Gary Don Holmes

Gary D. Holmes, 77, Independence, Mo. passed away on August 18, 2017, after a 17 year contest with Parkinson’s disease. Gary was born in Kansas City, Mo., the first child of Harry Clay and Shirley (Bree) Holmes.  He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Joy D. Brown, and daughter, Stacy Leigh Coughlin.  He is survived by two brothers, Phil Holmes of Evergreen, Co. and Randy Holmes, of Independence; son-in-law Michael Coughlin; grandson John Coughlin; granddaughter Angela (Ryan) Laune; his wife of 27 years, Nancy L. Noblitt Holmes of Independence; five nieces and nephews; eight great nieces and nephews and one great great nephew.

Gary attended William Chrisman high school (1957 graduate), Metropolitan Jr. College, and Wilson Flight Training at the old Fairfax airport.  He worked at the old Chevrolet plant – Leeds to put himself through flight training and after completion of training worked as a flight instructor and eventually a corporate pilot until working his way into sales at Rupert Manufacturing, Blue Springs, Mo.  His career in sales led him to management at Rupert followed by a position in sales at Travomatic Corporation.

When asked what the highlights of his life were, he always responded (1) my beautiful daughter, Stacy Leigh; (2) my marriage to Nancy; and (3) my completion of and adventures in a homebuilt airplane, the Long-EZ (which took 15 years to build).  Gary/Pop was anxious to talk to anyone about his grandchildren, John and Angela, and how proud he was of them.  His enthusiasm for his hobbies of sailing and flying was endless.  Gary, while not a religious person, always believed and lived the golden rule of treating others as you wish to be treated.  He was truly loved and respected by many and will be dearly missed.

The family wishes to thank Wilshire at Lakewood and Ascend Hospice for their outstanding care and support.  An informal “Gathering for Gary” will be planned at a later date and will be announced through the website of  In lieu of flowers, a gift to the Michael J. Fox Foundations for Parkinson’s research ( would be appreciated.


  1. William Planck on August 24, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    My thoughts are with you. He gave a good fight against Parkinsons. I believe that he is in a better place now
    no more pain. I will look forward for the Gathering for him.

  2. Uncle robo aunt shirley on August 24, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Nancy we r so sorry will see u soon love u

  3. suellen dice on August 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Hello Nancy, oh, I am so sorry to hear about Gary. What a guy he was and we all loved him! I have always been proud to know and be a part of the Holmes family. Gary was a lucky fellow to have you in his life for so many years. Take care my dear. suellen

  4. Christe and Ernie Kleffman on August 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Nancy you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Pat Bock on August 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    We are sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. Always loved Gary’s humor and hearing his life stories. We are praying for your comfort and peace in the days ahead. May God be with you.

    Pat & Charlie Bock

  6. Randy & Jymme Montgomery on August 27, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Nancy we are so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. I have the best memories of working with him. He was truly a great and kind person. I still have the Limoges gift he brought back from France for me with his handwritten note in it. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Jim Luke on August 28, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Nancy, I am very sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. I remember him many years ago as the guy who was either flying his plane or sailing his boat at Lake Jacomo. He was a unique, sincere, kind person.

  8. Carol Cronenbold on September 4, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Nancy – I was so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing, but he is now pain free and in a better place. I am looking forward to seeing you on September 23. Take care and you are in my thoughts and prayers. I always enjoyed visiting with Gary and he was always a good friend of Bill’s.

  9. Joe Harbrecht on December 14, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Nancy, My time with Gary goes back some 40 years when he called on me at Ford representing Rupert. Over the years we became very good friends. He was a man I could trust to meet all the deadlines and details of our products. We had a common love of airplanes and met at the EAA a couple of times although I never got a ride in his basement project. We stayed in touch through our Christmas cards which I always appreciated. He was a good man and I will miss him. My condolences to you and your family.

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