Dr. Charlie McIlwain Holcomb Sr., went to be with his Lord and Savior on February 15, 2020, from the Monroe Regional Hospital, Aberdeen, MS. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Memorial Gunter Peel Funeral Home, 2nd Avenue North location. Services will be 2:00 PM Saturday, February 22, 2020, at First Baptist Church with Rev. Bobby Sanderson officiating. Visitation will be from 1:00 PM until the time of the service. Burial with military honors will immediately follow at Memorial Gardens Cemetery. He was born on July 18, 1929, in Rainey, Mississippi, to Rev. John Peyton Holcomb and Ruby Gertrude McIlwain, the seventh of their ten children. After graduation from Petal High School, he earned a B.S. from Mississippi Womanfs College (William Carey). From 1950- 52 he served as a Sgt. First Class in the U.S Army during the Occupation in Germany after World War II. Upon his return to Mississippi, he married college sweetheart, Marilyn Hughes in Mendenhall on August 17, 1952. They were married for 52 years. Charlie continued to pursue his education, earning a B.S., and M.Ed from Mississippi State University, an M.S. from the University of Mississippi, and an Ed.D from Florida State University. A gifted and consummate teacher, his career spanned over 50 years. He taught in high schools in Rock Hill and Clarksdale, Mississippi, and at Itawamba Junior College, before becoming a professor in the Physical Science Department at Mississippi University for Women in 1960 until his retirement. During his tenure at the gWh he published scientific studies for the Atomic Energy Commission and Oak Ridge Laboratory, developed curriculum for summer institutes for Mississippi high school science teachers and taught at the Mississippi School of Math and Science. He was a man of deep faith. A Life Deacon at First Baptist Church, Columbus, he was also Sunday School Superintendent for many years. His greatest joy came in helping others, actively serving through the Love-In-Deed ministry at First Baptist, quietly serving widows and the elderly, volunteering to do such mundane tasks at changing light bulbs to painting, reroofing homes, and repairing plumbing. He also demonstrated selfless love caring for his wife, Marilyn, through many years of illness. He loved his family and took great delight in the accomplishments of his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren. On January 9, 2007, Charlie married Jewell Bell Hancock of Crawford, Mississippi. They enjoyed a rich life together, traveling, gardening, church, and times together with friends and family. They together regularly visited shut-ins and those in local nursing homes. Jewell faithfully cared for him in his final years. He is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife Marilyn, sisters Bettie Lee Warren, Lillian Taylor, Nina Clark, Minnie Easterling, and Martha Walker, brothers Robert and Thomas Holcomb, and son-in-law Stephen Glenn Hix. He is survived by his wife, Jewell; brothers, Benton Holcomb of Wichita, KS and Billy Holcomb (June) of Davenport, IA; daughter, Dr. Debra Holcomb Hix of Huntersville, NC; son, Dr. Charlie McIlwain Holcomb Jr. (Sharon Fraser) of Mansfield,TX; his grandchildren, Laura Elise Hix of Winston-Salem, NC, Aaron Ryan Hix of Cambridge, MA, Anna Katherine Holcomb Page (Stephen) of McKinney, TX, John Peyton Holcomb (Caitlin) of Dallas, TX, Elizabeth Vaughn Holcomb of Huntersville, NC, Lillian Grace Holcomb Olson (Taylor) of Goldsboro, NC, Mary Margaret Holcomb of Mansfield, TX, Hunter Wesley Holcomb of Mansfield, TX and Stephen McIlwain Holcomb of Mansfield, TX; and his great-grandchildren, William Bruce Page, Nicholas Zachary Page, Sarah Elise Page, Charles Earl Page, Stephen Christopher Page Jr., Gwendolyn Ruth Holcomb and Timothy John Olson. Pallbearers will be Jim Bigelow, Bob Boland, Cecil Boswell, Bill Brigham, Frank Creel, Mike Perkerson and Perrin Smith. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Lottie Moon Foreign Missions, First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 829, Columbus, MS 39703.
Appeared in The Commercial Dispatch on February 19, 2020
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