What If We Were All More Like Bill Holmes?

What If We Were All More Like Bill Holmes?

Bill Holmes small colorYou may have heard that on Monday, July 18, Tucson lost one of its most favorite sons, Bill Holmes. Bill was a unique person in many ways. His passing deserves commentary.

Originally from Yuma, Bill was a citizen of Tucson for more than 40 years. He loved Tucson deeply and constantly tried to make us better as a community. He served on boards and gave his time and treasure to worthy organizations and their missions as selflessly as one can imagine.

Bill was one of the first people I met when I moved to Tucson in May 2011. We formed an immediate friendship that only grew deeper with the years. We had the chance to work together at the Tucson Metro Chamber for a while and developed a professional relationship on top of our personal friendship.

Everywhere we went together, people knew Bill and Bill knew them. Bill could light up a room before he even entered it. His gentle, courteous mannerisms were his trademark. So was his smile. His wit, humor and talent for delivering one-liners will always be unmatched. You haven’t lived until you’ve spent four hours in a golf cart with someone like Bill.

Bill is gone now, but his impact on our community will remain always. Hundreds turned out for his memorial service at the JCC last Thursday. Ditto for his graveside ceremonies. People who gathered to pay their last respects were heard saying over and over again, “What if we were all more like Bill?” The notion conjures up thoughts of a truly civil society where everyone is given respect and dignity and where the focus is on becoming all we can be. These are good thoughts. This is Bill’s legacy.

Thanks for the years you gave Tucson, Bill. Now it is up to us to remember you by being more like you.

Adios, amigo.


Michael V. Varney
President & CEO