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J. Ken Hollis Jr.

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J. Ken Hollis Jr. Obituary
J. Ken Hollis, Jr., age 68, of Metairie, died peacefully early Friday morning September 10, 2010 with his wife, Diane by his side at Ochsner Medical Center due to complications attributable to his battle with metastatic neuroendocrine cancer.
Ken was born and raised in Alexandria and graduated from Bolton High School in 1960 and Louisiana Tech University in 1964.
He is survived by his wife, Diane and two sisters, Maud Ella and husband Rick Hartley and Anne Johnson. Ken married Judith Beasley Hollis (deceased in 2007) and had three sons; Jesse K. "Trey" Hollis III and wife Jill, live in Fayetteville, Arkansas with their two children, Mason and Abby. His middle son, Michael lives in New Orleans with his partner, Marty Brantley. The youngest son, Paul lives in Mandeville with his wife, Ashley and their daughter, Bryanne. Ken married Diane Woods Hollis in 1999, who had three girls from her previous marriage. The merging of these two families has been a blessing for all and especially to Ken. Diane's oldest daughter, Heather Menendez and husband Stephen live in Mandeville and have three children, Austin, Hunter and Ava. Middle daughter, Jennifer Stephens and husband Adam lives in Mandeville, have a daughter, Josephine. Diane's youngest daughter, Casie Woods lives in Mobile, Alabama. Ken loved his entire family and each brought joy to him in their own special way.
Upon graduating from La. Tech, Ken entered the insurance field and served as MassMutual's Regional Group Manager until 1981 when he took over as General Agent for the State of Louisiana until retiring from that position in January 1998. During the years of 1967 - 1974, Ken served our country as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves. His entire professional career was in the health/life insurance and benefits industry and he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hollis Companies which specializes in employee benefits. He was very proud of his company and felt blessed that his son and many other close colleagues have pledged to carry on the business that he founded and built with them over his career.
In addition to his professional career, his other passion was his honorable career in public service of 28 years, first as a Jefferson Parish Councilman in 1980 until 1982 when he was elected to the State Senate. Ken served in the Senate for 26 years until 2008. Known for his colorful character and love for Louisiana, his accomplishments in the Louisiana Senate were many. Some of his proudest moments were championing the lifting of the tolls on the south shore of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway as well as his advocacy for the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. Ken served as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee where his talents were used for his passion for economic development. He was instrumental in recruiting and retaining businesses in the state such as the early negotiations in retaining the Saints in New Orleans, completion of Harrah's Casino and the legislation to establish the Louisiana Lottery. He was also very proud of his earliest legislation to prohibit an earnings tax on non-residents working in the city of New Orleans.
Ken received numerous public service awards including the Alliance for Good Government's Senator of the Year Award for Jefferson Parish in 1985, 1987, 1993, and 1996 and the 2000 Legislator of the Year Award from the New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce, the 2007 Silent Defender Award from the International Code Council Foundation and the Frederick Law Olmsted Award from Jefferson Beautification.
If you would like to make a donation in Ken's honor, please consider a gift to Cancer Crusaders, 1117 Homestead Ave., Metairie, LA. 70010 or a blood donation at Ochsner Medical Center.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Services at LAKE LAWN METAIRIE FUNERAL HOME, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. on Monday, September 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM. Visitation will be held on Sunday evening, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM and Monday morning, 11:00 AM until service time. Interment at Metairie Cemetery. Please visit and sign the family guestbook at www.lakelawnmetairie.com.

Published in The Town Talk on Sept. 12, 2010
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