Former University Park mayor and longtime civic leader James “Blackie” Holmes died this week following recent heart surgery. He was 79.
Holmes served as UP mayor for three terms from 2004 to 2010. Previously, he was elected to four terms on the City Council and spent several years on the city’s Board of Adjustment and Planning and Zoning Commission.
The city renovated City Hall and several parks during his mayoral tenure, including the swimming pool at Curtis Park, where he once worked as a lifeguard. The pool was renamed in his honor in 2010.
Holmes graduated from Highland Park High School and SMU, where he also received a law degree prior to a career as an attorney that spanned several decades. He received a Distinguished Alumni Award from SMU in 2012.
Holmes is survived by his wife, Judy; sons Jimmy, Randell, and Tucker; daughters-in-law Lori, Anne, and Susan; and grandchildren Randell, Lane, and Dickinson. As a tribute, the flags in all city buildings and parks will fly at half-staff through Oct. 20, the day of his funeral.