Richard A. Hollis
January 1, 1940 – March 31, 2014
Richard Hollis was a fighter – he had to be! At age 19, he began his lifelong struggle with severe mental illness. You see, he was a member of a very unfortunate minority – those who are stricken with schizophrenia, which afflicts 1 of 100 people throughout the world. Perhaps you have read about soldiers who have volunteered for military service and later suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome after being in combat. Well, talk about traumatic stress, Richard did not volunteer for combat but he had to fight battles against his inner demons every day for 50+ years. And fight he did! Whether while attending the University of Montana or later Illinois College from which he graduated with honors all the while hearing and being tormented by voices only he heard. I’m sure he was often made fun of by young students who couldn’t begin to understand. He had to try so very, very hard each and every day. Before becoming sick, he was a very good athlete and a little league teammate of his later said that Richard could throw a baseball thru a brick wall and was perhaps the best little league baseball player in Springfield when there were only some 12 teams in the whole city. He pitched for the Red Comets coached by his father H. B., which lost the city championship game to a team called the Mud Hens when he was 12. He later played baseball and some basketball for Springfield High. He was also considered a real leader by his friends then. After college, he did menial jobs – such as being a window washer – just to survive and because his illness made it impossible to do the kind of work his education and innate abilities made him more than qualified to do. Richard was also a very nice guy and a very decent human being. I often told Richard that he was the best of us - Martha and Harold Hollis’s five children. Richard had truly lived a quietly heroic life, never complaining or saying “why me?”. If there was the equivalent of The Congressional Medal of Honor for not a few minutes or a day of bravery in battle but for a lifetime of bravely and gracefully fighting against an unconquerable enemy, Richard had surely earned that honor. Some people believe thru suffering we come closer to God. Richard Hollis’s suffering is now over. If there is a God and Heaven - Richard Allen Hollis is there. God Bless and Keep you Richard. by Ken Hollis
Richard A. Hollis
April 16, 2014
Dear Friends and Family of Richard Hollis,
I knew Richard for many years--he was a kind person. I knew him before and after I married my husband Dennis,
Richard came to see our new child each time we had one-----we had four sons!
My first college dance was with Richard.
God Bless you Richard---that perfection you were looking for--it's with God! I know you are finally happy, and whole. Love Barb Curry and sons Dennis, George, Jon, and Kurt
April 9, 2014
That is a wonderful and accurate tribute to Richard written by his brother Ken. I knew Rich from the first grade on and for several years lived just two doors from him. Like Keith and Stan, I was a close friend of his. Yes, Richard was a truly gifted athlete and a lifelong nice guy, but what younger folks may not know is that as a youngster Rich had a big, outgoing sense of humor. I saw him double over in laughter countless times. It broke my heart in later years to see how his affliction had dampened that. Life was not fair to our pal.
April 9, 2014
I was not only a neighbor and played a lot of those great baseball games with him , we were friends . It really is with deep sadness to read of Richards passing.
Rest in peace Richard
April 8, 2014
I played Little League baseball with Richard on the Red Comets the year we played the Mud Hens in the city championship games. He was one heck of a pitcher. I still recall Richard's notebook over-flowing with math papers at SHS. I took him to our high school class reunion, SHS Class of 58, for our 45th reunion. It is my prayer that Richard has found the peace he so richly deserves.