BY KELLY GOOCH
JACKSONVILLE — At 94 years old, Luman Holman continues to impact his community.
He shows up at work; is active in his church and stays involved with the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville.
But this past week, he was on the receiving end. Holman was recognized Thursday for his 70 years with the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville. He received the Walter Zeller Fellowship award “for his continued support of the club” as well as a Legion of Honor award, said Nancy Washburn, board member of the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville.
She said that Jacksonville Mayor Kenneth Melvin also presented a proclamation, as well as a representative from Sen. Robert Nichols’ office, and a representative with Rep. Travis Clardy’s office presented certificates.
“He was just such a great part of the community,” said Judy Batton, secretary/treasurer of the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville.
Holman said he was pleased with the recognition, calling it, “very thoughtful of them and kind and gracious.”
After graduating from Jacksonville High School in 1936, Holman went on to attend Lon Morris College and Baylor University.
He said his father was a partner with Sam A. Cobb with the Cobb Holman Lumber Co. Following Cobb’s death in 1943, Holman said he and his father bought out their interest, and didn’t change the company name.
Holman also became involved with the Kiwanis Club in 1943. He said he was invited to attend a meeting, and at the time, the Kiwanis Club was emphasizing, “Keep America American.”
“The objects of Kiwanis were of such quality … (that) it was something that suited me,” Holman said.
By 1948, he said he was a lieutenant governor for a Kiwanis division. Then in 1951, he was Texas-Oklahoma District governor, and in 1953 he was a member of the international board of trustees.
“I traveled all over where there were Kiwanis Clubs or meetings. … I was the public speaker at events,” Holman said.
“You had to explain what your initiatives were for the year, or you might talk about what you needed to do about the condition at that time.”
The motto back then was “We build.”
Holman said that referred to building things for the community. He said they built friendship, fellowship and most importantly leadership.
“I always told them that leadership was the one element that led a people to everlasting greatness or to despair,” he added.
He said there were various committees, so he might be working on the boys and girls committee or a public affairs committee.
Kiwanis also was a training ground, Holman said.
“You take people who were as clumsy as I was and can develop them with their capabilities,” he said.
When asked what kept him involved in the club, he referenced “the aims of the Kiwanis Club to help the poor and needy, to be patriotic good citizens (and) try to get laws passed that would be what they ought to be.”
Today, he said he’s not physically able to participate in numerous things, but he can help by speaking, writing, giving money or in other ways. The Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville, which is part of Kiwanis International, meets on Thursdays.
Ms. Washburn said the club, among other things, makes donations to schools and nonprofits and participates in community projects.
Besides Kiwanis Club, Holman also worked with Boy Scouts and was a member of the Baptist Foundation of Texas.
Holman had seven children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He and his late wife, Rosemary, met at Lon Morris College.
Holman’s son, Charles Holman, 68, said church work is “the love of his (father’s) life.”
As far as his father’s work with Kiwanis Club, he still recalls going to places such as Madison Square Garden, where his father spoke many times.
“He would go promoting American freedoms and liberties that we had that we needed to draw our attention to,” Charles Holman said.
“He was on a mission, I think, in spreading the good news in the Kiwanis Club about what the great privileges we have as Americans and the value of living in America and the value of capitalism. Those were the things that were really near and dear to him,” he added.
But he said what stands out is that he had the privilege of working with both his father and grandfather at the lumber company. He said he saw them run their business “in a way that honors the Lord,” and if they made a commitment to customers, they would keep it.
To this day, he said his father is still plugged in to current economics and politics.