A final farewell to AJ Holloway

Perhaps no other one person means more to Biloxi than former Mayor AJ Holloway. He spent 22 years at the helm of the city, ushering in the era of coastal casinos and then rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina left it all in shambles.

Today, News 25 was at Mayor Holloway’s visitation ceremony as a city said goodbye.

Today in Biloxi, an entire city is mourning the loss of former Mayor AJ Holloway. He’s possibly the man most responsible for the Biloxi we know today. His 22 years in office make him the longest serving mayor in the city’s history. During that time, he kept his finger on the pulse of all things Biloxi.

So Holloway is gone, but he’s left behind a mark on the Gulf Coast that will last for years to come. People from across the Gulf Coast poured into the Cathedral at Nativity BVM, saying their final farewells and sharing their fondest memories of the former mayor.

Holloway didn’t just leave his mark on Biloxi he left an impact on everyone he crossed paths with, starting long before he took office. He was particularly well-known for making a strong first impression. Childhood friend Alvin Baker said, “He loved to play sports, even in the 2nd grade. I was one of the first recipients of one his head butts from football. He hit me right in the mouth with his head.”

Former high school classmate Walter Freeman said, “First time I met him was in P.E. in high school. He knocked me flat on my back, we were playing football.”

Close friend Gary Lechner said, “I describe AJ as one of the greatest things to ever happen to the City of Biloxi. Thank God for AJ, especially with Katrina.”

Longtime friend Susan Hunt said, “AJ was very compassionate about his community, his family, his friends, and his church. I’m very blessed that I was part of that family.”

Holloway is survived by his wife of 56 years, former First Lady of Biloxi Macklyn, their children, his grandchildren, and, of course, an entire city.

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