Savannah commissioner dead from coronavirus at 82

James Holmes was a Chatham County Commissioner since 2005 and planned to retire at the end of the year. He died Monday after being hospitalized with the coronavirus more than two weeks ago. He was 82.
James Holmes was a Chatham County Commissioner since 2005 and planned to retire at the end of the year. He died Monday after being hospitalized with the coronavirus more than two weeks ago. He was 82.

Credit: File Photo

Credit: File Photo

A long-serving county commissioner from Savannah died Monday after falling ill with the coronavirus more than two weeks ago.

James Holmes was a Chatham County Commissioner since 2005 and planned to retire at the end of the year, according to The Associated Press.

He was 82.

Holmes was a native of Savannah and served the area’s 2nd district.

As a young man in the 1960s Holmes excelled as a mentor at a local Boys Club, where he was groomed to become a leader in the community, WTOC News 11 reports.

A graduate of Alfred E. Beach High School, Holmes attended Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, according to ABC affiliate WJCL.

From there he coached high school basketball and then went on to become an assistant coach at Savannah State University.

Affectionately known in Savannah as “Coach Holmes,” he was a member of Saint Benedict the Moor Church and also belong to several civic organizations, according to a bio on the Chatham County Commission website.

Above all, he was an advocate for children.

His death was confirmed Monday by his wife, Yvonne Holmes, who said Holmes was hospitalized with COVID-19 on July 30.

“This is something of a reminder, and I don’t think we need this occasion to remind folks of it, of how serious the coronavirus really is,” commission chairman Al Scott said, according to AP.

Scott said that flags will be lowered to half mast in the days leading to Holmes’ funeral, however arrangements have not yet been announced.

At least 4,727 deaths in Georgia have been linked to the coronavirus, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. As of Monday, more than 238,800 infections had been confirmed statewide.

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