Bill Holmes, husband of Evanston Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, died late Thursday night, Oct. 18.

Visitation hours are from 2 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday at Haliburton’s Funeral Chapel, 1317 Emerson St, with the wake at 11 a.m. and funeral at noon on Wednesday, both at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1113 Clark St.

Obituary for William Allen Holmes Sr.

William Allen, “Wild Bill”, “Wild Willie”, Billy and just plain Bill Holmes was the only child of the late Odessa Holmes Brown and Allen McKinny.  He was born in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 15, 1932, and departed this life on Oct. 18, 2007. He accepted Christ at an early age.

Bill spent his early years between Columbus, Ohio and Cokesbury, S.C.  After high school he joined the United States Army 82nd Airborne.  He was honorably discharged with a Merit Unit Citation, Korean Service Medal with Two Bronze Service Stars and the United Nations Service Medal.  He was life member on the Veterans of Foreign Wars, William B. Snell Post #7186 in Evanston.

He moved to Evanston in 1951. He worked at Clayton Marks, the U.S. Postal Service, the Evanston Bus Company, the City of Evanston Streets and Sanitation Department, and Jewel Food Stores before becoming an independent truck driver owner/operator.  After retirement, one of Bill’s joys was the time he spent as a crossing guard.  He had many stories about the “kids” from his corner.

Bill learned to ride motorcycles at age 14 and riding became his passion for life.  He was a Harley man who could not only ride a bike, but was a legendary stunt rider as well as a competitor on the field who won hundreds of trophies.  He once rebuilt his 1973 Super-Glide bike by hand; the bike is still in running condition.  He was a charter Life member of the American Motorcyclist Association  He took his last ride by attending the annual National Black Riders Roundup in Missiouri and Kansas, from Aug. 1-5 this year.

On Sept. 14, 1963, he was joined in marriage to Delores Ann Petway, and from this union they shared Kimberly Ann and James Stephen.

The garage was always open and Bill enjoyed holding court with everyone who stopped by.  Bill was known for helping everyone.  His air pump was known to all the kids when their bikes had a flat, he could tell usually tell you what was wrong with your vehicle by listening to the sound, if it had wheels he could fix it, he had any type of tool available for borrowing, you could wash your car if you swept the alley, he enjoyed shooting the breeze, he provided advice asked for or not, and sharing of history through story telling was the usual. The garage is now closed and court is no longer held.

Bill leaves to cherish his memory: his loving wife Delores Ann Holmes; seven children, Patricia (Craig) Kelley of Philadelphia, William Allen (Mildred) Holmes of Joliet, Darlene Jones of Evanston, Fredrica Holmes of Bensenville, William Lamont Humphreys of Skokie, Kimberly (Vance) Ross of Evanston and James Stephen (Tanashua) Holmes of Chicago; ten grandchildren, SSGT. Antonio (Adrienne) Holmes, Kia Nicole Holmes, Brittany Ann Estell, Vance James Ross, William Allen Holmes III, Myles Hamilton Holmes, Ki-Jana William Humphreys, Nikko Kelly Ross, Saveion Jamire Shadd and SyAnn Janae Holmes; three great grandchildren, AkelishanaEman Holmes, Aaliyah Lashawn Holmes and Aashon Marquise Holmes, an aunt, Ruby Holmes, an uncle James (Geneva) Holmes, special cousins, Bobby and Ann Holmes, Sandra Taylor, Emma Julia Lowe, Yvonne and Charles McFall, Diane and AG Hibbler, Myra Toilyn Stephenson; adopted brother Al Handley; adopted sons, Verzell James and Harold Daniels and a host of other relatives and friends.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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