Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Joseph Daniel ‘Dan’ Hollingsworth

Sunday, March 24, 2024
Joseph Daniel ‘Dan’ Hollingsworth

Joseph Daniel “Dan” Hollingsworth, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home on March 18, 2024. He had spent the day doing the things he loved: preparing to plant this year’s tomatoes, walking his beloved dog Beau, and even making dinner. He had gone out that morning to buy his wife Faye her favorite flowers and his son-in-law a birthday card.

Dan was born on May 14, 1934, in Meridian, Mississippi. He graduated from Meridian High School in 1952 where he cultivated an interest in broadcasting at his high school radio station. After graduating from Meridian Junior College in 1954 with a specialty in Broadcast Engineering, Dan went on to work as a transmitter engineer for WTOK-TV in Meridian.

He soon moved over to the radio division as chief engineer-announcer, and his passion for the radio business took flight. Radio also led him to the love of his life, Beverly Faye Brown, who worked at her father’s drugstore where Dan stopped in regularly before his shifts across the street at WTOK. With only $50 in his pocket and a dream of someday owning his own business, he married Faye in 1955 and they started a family.

As a young man, Dan worked in every facet of radio, from sales and programming to engineering, writing and producing advertising, announcing and sports broadcasting. Following promotions to managing and constructing radio stations in Alabama and Mississippi, at age 34 Dan had the opportunity to purchase KRUS AM/FM, and together he and Faye decided to take a chance and move with their four children to Ruston in 1968.

As Dan built his businesses, he increasingly embraced opportunities to serve his community. He was the founding chairman of Ruston/ Lincoln Crime Stoppers, a former member of Lincoln General Hospital and Ruston Chamber of Commerce Boards of Directors, and president of the Ruston Civic Symphony. In 1992 he received the Louisiana National Guard’s highest Civilian Honor for service to the National Guard during the Gulf War.

Dan’s radio stations in Ruston reflected his commitment to community service and broadcast excellence, with KXKZ winning Radio Station of the Year in Louisiana mid- sized markets for 12 years. Dan became a leader in the industry as a former president of the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters ( LAB), a 9-time Louisiana Associated Press Best Editorial Award winner and a recipient of the LAB’s Lifetime Achievement Award for service to his community.

Coincidentally, he served on the Ruston City Hall/Civic Center Advisory Committee that oversaw the construction of the current City Hall and Civic Center, never imagining that one day he would serve four terms there as the Mayor of Ruston.

Elected in 1998, Dan saw his new role as a way to give back to the city that had given him and his family so much. His tenure brought the city economic growth and development, new and revitalized partnerships with Louisiana Tech, and extensive improvements in infrastructure, all the while insuring the city’s sound financial footing.

Most important, he truly cared about all of Ruston’s citizens and worked tirelessly to improve their safety and preserve Ruston’s beauty and charm.

Dan was awarded the 2012 Louisiana Tech University Artis Scogin Distinguished Service Award for his work with the university, including partnering with the university to help establish Louisiana Tech’s Enterprise Campus project.

He received the 2013 Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Robert E. Russ award, the community’s most prestigious award for community service, and a Distinguished Service Award from Louisiana Tech’s administration and faculty in 2014.

An active member of Trinity Methodist Church, Dan’s Christian faith made him a rare public servant — honest, humble, and selfless, never seeking recognition or the spotlight. In his public and private life, it was second nature to extend himself to help others.

At the end of his final term in office, Dan said, “God has blessed me in so many ways. I have always done work that I loved to do … always enjoyed going to work, no matter what the challenges or obstacles. Public service is particularly gratifying and immensely satisfying when you have a role in making things better for others. But none of this would have been possible had it not been for the constant support and encouragement of my wife Faye.”

In retirement Dan never stopped learning and growing, engaging his family and friends on politics, history, gardening, cooking, music, and many other areas of interest. His Wednesday morning coffee group was a highlight of each week. He had recently begun grafting fruit trees and at age 89, was planning to resume playing the piano for residents at the local nursing homes.

Those who knew Dan well mourn a kind and loyal friend and a faithful and loving husband, father and grandfather.

Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Daniel “Dan” Hollingsworth, Sr. and Marguerite Hollingsworth; his brother, Richard Hollingsworth; his sister, Virginia Harrison; and his granddaughter, Caroline Adelle Semerad.

Dan is survived by his wife of 68 years, Beverly Faye; five children, Beverly Theresa Hollingsworth Vieillescazes ( Pierre), Lauren Adelle Hollingsworth, Margaret Christine Hollingsworth Rabun ( Mike), Joseph Daniel Hollingsworth, III ( Audrey), and Emily Anne Hollingsworth Nientimp ( David); four grandchildren, Emma Louise Vieillescazes, Rachel Hollingsworth, Madeline Nientimp and Daniel Nientimp; one great- granddaughter, Anna Adelle Navarria; his brother Jimmy Jackson Hollingsworth (Lourdes), sister-in-law Faye Wilkinson Hollingsworth and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and celebration of Dan’s life will be held at Trinity Methodist Church in Ruston on Tuesday, March 26, at 11 a.m. Visitation will be held at Trinity Methodist Church from 9 a.m. until the time of service under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Homes in Ruston.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials be made to Samaritan’s Purse or the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www. kilpatrickfuneralhomes. com.