Current Biloxi mayor reflects on A.J. Holloway's lasting legacy

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - On the eve of the funeral of longtime Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway, the city's current Mayor FoFo Gilich talked to WLOX about some of his favorite memories of Holloway and the legacy he leaves behind.

FoFo Gilich is the only other person elected to serve as Mayor of Biloxi in the last quarter of a century.

Mayor Gilich said it's hard to imagine serving for as long as Holloway did, a total of 22 years. "It's full time nonstop and the job that he accomplished and the legacy that he left for us to move Biloxi forward in the manner in which he did is hard to believe," Gilich said.

Gilich's first memories of Holloway came long before either men sat in the mayor's chair. Gilich talks with pride about remembering Holloway's great runs on the football field.

"Everybody went to every Biloxi High game including my dad, it was the whole town and they were behind him as the star running back," Gilich said. "It's a great time just remembering those days."

During Holloway's five and a half terms as Mayor, Vincent Creel worked with him for 20 of those years. Creel thinks one of his best qualities was observing and sizing up a situation.

"He had a great ability to listen to people," Creel said. "He could sit there with a poker face and you couldn't sit there and listen to everything you had to say. A lot of times he let me hang myself, but the greatest thing about him was his ability to sit there quietly and listen."

Holloway navigated the city through the early days of gaming and Hurricane Katrina. Gilich believes Biloxi is in good position thanks to the Holloway laying the ground work.

"A.J. was on the rising tide of the situation and I think right now we're poised," Gilich said.

Services for Holloway are set for Friday. Visitation will be on from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Nativity BVM Cathedral, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at noon. He will be laid to rest at Southern Memorial Park.

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