Bruce Frederic Holle

On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Bruce Frederic Holle passed away in Lexington, KY, at the age of 74.

Bruce was born in Chicago, IL, on May 20, 1946, to Raymond Eugene and Rose Lillian Holle, nee Zak. After serving in the Army, he received his PhD in Ancient Greek History from the University of Michigan in 1978 before a dual career in real estate and teaching. On June 27, 1970, he married the love of his life, Paula Jean Holle, nee McConkey, in a union that lasted 44 years until her passing.

Bruce began teaching at the University of Michigan, later moving to the University of Kentucky, where he lectured for 43 years on early Christian and ancient Greek history. He was awarded the Provost Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2010 and received the title of Associate Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2020. His involvement in First-Generation Student Advising, whose mission is to support and advocate for students at UK who are the first in their families to attend college, was personal, as a first-generation student himself. He was known as an irreverent, tough, and caring instructor. Deeply committed to his students, both in their academic and personal lives, he often maintained relationships long after graduation.

In addition to teaching, Bruce held a 16-year career as a realtor for Rector-Hayden Realtors.

Bruce’s appreciation of bourbon and its effect on conversation, and his generosity with both, was well known amongst friends and family. When he wasn’t agonizing over UK basketball, he loved travelling with Paula to the countries whose past he taught about every day. A prominent funder of the UK Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening, the Salvation Army of Central Kentucky,the UK History Club, and many other organizations, Bruce’s personal and public life was always dedicated to lifting up the people around him.

Bruce was preceded in death by his father, Raymond, and his mother, Rose; his brother, Douglas Raymond, and sister-in-law, Louise Ann, nee Chaves; and his beloved wife, Paula. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Sally Ann McConkey; his brother-in-law, Charles Leonard McConkey, and his wife, Rebecca Yuet May Poon; his nephews, Michael Holle, Scott Holle, Michael Broeren, Gregory Broeren (Samantha Broeren); nieces, Allyson Sehy (Zachary Sehy), Sarah McConkey (Keith Harvey), Natalie McConkey (Dale Price); four great nieces and two great nephews; his friends, and the many thousands of students he so loved to mentor and torment.

A virtual service will be held on Sunday, December 20, at 4pm CST. Registration for the event: The family suggests that any memorial donations be sent to the UK Markey Cancer Center Ovarian Cancer Screening Program and the Salvation Army of Central Kentucky. 

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