Thursday, July 31, 2014

Jack Hollan...One Of A Kind!

Today I have the opportunity and privilege to deliver the eulogy at Second Baptist Church of Ashland, KY for the funeral service of my long time friend and neighbor Jack Hollan. One of my great joys was leading Jack to the Lord Jesus Christ on August 31, 2012, and the blessing of helping his pastor, Ed Caudill baptize Jack.  The following post are the notes I will be using. I hope it will be a fitting tribute to a good and decent man, and a blessing to his family.

Jack Hollan was one of a kind.  He was an original.  He was a fixture in the community, and he will be missed. He was the neighbor who was always dependable.
·        He was the guy who was always aware of what was going on in the neighborhood and in the town in general.  (I called him the mayor of east Ashland)
·        He was the guy who always had the tool you needed, and was glad to loan it to you, or even to use it himself while helping you with your project. 
·        He’s the guy who always had a project going himself, whether it was a remodeling project in the house, or manicuring his lawn. (he had the best little lawn on 49th street.  The rest of us just had “yards”).
  • He’s the guy who had a strong opinion on just about everything, and would share it with you at the drop of a hat. (and when necessary, he would supply the hat!)
  • He’s the guy who had a distain for those who could work, but wouldn’t, but he would go out of his way to help or even employ folks who were willing to work to try to better themselves.
  • He’s the guy who always had time for the kids or the elderly people in our neighborhood. And they loved him for it.
  • He’s the guy who loved politics.  We had many political discussions over the years.  We were almost always in agreement on issues regarding our city and local government.  But I would guess that we cancelled out each other’s votes for President in every election since 1980!
  • He’s the guy who always had a story to tell about his daughters and His grandchildren.
  • He’s the guy who loved his family more than anything on Earth.

It was that family that motivated Jack.  While he worked hard to support them financially, he and Doris both poured their lives into their four girls and each of them bear the indelible imprint of their parents.  Jack shared his knowledge with the girls and encouraged them to gain all the formal education available, but above that he shared his common sense and his wisdom.  There is no doubt in my mind that he loved Doris, Linda, Debbie, Jenny, and Laura with all his heart. He supported the girls in their activities and he doted on each grandchild. 

Jack lost his mother at an early age. And although he and his siblings grew up with the love of the remaining family,  It was a loss he felt deeply for the remainder of his life.  I’m thankful that about 2 years ago came to peace over it when he trusted Christ as his Savior right there in his living room. I believe the impact of the loss he experienced as a child helped forge him into the fine “family man” that he became.

Over the past 34 years, I knew Jack to be a man of character and integrity.  His word was his bond. He couldn’t abide a thief or a liar and he could spot a phony a mile away!  He had a deep sense of fair play, and he had compassion for the down trodden. If you were a political candidate or a government official, he could be your best friend, or your worse nightmare! When I served in elected office and as a volunteer on boards in the city, I often sought out Jack’s opinion and advice and I valued it.

He boldly stood up and was willing to fight for what he thought was right and for the good of our community, such as working to keep neighborhood schools, fighting Pollution from the Coke Plant, advocating for a neighborhood crime watch, fighting with CSX for a quiet zone for the railroad, and battling the guy from Huntington who wanted to put in the adult bookstore on the corner lot.

He lived his life at a high moral code, but much like Jesus said to the Rich Young Ruler we read about in the scriptures, there was “one thing he lacked” and that was the most important thing to every human. A personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ (John 14:6)

I am thankful that on the last day of August Jack took care of that “one thing”.  He surrendered his will to God’s will and accepted Jesus as his Savior.  What a joy it was for me to be able to help Bro. Eddie Caudill baptize Jack right here at 2nd Baptist Church in full view of his family, friends, and neighbors.

I am thankful that I have had opportunity to know Jack Hollan for over half of my life and to call him my friend.

It is natural for us to cling to this body … But in reality it is only the worn out garment that Jack cast aside on Monday afternoon when he left this world and entered into the presence of the Lord.

I believe he is there today.  Not because of any good things he has done to deserve it, but because he had trusted Jesus to do for him what no one else could do.  Not a loving wife, or children. But through faith in Christ alone. I’m glad he left that testimony.

So don’t grieve as those who have no hope. Remember.  Christians will never see each other for the last time.

1 comment:

Kathy Hampton said...

I loved Jack, Doris and all of the girls....The neighborhood will not be the same with him....Rest and Peace Jack and God Bless your family...