HOLLAS, Kenneth Eugene

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 traveled extensively with his childhood sweetheart Lydia on numerous cruises, sailing trips with friends, and exploring across Canada.

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.


Serenity Funeral Service – South Edmonton, (780)450-0101

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Tribute wall - a place to share your memories and condolences

Alec Martin

Thanks to Leslie for forwarding this sad news. We were neighbours in Ottawa and as kids we shared an interest in horses. I still quote Mr Hollas (as I was instructed to call him) for proclaiming that not serving chili at least once a week constituted grounds for divorce. Clearly Mrs Hollas kept up her end of the bargain. Prior to the family’s return to western Canada (to my personal chagrin as I had become quite smitten with his eldest daughter) Ken offered me his ’67 VW Beetle which I accepted with enthusiasm. It soon became roadworthy again and served me well during my years in veterinary school. I confess that as a young teen, I was unaware of the distinguished career he was developing in the RCMP. I am thankful to him, his lovely wife Lydia (whose smile could lift the heaviest of spirits) and their family for being the best of neighbours. A life well lived indeed!

George Heinmiller

Condolences Lydia and family. You will recall that for many years you and Ken were next door neighbours to my parents, George and Joan Heinmiller, in White Rock, Surrey, BC. Both my brother Jim and I really appreciated all the kindness that Ken showed toward George and Joan as he (and Lydia) kept an eye out for our parents well being. Ken was a true gentleman and will be missed.

Randy Munro

So sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. When I visited the “E” Div HQ Staffing office in 1987 to look at my new posting as i/c Recruiting a very kind gentleman in suit and tie greeted me at the office door. He asked what I thought of my transfer and I honestly told him I was an operational police officer and was hesitant about the move to administration. This man, who reminded me off my grandfather, said I reviewed your file and you will fit in very well. He then introduced himself as Ken Hollas, which took my breath away thinking of all the memos I had seen with his signature and the power of his office. Over time I saw him as an outstanding leader, mentor and confidant who set the bar and we in Staffing were all expected to reach it and we did. My favorite retort from the boss, was while he addressed an executive officer from Ottawa who was suggesting an antiquated policy change. The response was, “Your suggestion is a perpetuation of mediocrity”. Bravo. My condolences to Lydia and family.

Nancy McEachern

We are so sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. We remember him fondly and enjoyed our visits with him and Lydia. He was a truly nice and caring person and I know you will all miss him deeply.

George H Powell

Lydia and family. Please accept my sympathy. I worked with Ken in Ottawa and in Vancouver. We shared friendship through a number of struggles. Ken was truly a man of integrity and high standards. I have great memories. I pray that God will comfort you as you relive the good times. Ken is now at peace beyond the struggles of this world.

Larry and Barbara Gallagher

Condolences to Lydia and family.
Larry worked with Ken in Staffing Vancouver and found him to be one of the finest officers he ever worked with. The four of us became friends and we fondly remember meeting them in London England, had a most enjoyable evening together.
They also visited us on Vancouver Island. So sorry for the loss of this wonderful officer and friend.

Gary Compton

My sincere condolences to the Hollas family. May your many friends and church family be a comfort to you at this time. Kathy may remember me from my days at K Div SS and eventually the new service in 1984. Unfortunately I was unable to meet her father before his move to BC.

Barb Haddon

Condolences to Lydia and all of the Hollas family. Ken and Lydia generously had us over for many delicious meals out here in South Surrey. It gave us a chance to see our former neighbours and friends when they visited from Edmonton, and we were treated royally. I will miss Ken’s wonderful smile.


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