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 Jack Oliver Holmes

Jack Oliver Holmes

Sistersville, Tyler County, West Virginia, USA
Death 22 Jun 1996 (aged 90)
Hillsborough County, Florida, USA
Burial Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA
Plot Section 2
Memorial ID 62714374 · View Source
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Tampa Tribune, The (FL) - June 24, 1996
Deceased Name: Landscape architect Jack O. Holmes dies
TAMPA -- Jack O. Holmes, a renowned landscape architect whose work beautified landmarks such as Busch Gardens, Tampa International Airport and Lowry Park Zoo, died Saturday. He was 90.

A native of Sistersville, W. Va., Holmes moved to Tampa in 1923 but spent most of his life in Lutz.

Although he had no formal training in landscaping, as a young man he got a job with Knull Floral Co., one of Tampa's leading architects and landscape contractors.

"I was born and raised in the plant world," Holmes once told an interviewer. "My mother, she was a big plant lady. She had them around the house, and she was an authority on plants. It was really all I knew."

After working several years for Knull, Holmes saved enough to buy out the landscaping portion of the business. He renamed the business Holmes Nursery and operated it more than 50 years before selling it in 1980.

Dressed in bright pinks, yellows and orange, the hibiscus, bougainvillea and orchids that Holmes introduced to Florida beckon for residents to sit a spell in the afternoon sun.

Masses of colorful floral designs by Holmes span from Busch Gardens to Lowry Park Zoo to the original landscaping of Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Lowry Park Zoo officials said Holmes donated more than $50,000 worth of bromeliads and other plants and trees to the zoo for its 1988 renovation.

His other landscape projects include Tampa International Airport, for which he received an award in 1976 from the Florida Nurserymen and Growers Association, Curtis Hixon Hall and numerous city parks and buildings.

Holmes went on study trips to Central and South America, the Great Amazon Basin, Cuba, Jamaica, the Hawaiian Islands and Mexico.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Tampa and was a charter member of the Rotary Club, the Florida Nurserymen and Growers and the Florida Association of Landscape Architects.

He also was past president of the Florida Florist Association and a member of the American Institute of Landscape Architects, the American Horticultural Society and the American Orchid Society.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Lutz; a daughter, Jeanne Messick, of Tampa; two stepdaughters, Brita Wilkins of Washington, D.C., and Carla Wilkins of Tampa; and two grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at F.T. Blount Co. Funeral Home-Carrollwood, 3207 Bearss Ave.

Tampa Tribune, The (FL)

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  • Created by: Chihuahua Lover
  • Added: 8 Dec 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 62714374
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jack Oliver Holmes (2 Aug 1905–22 Jun 1996), Find A Grave Memorial no. 62714374, citing Myrtle Hill Memorial Park, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Chihuahua Lover (contributor 47005680) .