BIOGRAPHIES of HENDERSON COUNTY

TRULA MAE HOLMES

This long-over-due article is goin to be a big surprise to our Person of the Week, Mrs. Trula Mae Holmes, who lives in the family home on H. Main Street, was once upon a time my neighbor and I still call her that although I am a little farther away. She is so modest and unassuming that I am sure she would have neveragreed to be profiled in The Progress. Wanting to honor one so deserving, I enlisted the help of her daughter, Charlotte, and her daughter-in-law, Patricia. THey were both pleased and helpful in providing information about the many facets in her life of which I was not aware.

Patricia characterized her as a "loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother." She is a dedicated Christian and has been an active member of First Baptist Church many years. For more than 45 years she has taught in the 4 year old department of her church and was a Sunbeam leader; active in WMU, serving as secretary and leader. She used to deliver magazines to the shut-ins every month and still visits residents in the nursing homes. She assisted the WMU group who gave a birthday party for the residents and played bingo with them.

For many years, Trula Mae would invite the preachers (who came for revivals or on any other occasions) into her home for one of her good home-cooked meals. Patricia says she is known for her corn light bread, good, good cornbread and biscuits, boiled custard and her wonderful five-layer coconut cake at Christmas. The Baptist cookbook published recently has several of her recipes.

Trula Mae is the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary Frances (Essary born in the family home at Cherterfield. She has an older sister, Kathleen (Mrs. Eldridge Rhodes) of Lexington. SHe and Kathleen are very close. Their two brothers, Carl Essary of Memphis and Paul of Lexington are both deceased.

Her mother died when Trula Mae was only 6 years old and Paul was 4. Their mother's sister, Mrs. Ryanna Hall Dennison, took them into her home and raised them. They called her "Aunt Sissy" as did everyone else. Aunt Sissy was my next door neighbor on W. Church St. when we built our new home.

Kathleen and Carl were raised by another relative. Their father was in bad health and died when Trula Mae was 18. When Aunt Sissy was ill Trula Mae and Kathleen helped take care of her and ministered to another aunt, Aunt Margie, who lived at Wildersville. One of the circles of the WMU at First Baptist is named the Ryanna Dennison Circle.

Trula Mae was married to Joe V. Holmes on March 8, 1930. He was a farmer, worked in the Frankkk Kent Grocery, then operated his own grocery for over 50 years. He was a farmer and the Holmes farm at Poplar Springs is still in the family. I did not realize he had taught school at one time. He died in January 1987. In earlier years, Trula clerked at Fielder's Store. Though Trula Mae is a Baptist and Joe V. was a Methodist, their relationship of different churches worked out well, Patricia says. All three of their children were raised to be Baptists.

Their children are Eddy and Billy of Lexington and Charlotte of Union City. The two boys look after the business - Eddy in town and Billy in the country.

Joe Edwin, the oldest son, is manager of Holmes Supply Co. on N. Main next to the family home. He and his wife, the former Patricia Crook, lived "just up the way" and across the street from his mother. Patricia recently retired after serving as secretary at First Baptist for more than 30 years. She and Eddy have two sons, Tony and Stan. Tony is married to the former Elizabeth Walker, whose parents are Betty Hall Walker and the late James Walker. Tony and Elizabeth have two children, Kurt and Grace.

Stan married Renah Richardson of Parsons and they have three children, Ashley, Leah and RObert V. who was born after Joe V. died and the V in his name is for his great-grandfather.

William Essary Holmes, who is called Billy, and his wife, the former Carolyn Vise of Parsons, live on the family farm at Poplar Springs. Bill is the ownder of Holmes Sporting Goods on Hwy. 412 E. and Carolyn is employed at Central State Bank. They have four children, Jay and Jill. Both Joey and Jud work in their father's sporting goods store. Jay is married to Tina Bail. Jud is married to Lisa Melton adn Jill is in college in Knoxville.

Mary Charlotte, with her husband, Dr. Jerry Sullivan live in Union City where he is a busy dentist. They, too, have four children; Ty (who is studying to be a doctor), Sheridan, Joanna and Gabe. Charlotte is a teacher and homemaker. Jerry's paretns were the late Curry and Ethel Sullivan of Lexington.

In 1943-44 Joe V. was called into the Army leaving Trula Mae with three children. She had to take care of the livestock, even doing the milling, selling the milk and making butter. She also recalls having to corral two little boys and keep them from putting their little sister into tree houses. At this time, Robbie Wallace lived with Trula Mae as a companion.

Trula Mae still lives in the same house she came into when she and Joe V. were married and his parents were still living. She and Joe V. met when she was walking to school in the rain and Joe V. Stopped to offer her a ride. They went to the same school but just as she was entering, he was finishing. She was late in her schooling because she had to take time off to help care for her father who was ill. She recalls some of her high school days when they played the victrola and did the Charleston with friends.

She has a love for children and they love her friends. They call her "Gaa", a name given to her by her first grandchild, Tony. THey all call her that and love their "gaa". So many young children know her and love her. They claim "Gaa" as part of their family.

Trula has always been an excellent seamstress, making clothes for Charlotte when she was growing up and even sewed from Patricia when she and Eddy were first married. She loves to cook and still has her family for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and other special get-togethers in the family home where she has lived all her married life. It was here she raised her family and they all love to come home.

She has a knack for growing things and we all admire her lovely yard where her children gave a a new patio and concrete walk way a few years ago. Her azaleas are always lovely.
Lexington Progress "An Interesting Person"

Back Home