Bernard Andrew Holman
A Mass of Christian Burial was held August 19 at St. Richard Catholic Church for Bernard “Bernie” Andrew Holman. Father John Bond officiated.
Bernie Holman passed away peacefully August 14, at St. Dominic’s Hospital after an extended illness.
He was born in Whiting, Ind., the middle son of Thomas and Lucy Holman. He was preceded in death by his parents, his older brother, Thomas D. Holman, sisters Marie Theresa Holman and Marguerite Ann Holman Barilla, and by his beloved wife of 46 years, Ann Campbell Holman.
Part of the “Greatest Generation,” he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was with the 10th Air Force in chemical warfare based in India during the China-Burma-India Theater. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and enrolled at Indiana University. While in college, he worked during the summer months in catalytic research for Standard Oil of Indiana. He was graduated in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He then began graduate school at the University of New Mexico. He was a counselor at the new men’s dormitory and also began a part-time job as a recruiter with Conoco Oil and Gas.
He was graduated from the University of New Mexico with a master’s in administration and was accepted into a doctorate program at the University of Texas. Being a midterm graduate, he took an interim job with Conoco Oil and Gas for what he thought would be a six-month term. He started with Conoco as an oil scout and quickly fell in love with his new career. His territory extended from Corpus Christi, Texas to the northern border of Mexico. In 1953, he was sent to Jackson and remained there for the rest of his life. After a few years with Conoco, he resigned and started his own company as an independent oil operator.
In 1962, he married the love of his life, Ann Campbell Holman and settled in Northeast Jackson. Together, they raised a family of four children. He was a Roman Catholic from birth and was a very active member of St. Richard Catholic Church from its dedication in 1967.
He worked as an independent landman broker and titleman for many oil companies through the years, though mainly with Amoco Production Company. During his career, he was also involved in oil and gas drilling with many geologists, primarily with Roy Benke and Frederic F. Mellen. He was involved in oil and gas discoveries in Mississippi and Louisiana. In 1978, he and a partner ventured into oil refining and built and operated a small 5,000 BOPD refinery, Vicksburg Refining, Inc. and sold it some years later. Bernie said the 1980s were not the best time for the oil industry, and he best described it as “a roller coaster ride without being at an amusement park.” Many of his colleagues suggested that he write a book about land work, the travel, and the vast and colorful experiences he had during his many years in the oil and gas industry. He never retired and maintained an office in downtown Jackson, which he operated as Bernard A. Holman Oil Properties.
He was quietly philanthropic and generous, contributing greatly to various charities and had a sincere affection toward the Carmelite Sisters cloistered at the Carmelite Monastery in West Jackson. In later years, he felt a calling and became very involved in Catholic mission work through Divine Word Missionaries. He personally provided the funding for the construction of three international mission churches: St. Andrew, the Apostle in Rourkela, India; Divine Trinity Chapel in Tamale, Ghana; and St. Ann Chapel (named after his wife, Ann) in Upala, Costa Rica. He was able to attend the dedication of St. Ann Church with his family in 2012 and was truly humbled by the gratitude of the people for his generosity. In the last few years at St. Richard, he worked diligently to establish a columbarium on the grounds of the church, where he and his wife will be placed for their final resting place.
He is survived by his younger brother, Albert Holman of Brandon; four children: B.A. Holman (Angie) of Birmingham; Kevin Holman (Emily) of Tupelo; Philip Holman (Kim) of Jackson; Lara Holman Martin (Wes) of Ridgeland, and nine grandchildren: Trey Holman of Birmingham; Max Holman, Catherine Holman, Rachael Holman, and Lee Holman of Tupelo; Colton Holman and Candace Holman of Jackson; Brooks Martin and Blake Martin of Ridgeland.
Memorials may be made to the Carmelite Monastery of Jackson and Divine Word Missionaries (svdmissions.org).