On March 16, 2021, Viva Condra Holmes, age 96, went home to meet her Jesus and be reunited with her dear family members who had preceded her in death. She left this world from her home. Her dear sister Mary Martha Wright, who had lived with her and lovingly cared for her for the past 6 years, was by her side.
Viva was born on Christmas Day, 1924. She was born again at the age of 11, and was the oldest member of Friendship Baptist Church in Smithland, Ky. The church mourns her loss, but rejoices to know that she is now home in Heaven.
Viva was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, daughter and sister. She was a homemaker in every sense of the word and a flower gardener beyond comparison. She loved daffodils and daylilies more than any others. Early on summer mornings, Viva would be out with the bees, pollinating her daylilies to make new varieties. She was also a talented artist, and filled her home with beautiful paintings.
She loved music, and loved to sing. Her Bible is filled with pieces of paper, where she copied the words to many of her favorite songs, and she loved to sing those songs for anyone who would listen. Every year, when the Christmas Carolers came to her house, she would sing to them before she would let them sing to her. One of Viva's greatest talents was hugging. All of her family, friends, fellow church members and some total strangers knew that no one hugged like Viva. "Oh darling" she would cry, then throw her arms around you,and hug you like you had never been hugged before. She truly enriched the lives of all those who knew her.
She was a woman of "the greatest generation", those Americans born between 1901 and 1927. She was one of those who married a sailor after Pearl Harbor, kept things together at home, and bore her son alone, while her husband fought World War II.
Viva is survived by her sister, Mary Martha Wright, 6 grandchildren, many great grandchildren, nephews and nieces, as well as great nieces and nephews. She leaves a legacy of love and laughter to them all.
She was widowed three times, so was preceded in death by three beloved husbands, Lannie Holmes, Robert (Bob) Condra, and Jewell Holmes. All were in the Navy through World War II. Her son, Gary Lee Holmes and daughter-in-law Judy Holmes, daughter Joyce Condra Hidalgo and son-in-law Lionel Hidalgo also died before her, as did her parents, Cad Adam Dupriest and Vernal Alma Dupriest, and her brother, Billy Dupriest.
Services will be held Sunday, March 21, at 2:00 pm at Friendship Baptist Church. Brother C. C. Brasher and Brother Larry Davidson will officiate. Visitation from 12:30pm to 1:45 pm will precede the service. Burial at Dupriest Cemetery will follow. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of flowers or donations to Friendship Baptist Church.
And, finally, Viva would say to all her dear ones,
"Always remember that I love you"
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