of Minor Chord for many years.
     Barbara and Don were longtime members of the Vinton Country Club where they both participated in couples’ league, while Barbara was a solid golfer in the women's league. She even had a hole-in-one in 1999. They were also charter members of the Mixed Doubles Sunday night bowling league at Berry's Lanes in Vinton.
     And there was Bridge Club. For the better part of 50 years, the Holmes', Dowd's, Ervin's Fett’s, Thudium’s, Anthony's, Weideman's, Van Steenhuyse’s and Murphy's, among others, got together in a rotation of each other's houses for hours of food and fun. They probably stopped actually playing cards sometime in the 1960’s, but they were all like a big extended family that created generational bonds that continue today.
     She also worked in many places around the Vinton community, including Mossman & Mossman, Vinton Foods, Ervin Motors, Vinton Motor Supply and the Benton County Farm Bureau until retiring in 1995.
     Barbara was also an incredibly caring person. She had so many friends who were like family to her, and countless extra "sons" and "daughters" over the years, and pretty much all of them got a hand-crocheted afghan when they graduated from high school. In later years, she cared for her parents when they moved back to Iowa and later for Don, when Alzheimer's disease began to take him as well.
     But her favorite one to care for was her grandson, Sage. From the time he was born, they became best friends; he lightened her load, and she gave him the gift of music.
     Barbara is survived by her son, Jeff, daughter-in-law, Angela, and grandson, Sage, all of Vinton; a sister, Mary Lee Kuttler of Littleton, Colorado; her brother-in-law, Glenn (Freddie) Holmes of Cedar Falls; and many nieces and nephews.
     Her parents and husband preceded her in death.
     A memorial fund has been established.

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