Popular vet, Lowndes resident dies in accident

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 30, 2006

A lifelong resident of Lowndes County and a well-known veterinarian who had been practicing since 1964 died in a one-vehicle accident Christmas Eve afternoon.

Dr. Matt Davis Holmes, 76, of Hayneville, was killed when the car he was driving on County Road 21 ran off the road and flipped several times. Dr. Holmes was ejected from the car. His wife, Mrs. Nanette &#8220Sam” Holmes, received several injuries from the accident, but is now at home.

Dr. Holmes was one of seven traffic fatalities across Alabama over the Christmas weekend.

He was born in Jackson, Miss., in 1930 and brought up in Fort Deposit. He graduated from Fort Deposit High School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Dairy Science from Auburn University and then received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from Auburn University in 1964. He opened his clinic in Letohatchee for small and large animals that same year, even though he made &#8220house calls” all over the county.

&#8220One of my dogs had cancer, and when he had to be put to sleep, I think it hurt Matt as much as it did me,” Fort Deposit resident Frieda Cross said. &#8220He was such a gentle, kind and loving person.”

Dr. Holmes was married to the late Honey Holmes for 25 years. They had three children, Melanie, Martha and the late Jeff Holmes.

His daughter Martha Johnston said that their father was a &#8220spiritual leader” in the family.

&#8220He was definitely the rock of the family, and he had a strong personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” she said.

Dr. Holmes and his wife are members of Covenant Baptist Church in Montgomery with the Rev. Brandon Pugh.

Funeral services were held Friday at 11 a.m. at Hayneville Baptist Church with graveside services at Rogers Cemetery in Letohatchee.

Dr. Holmes is also survived by his son, Trey Holmes; one stepson, Curt Wood; two step-daughters, Allison Williams and Betsy Williams; five grandchildren, Rush Johnston, Courtney, Caitlyn and Cassie Doyle, and Jaclyn Holmes; and four step-grandchildren, Presley Wood, J.T. and Ellie Williams, and Meg Williams.