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Clyde Holloway Goes Home
The life of former United States Congressman (R-LA) and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Chairman Clyde Holloway was celebrated in Forest Hill on Saturday before his final internment. This followed a two-part public visitation on Friday that attracted a large gathering.
As a warm October breeze circulated, several hundred mourners gathered to say farewell to the conservative leader and friend of many in his hometown and across the country.
Son Mark Holloway spoke of his father's commitment to duty and service throughout his life. "I hope he taught you how to serve in some way, " he said. "He lived a life for others."
Holloway was also remembered by his longtime congressional press aide, Stephen LeBlanc, as a warrior and patriot in a long career of public service. LeBlanc concluded his moving remarks by saying, "So long, Clyde. You did well-and you did right."
Marcia Young recounted Holloway's fierce battle to save the community public school, open to all races, from closure by an over-zealous federal government. This effort resulted in the founding of Forest Hill Academy, which educated hundreds of neighborhood students before its eventual closure.
Another former aide, Royal Alexander, told the humorous story of seeing Holloway reclining leisurely, socks on his feet, on the sofa of his congressional office. "I heard him say, 'I'm sorry, Mr. President, I can't vote for that NAFTA deal. It would hurt my sugar farmers. And then he stretched out and went to sleep.' "
Other speakers were Richard Fiorenza, John Sharp, and Karen Haymon, Holloway's Chief of Staff for the Public Service Commission.
Haymon, a former teacher, shared another story. "A lobbyist once said to Clyde, 'The way you are voting is not good for your re-election prospects.' Clyde said to me, 'I'm going to do what's right for Louisiana, and if the voters don't like it, you can go back to the classroom and I'll go back to the nursery.' "
A nurseryman by occupation, Holloway was instrumental in advancing the state and national reputation of Forest Hill as "The Nursery Capital" of the country.
From a tiny house on a country road to the United States Congress-and many places in between-Clyde Holloway now rests in the Louisiana earth he loved.
Requiescat in pace.