Kimberly Dawn Holmes was born on June 11, 1966 in Charlotte, NC, and relocated to Heaven on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at 1:23pm in Huntsville, AL. It is worth mentioning that as an avid fan of the UNC Tarheels and superstar alumnus Michael Jordan (#23), her leaving this world at 1:23 seemed totally appropriate to her friends and family.
She is the daughter and youngest child of Rev. McCray & June Holmes, also of Charlotte, and is baby sister to Ken Holmes (wife Linda) of Huntersville, NC, to Kathy (Holmes) Frizzell (husband Ron) of Wooster, OH, and older sister to Brandon Nance (wife Ellen) of Asheboro, NC. It was her greatest joy to hold the title of beloved mother to daughter Carolina (Rielly) Bennett (husband Dustin) and to son Jackson Rielly, both of Huntsville, AL.
Not to be forgotten was Kim’s role as the beloved “Aunt K” to her niece and nephews who love her dearly and enjoyed her immensely as she did them in return. They are Steffany Gretzinger (husband Stephen) of Franklin, TN... Sean Frizzell (wife Nicole) of Longview, WA... Maddox Shoaf, Ezra Nance, Asa Nance and Jhobe Nance, all of Asheboro, NC... one great-niece, 5-year-old Wonder Grace Gretzinger of Franklin, TN. And Kim would not want us to forget that she is “Glam Ma” to her fur-grands, Twinkie and Harley.
From early childhood she was a joy to her family and known for having an adorable little sense of humor, bringing smiles and chuckles to the family with stories told of her to this day. She attended Winterfield Elementary School, Eastway Junior High School, and Garinger High School, all in Charlotte, NC. During high school years she traveled and sang as a member of the NC District Nazarene Impact Team and has stayed in touch with many of those friends until present day. Later as a single adult she worked several years as the receptionist for Word Music, Inc., in Nashville, TN, then became a supportive military wife and eventually a working mom with some serious office skills.
Kim was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma on August 9th of 2009 and eventually left the workforce to focus on her health and her family. For 10+ years she has fought with all of her might to be at every rehearsal, every prom, every show, every football game, every band practice, every concert, and was there to wipe every tear and join in every moment of laughter with her two children, Jackson and Carolina. Even at her sickest she fought to be around to see her daughter get married and her son graduate from high school, her two biggest goals in the last 10 years which she proudly accomplished. She did her best to try to make dinner every night and always packed their lunches for school no matter how sick she felt. Both Jackson and Carolina call their mom their best friend and a constant source of undying love and support to them thru all the difficult seasons of life as well as the moments that called for celebration. They have never seen a lull in her determination to fight with all she could muster to be there for them, a fight they witnessed first hand for more than ten years. She taught them to be kind, to love, to fight, and to never give up.
Kim was delightfully funny - actually hysterical. She always had a song for everything and would burst into singing whether she was on the phone or with you in person. She also loved gardening and it was therapy to her. Even swollen and sick from chemo, she could be found out in the yard ripping weeds out of the ground because it made her feel better. Duke’s Mayonnaise, Moon Pies, and sweet tea were staples that Kim insisted on and enjoyed! She also loved acting and dancing and participated in those arts during high school days, playing some leading roles in drama department musicals. She loved sharing her artistic interests with her kids and enjoyed watching Carolina doing some of the same in high school, putting to good use some techniques her mama had learned from Carol Burnett and passed on to her. Among her favorite movies were Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes... she related to the Southern “sass” of the female characters that was demonstrated lovingly in her gumption to survive and to take care of her family, whether the fight was physical or on other fronts.
Cooking was one of Kim’s utmost “loves” and she had a gift, not unlike her Maw Maw Holmes, for offering up some serious Southern comfort food... butter chicken, country fried steak, homemade gravy, banana pudding, Tar Heel pie, chicken and dumplings, and the list goes on. The house always smelled like food on the stove. No one who entered was treated like a stranger. Jack and Carolina’s friends called her Momma Kim - not Miss or Mrs. Kim, not Kim - always Momma Kim. She would love you like her own and made sure you were always fed and left with a smile on your face.
The last few years took a toll on Kim’s body. Despite not eating, losing so much weight, and being exhausted from her fight for wellness, she would still wake up each day her spunky, sassy self. Even going to her chemo appointments she’d have to be dressed to a “T.” Fur, leather, rhinestones, all black, or business casual, she walked into Clearview Cancer Institute like she owned the place. Her kids testify to always seeing the fear in her eyes as they pulled up, but as soon as she walked through the door she was instantly The Purple Warrior. She always asked others how their families were doing and she hugged EVERYONE... they all knew her and looked forward to her visits that were always filled with smiles, laughter and encouragement from Kim.
In the last 15 years or so of experiencing some of life’s trials and heartaches, Kim stepped into a renewed and stronger faith in God, a faith that was ever growing and increasing as she found herself in need of a firm foundation to stand upon for herself and her family. Her relationship with Jesus was as unique as she was, always working out her salvation daily thru the good and the bad. There is no doubt that she had made a full profession of faith and claimed Jesus as her Savior and is now healed and whole, dancing on streets of gold in the presence of her Lord... and oh how she loves to dance!!!
Kimberly Dawn, you will be deeply missed by so many loved ones, both family and friends alike spread all across the country. You leave an empty place that no one else can fill. You will never be replaced nor would anyone ever try. But we would never ask you to return from the beauty and the healing you have now found in your eternal home. We WILL be together again... until then just keep on singing and dancing, and we will join you one day! As you often sang to your children when they were little and continued even after they were grown, we could easily sing to you today... “You are my sunshine my only sunshine... you make me happy when skies are gray... you’ll never know dear how much I love you... Please don’t take my sunshine away.”
For your convenience, Jackson and Carolina have planned 2 different gatherings in 2 different locations so that friends & family near and far will have the opportunity to come together in celebration of Kim’s life. We ask that you honor Kim’s memory by wearing purple and by bringing a scented candle that reminds you of her along with a personalized note for her children. Dates with location details are below...
Sunday... November 10th... 1-3pm
The Arbor Room
Huntsville Botanical Gardens
4747 Bob Wallace Avenue
Huntsville, AL 35805
Saturday... November 23rd... 1:30-3pm... Memorial Service at 3:00.
Calvary Church of the Nazarene
4000 N. Sharon Amity Road
Charlotte, NC 28205
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