Irene Williams – Holcomb was born December 23, 1941, to the late Ben Williams and Rosie Lee Williams. She received early and secondary education in Altheimer Schools, where she excelled due to the strong coaxing of her mother and her will to attend college. Furthermore, being motivated by the strong work ethic gained in the cotton fields of Altheimer, she desired to obtain meaningful employment. It was at this time that she made the journey across the “Free Bridge” and began her post secondary education at AM&N College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where she studied government, history and education and toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher.
Upon receiving her Bachelor’s Degree, she did just that and began what would
become a 35-year career in educating the youth of Arkansas with the Blytheville
School District. Over the course of the next three decades, she sought and obtained employment with her alma mater, Altheimer High School, the University of Arkansas
at Pine Bluff, Jefferson County Adult Education, Little Rock Job Corps and, finally,
the Little Rock School District from where she retired in May of 2004.
In the midst of her occupational journey, she embarked upon another in 1998 when
she decided to attempt to enter into the tough world of politics and sought a seat on
the Pine Bluff City Council. With the support of her family, grass roots organizations such as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and a strong campaign that included door knocking, hand shaking and meeting people, with
an “ear to the street”, Mrs. Holcomb defeated her opponent and became the first African-American female to serve in that capacity. Several campaigns later, Mrs. Holcomb is the senior alderperson and continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the City Council. She is responsible for numerous pieces of legislation, appointments and decisions vital to the day-to-day operations of our great City.
Still in the early stages of her retirement, Mrs. Holcomb has “somewhat” reentered
the workforce by supporting here husband in the co-ownership and operation of
Henson Mortuary Incorporated, where she has obtained her license as a funeral director and can be seen on funeral services, selling insurance or fielding phone calls in the office. She is also a member of various political, social and religious organizations and boards in Pine Bluff and the State of Arkansas, including: NAACP, NEA, ICVR, ACORN, the Missionary Society, the Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas, the Advertising and Promotions Commission and the Social and Art Club.
She is an active member of Eighth Avenue Missionary Baptist church where she
serves as the Co-Director of the food Pantry. She is married to Lloyd A. Holcomb Sr., with whom she has two sons; Lloyd Jr. and Rodney and four grandchildren; Alexis, Rodney Jr., Larissa and Landon.
Mrs. Holcomb is an example of where hard work, dedication and diligence can take you. With over 42 years in the work force, she has made a name for herself and often reflects on her journey, which she has titled “The Four C’s”: From the Cotton fields to College to the Classroom and finally to the Council.