December 10, 1924-September 24, 2016
Nicholas Hanson Holmes, Jr. was born in Chicago to Nicholas H. Holmes and Emilie Clark Holmes, who soon relocated to Mobile. Nicholas Holmes practiced architecture, and Emilie Holmes taught school at Murphy High School. Nicholas, Jr. (Nick) attended Old Shell Road Elementary School and graduated from Murphy High. He attended Auburn, joined the army in WWII where he, as he said, “went nowhere and did nothing.” He returned to Auburn where he finished his degree in architecture. After graduation he practiced in Mobile where he met and married Nancy Neiswender, a teacher at MHS. As soon as they were married, they went to Paris, France where he worked on reconstructing parts of the city for the American Forces, and she explored the city. This was their first of their many travels together. Upon their return to Mobile, they began their family with Nicholas H. Holmes III (Ginger), then Mary Emilie Acklen (Andrew) and Andrew H. Holmes. Nicholas specialized in historic renovations and practiced with his son Nicholas III. They renovated Christ Church, Mobile City Hall, the Alabama State Capitol, Barton Academy, and most recently, Murphy High School, among many other buildings. They built many types of industrial buildings and schools and have built a number of fraternity and sorority houses at the University of Alabama. Nick, Jr. practiced until the summer of 2016. He published a number of articles on Alabama architecture, most recently one in Mobile Bay Monthly. He was also fascinated by archaeology and became a registered archaeologist. He published a number of works on Alabama Archaeology. He was a musician who loved to play guitar and sing with friends and family. He was a historian, a lover of poetry (most notably Yeats), a singer of songs and a teller of tales. He was a Southern gentleman to the last days of his life, and his generous spirit was admired by friends and family alike. He was indeed one of the Greatest Generation. He was a man “of high degree.” After the death of Nancy in 2008, Nick married Ann Smith Bedsole in July of 2014. He is survived by his wife, Ann, all of his children and his four grandchildren: Emilie Acklen Armstrong (Tim) of Nashville, Kate Holmes Salsman (Micah) of Birmingham, Christopher Acklen (Kristen) of Huntsville, and Clara Holmes of New York City. Additionally he is survived by 5 (and soon 6) great-grandchildren; step-children, Mary Riser, John Martin and Loraine Bedsole (George Demmas); and 7 step-grandchildren. Services will be held at Christ Church Cathedral at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2016. Visitation will be held in the Chapter House at 3:30 p.m. In lieu of the usual remembrances, memorials may be made to the Downtown Park Conservancy, specifically the Marketplace at Mardi Gras Park, 261 Dauphin St., Mobile, AL 36602 or the Edith Murphy Foundation/I.B. Program at Murphy High School, P.O. Box 864, Mobile, AL 36601. Condolences may be offered at www.radneyfuneralhome-mobile.com.