Sara Isabel Holmes, the second daughter born to William Holmes and Helen Hardy on July 14, 1920, was a true reflection of the post World War I and then The Depression era culture of central Texas and Corsicana. She was a lifelong Episcopalian whose favorite part of the Bible was The Book of Luke.
She was one of several grandchildren of the respected Congressman Rufus Hardy and the beautiful Felicia Peck of nearby Fairfield. It is hard to believe now, but Corsicana was an oil boom town when she was born, as was Shreveport where her father and mother lived until their separation in 1924. But the Corsicana environment in particular is nicely described in her mother's book, "Reflections."
Born five years after her sister, Helen, who died in Waco just 18 months ago having celebrated her 100th birthday, the Hardy and Holmes women demonstrated some very durable genes indeed. Helen and Sara had a little brother, Campbell, also buried in the Hardy plot in Oakwood, but he died of an influenza believed to have been caught on a long train ride back from Washington when Helen visited her parents there in the mid-1920's.
Sara was somewhat of a tomboy, we were told. Vivacious and precocious, and a busy visitor throughout the neighborhood as a little girl. She was popular, and I recall my grandmother saying that "we never knew what new friend Sara might bring home after school." She was a reasonably good student, but not as serious as her older sister who later earned Phi Beta Kappa status at the University of Texas in Austin. Both Helen and Sara were in Pi Beta Phi, a respected...and still respected...sorority.
But, while in high school, and in the deepest period of The Depression, around 1935, her mother married again. Her step-father was Johnny Pierce, a teacher at Corsicana High School, and its varsity football coach. He was a harsh disciplinarian during her teenage years, and she deeply resented him at the time. Helen had gone off to the university, and so Johnny Pierce's disciplinary ways were fully focused on Sara. Only later, when Chuck was a teenager, sometimes complaining about his dad's firmness, did she confess that she greatly benefited from her stepfather's firm hand. He too is buried in the Hardy plot and next to his wife.
Sometime in the summer of 1942, when she was visiting Corsicana from her job with what became Mobil Oil Company in Dallas, she met Arnold C. Falk, Jr., a flying instructor for the U.S. Army Air Corps assigned to the training base at the Corsicana air field. They dated, and were married on Valentine's Day 1943. Later that year, he became a B-24 flying instructor at Randolph Field in San Antonio, and just after their first son, Chuck was born at the base hospital, he led his last students to the effort fighting the Japanese in China. After Chuck was born, she returned to Corsicana for the balance WWII, and actually well into 1946 when Arnold, by then a Captain was finally released to return to civilian life.
Sometime during the first half of 1946, he was hired by the Superior Oil Company of California, and the three of us lived in Los Angeles until mid-1948 when Superior opened its Texas operations in Houston. Both were overjoyed to go back to Texas, and their second son, Bob was born on Dec. 27 1948 in Houston. He was made Chief Pilot of Superior Oil shortly after Bob's arrival, and the four of us lived in Houston until Chuck went to the university in Austin in 1961, and Bob in 1966. He retired from Superior Oil in 1973, it being mandatory at the time that professional pilots retire when reaching 55 years of age.
They moved to their beautiful Hill County place, Son Vida, on Lake Travis in 1973. But, returning to Houston for the period of about 1952 until 1961. She attended a local interior design and decorating school there, and became certified by that school as a professional interior decorator. She ran her own business helping many of her wealthier friends, and their friends, with their interior decorating needs. I think it is fair to say that everyone in our family and their many friends in Houston appreciated her imagination and energy. She could see form and colors as well as anyone I've ever seen. She knew materials, and her knowledge of fine furniture was superior.
They lived at Son Vida on Lake Travis for 20 years until it became just too much for them. They sold Son Vida in 1993 and moved to Granbury, and a house on that Lake until Arnold died of a heart attack on March 6, 2001.
After Arnold died, Sara was unable to live in the large house there alone, and she agreed to move to Broadway Plaza in Ft Worth, eventually going to Grace Presbyterian Village where she died Feb. 27, 2017.
In summary, Sara Holmes of Corsicana lived a long and full life. She was a generous person with her resources, almost to a fault at times. She had a hard time ever saying 'no' to a request for help. A wonderful cook (whose recipes Jeremy has memorialized), a lover of history, good books of that genre, beautiful music and later a really knowledgeable person of fine Western painting and bronzes. Items they collected are still in our houses today, and we think of them both whenever we look at these items.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold C. Falk, Jr.; son, Robert Hardy Falk; parents, William and Helen Hardy; and a sister, Helen Landers.
She is survived by her son, Chuck Falk and wife Danielle of Stans, Switzerland; grandsons, Charles Falk of Lexington, Kentucky and Dillon Falk and wife Lucy of Columbia, Missouri; granddaughters, Sally Spurlock and husband Charlie of Lexington, Kentucky and Dorian Falk and husband Jeremy of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; great grandchildren, Osmond Falk of Columbia, Missouri, Ashley Benevides and husband Emilio and Dallas Lockridge of Lexington, Kentucky; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visitation with the family will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at Corley Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at the Corley Funeral Home Chapel with the Reverend Doctor Donna Falk officiating. Interment will follow in Oakwood Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to any Orphan's Home of your choice.
An online guest book is available at www.corleyfuneralhome.com and selecting the Sara Holmes Falk obituary.
Published on March 10, 2017