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Judith Bowen Holmes was born in Ridgeland South Carolina to Olive Floyd and Marion J. Bowen. She was raised by her maternal grandmother, Clara Belle Floyd and T.H. Floyd in the Wagon Branch Community. She attended Ridgeland High School and was crowned Miss Ridgeland High and later Miss Jasper County, where she met her husband Paul J. Holmes. Paul fell in love with her smile, the light of her blue eyes and the way she carried her petite frame erect and proud. And though it was a "Secret Love" in the beginning, it became a love story for the ages. She was just shy of her seventeenth birthday and they married with the consent of her grandmother in June 1960.
Judy and Paul moved to Sylvania Ga for Paul’s work as a band director, then to Beaufort, SC where their first two children, Charlotte (Murray) and Paul Jr. were born; then to Paul’s maternal grandfather’s property in Hampton SC where their next two children, Julie (Carter,) and Alan were born.
In 1969 Judy and Paul moved to a just budding Hilton Head Island where Paul pursued his Landscaping career and their family life settled down for the next fifteen years. While on Hilton Head Judy was the consummate homemaker, while the children were small only venturing to work outside of the home when they entered school. She worked at The Children’s Corner, and for the Stock Pot on Hilton Head. She was active with the Jaycee’s and became an EMT and then Paramedic with the Hilton Head Island Volunteer Rescue Squad.
Judy created a home where children from the neighborhood came to play, to snack, and to sleep over. She loved the little league sports that her children played and into their high school years was the loudest, most distinctive voice in the stands, cheering on their teams and ringing her cowbell.
In 1984 Judy and Paul welcomed a late life baby, Joseph Simpson, and they made the decision to move to the country near Yemassee, SC. “Yemassee,” as they referred to this haven, provided a great backdrop and atmosphere for raising Joseph and launching her children toward college, marriage and beyond. This time in Yemassee was the birth of her famous “Four O’clock Coffee” tradition that has been adopted by her children, friends and family all over the country. Each day at 4 o’clock became a time to slow down from the days work, sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and her wonderful Pound Cake and just enjoy each other.
By 1988 Judy and Paul began welcoming the first of 26 grandchildren that all call “Yemassee” their favorite place. The grandchildren began bringing classmates from school, and later, from college to run, play, and fellowship on the 168 acres, but especially to climb the favorite Magnolia Tree and swing from the rope swing situated squarely in the front yard. In 2020 the first great grandchildren began being born and a whole new generation had begun to love the homeplace and adopt it as their second home. Presently there are nine great grandchildren and three on the way.
Judy was a woman of discipline, strength and loyalty. She loved a clean house, a well-raked yard, burning leaves and fed a multitude of hummingbirds through the years. She was always cooking meals as though an army would walk through the door and her famous sweet tea was known far and wide- not to mention her Macaroni and Cheese! She loved flowers of any kind, especially yellow roses, and grew multitude of plants indoors and out. But nothing matched the love she had for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She and Paul welcomed strangers into their home who had had the misfortune of car troubles on the nearby I-95. Paul, the story-teller and Judy the hostess made their misfortune turn to joy as they were welcomed and cared for so lovingly.
Throughout her entire adult life Judy cared for many of her aging family members, nursing many of them in her home until near their time of death. Her care and love for those in her charge was unmatched.
“Strength and honor are her clothing and she shall rejoice in the time to come.” Proverbs 31:25
The family will receive visitors Friday, February 2, 2024 from 5-7pm at Sauls Funeral Home, Ridgeland, SC. Celebration of Life will be held at Great Swamp Baptist Church, Ridgeland, SC at 10:30, with family receiving visitors from 10:00-10:30 before the service. Burial Service will be at the Joseph S. Holmes Cemetery at Family Bible Fellowship, Ridgecut Road, Early Branch, SC immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Family Bible Fellowship Cemetery Fund, 354 Ridgecut Rd. Early Branch SC, 29916, in Memory of Judith Holmes. Please include in the Memo Line: Cemetery Fund.
Family Bible Fellowship
354 Ridgecut Road, Early Branch SC 29916