March 18, 2021
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and uncle. Ken Hollas passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with dementia on March 18th, 2021 at the age of 88 years.
He will be forever remembered by his loving wife of 63 years Lydia (née Kraemer); three daughters Leslie Hollas, Kathryn (Hollas) Nazaroff, and Alexandra Hollas; sister Nancy Rouleau; grandchildren Hollas Ouwerkerk, Johanna Milton, Eva Hollas, and Maeve Laurin; great-grandchildren Alexander Milton and Zachary Milton; and nephews Dale Rouleau and Daryl Rouleau. He was predeceased by his father Thomas Hollas and mother Edna Hollas.
Born in Edmonton to homesteading parents, he spent his first 5 years in Whitecourt, Alberta. In 1938, the family moved to Mission, BC. With the onset of WW2, his father enlisted and didn’t return until 1945. This began a fascination with that war, history, and fighter planes, specifically the Spitfire.
After graduating from high school, he obtained his pilot’s license and was working on becoming a veterinarian. Typical of him, a friend who had an interest in joining the RCMP asked him to go along for his interview as he was nervous.
The friend wasn’t accepted, but Ken was and so his storied career with the RCMP began in 1952. Ken served throughout BC – Northern Interior, Vancouver Island, Kootenays, and Vancouver.
He transferred to Ottawa in 1970, arriving just prior to the FLQ/October Crisis. He played an integral part undercover during that time. In 1976, he moved to Edmonton as OIC K Division Security Service, a highlight of which was being in charge of security for the 1978 Commonwealth Games.
In 1981, he was switched to K Division Staffing. In 1984, he went back to Vancouver, retiring as Superintendent OIC E Division Staffing in 1989.
A man of high moral standards, he was able to balance his dedication to the service of his country with equal dedication to his family and friends. One of the last things he had wanted to accomplish was a memoir of his time in the RCMP, which unfortunately he never completed, but his children are working on getting it published.
After retiring, he became active in municipal, provincial, and federal politics, as an elder of his church, enjoying beach walks (which always culminated in getting an ice cream) and helping family with home renovation projects. He travelled extensively with his childhood sweetheart Lydia on numerous cruises, sailing trips with friends, and exploring
For the past 3 years, he and Lydia had resided at Pacific Carlton Retirement Community in South Surrey, BC. We would like to thank the staff and residents who helped make it feel like home. He returned to Edmonton in February, his birthplace, after a fall and subsequent complications.
He spent his last days at McTaggart Place with his wife Lydia by his side. The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude for the kindness and care shown to him during his brief stay.
We would also like to extend a special thank you to Shirley Armstrong, his caregiver for almost 3 years. You were a favourite Shirl and took such good care of “Kennet”. You will always be part of the Hollas family.
There will be no funeral service or memorial scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society Research Program would be appreciated.