Pelham dedicates road to Tony Holmes

Sharon Holmes, wife of Tony Holmes, hugs Pelham Mayor Don Murphy during a ceremony renaming the street in front of the Regions Bank on Pelham Parkway to Tony Holmes Drive on April 1. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A road thousands pass every day in Pelham will forever honor one of the county’s most prominent businessmen after the city unveiled new street signs honoring the man April 1.

More than 50 people gathered at the Pelham Regions Bank on U.S. 31 as state Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, Pelham Mayor Don Murphy and members of Tony Holmes’ family unveiled the new “Tony Holmes Drive” street signs on what was formerly First Alabama Bank Drive.

A crowd gathers in the lobby of the Regions Bank on Pelham Parkway prior to the start of a ceremony. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Holmes, who served as the president and chief executive officer of Regions Bank of Shelby County for many years, died in September 2010 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

During the street dedication, Hill said he had much respect for the late businessman, and praised Holmes’ sense of humor.

“I don’t know anyone who was more respected, more liked or more honored than Tony Holmes,” Hill said. “Tony is sitting up in heaven right now having a great laugh because we are doing this on April Fools’ Day.

“Every time we see this sign, I want us to think about how important he is to us,” Hill added.

Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, stands with Sharon Holmes and Pelham Mayor Don Murphy during the street renaming ceremony. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Murphy said the dedication was a small way the city could show its thanks to a man Murphy said was an influential figure in the city.

“Tony meant a great deal to the city,” Murphy said. “It’s our pleasure to do this small, small token of appreciation of renaming this street in his honor.”