Velda Haynie Holmes, 85, of Hot Springs Arkansas, passed away July 21,2020 due to complications from Alzheimer’s. She was the daughter of Garvis Monroe and Vyunia Pollard of Altheimer, Arkansas. A graduate of Altheimer High School, Velda received her undergraduate degree in Speech and Drama from Henderson State University and her Master’s degree in Television and Radio from the University of Arkansas.
Velda is survived by her son Brad Holmes, daughter Lee Ann Holmes Gamble and husband Bill, and Harolyn Grey Holmes of Hot Springs Arkansas. “ Vee” , as she was affectionately known, will also be missed by her treasured grandchildren: Rebecca Rauls Spencer and Jimmy of Ponte Vedra, Florida, Julie Rauls Mehlin and Chris of Little Rock , as well as her great grandsons: Maddox Spencer, Grayson and Wesley Mehlin. Also mourning her passing are very special friends, Victoria Lee Ramsay and Alan of Flora, MS, and Kathy McKenzie of Hot Springs. Velda was predeceased by her parents Garvis and Vyunia Pollard of Altheimer and lifelong friends Grace and Joe Lee of Richardson, TX.
Velda’s entire professional life was anchored in her unwavering commitment to education. She touched many lives in the Richardson Independent School District over a span of 30 years as a volunteer and educator. She was the first two-time President of the City Council of PTAs, and, in 1972, with her pink briefcase in tow, she traveled to Washington
D.C. to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about the Lent Amendment, opposing forced bussing issues- a very rare opportunity for a woman at that time. She joined RISD as a Speech and English teacher in 1973 and went on to become the Director of RITV, a public-school broadcast station that not only made educational television available to the students in RISD but also broadcasted from six channels reaching 132,000 students in 57 districts across Texas. Velda retired from RISD to move to Hot Springs but found herself continuing her professional chapter as an educational consultant, ultimately finishing her impactful career with the School of Math and Sciences in Hot Springs.
Known as “the fun mom”, Velda enjoyed mutually respectful relationships with students as well as her children’s friends who came to her often as a trusted confidant. Brad and Lee Ann were a little jealous when their friends were allowed store bought treats, as they only got homemade after school! Velda was the first to sign up to lead volunteer activities at school, ride the band bus to every game or competition, and share her passion for the arts supporting choir and theatrical presentations at Richardson Heights Baptist Church. She was an inspiring educator, loved by everyone that knew her. She was a fashionista who always had a story to tell, and a wonderful cook, though somewhat over zealous in her use of green peas. Velda was a die-hard Arkansas Razorback fan and loved to watch the games. At the time of her death, she was a member of First Baptist Church in Hot Springs where she taught Sunday School for several years.
The family would like to thank Michael Smedley, Sherry, Jennifer and Stacey at the House of Three in Hot Springs as well as Arkansas Hospice for the love and care they have shown the past few months.
Due to the Covid 19 restrictions, the family will have a private internment. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Arkansas Hospice, 14P Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, AR 72116.
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