Robert (Bob) Wesley Holmes III

Robert (Bob) Wesley Holmes III, at 75 years left his earthly presence on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas.

Bob was born at home in Elizabethtown, North Carolina to Clara Belle Cain Holmes and Robert Holmes II. A successful Clinton Iowa High School athlete he excelled as a runner and swimmer, and was state pole vaulting champion in 1963. His athletic ability led him to be chosen into Navy Seal training and was one of 44 out of 246 who started training to graduate. A veteran of the Vietnam war, he served 6 years in seal team II. He was honored to participate in NASA astronaut recovery during the Gemini program.

The ocean was his first love. He worked 20 years as a commercial diver allowing him to travel extensively the many oceans of the world. He worked as an operations manager for diving companies in the Philippines, Brazil, and other countries. He enjoyed living abroad where his spare time nurtured a love of music. With Mr. Louis Erath, they formed Erath Sound Corporation which created, installed and maintained residential and commercial sound systems into many of the best nightclubs nationally.

Bob had the soul of an artist. He met his wife Janet Hassinger, an artist, in 1984 in Houston, Texas. They settled in Galveston but never stopped travelling the world. On Galveston Island he became a contractor and co-owned Holmes Custom Woodwork with his brother Richard. He renovated and maintained homes for rent on the Island. Bob built the post-Ike Galveston lifeguard stands. With Navy Seal classmate Denny Bowman, he owned the 21st street Kwik Kar wash.

An uncommon man who fully lived life. He was always loyal to his friends from school days, the military, diving and years on the Island. He followed his passions, ever creative, making fabulous pottery bowls inspired by the ocean and taking photographs of coral reef near his Honduran island retreat.

Bob is survived by his wife of thirty-one years, Janet Hassinger; his daughters: Marina Steffener and her Partner Craig Nahnsen; Adrienne Holmes, from his first marriage to Marjo Fish Lane; brother, Tom Holmes and his spouse Jamie; his sister, Becky Tolan and her husband Roger; and seven grandchildren. He will not be forgotten by his ten nieces and nephews, and seventeen great-nieces and great-nephews as well as many long-time friends. Bob was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Clara, his brother Richard, and his sister Betsy.

A Memorial celebration of Life will be held on December 22 at 11:00 am at Congregation B’nai Israel, 3008 Ave O, Galveston, Texas followed by a sharing of Bob stories and lunch.

SEAL swimmers will swim his ashes out to sea in a burial at Sea ceremony at the UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, FL next November during Veterans weekend, 2020

Memories and photos of Bob may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, donations may to sent to Congregation B’nai Israel or Artist Boat , PO Box 16019, Galveston 77552.

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(1) comment

John Campbell

A remarkable human being. I was honored to know him. John C

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