John Hollowed | Obituary

John James Hollowed, Sr. was born May 10, 1957, and passed away on February 21, 2023. He was a successful environmental attorney, beloved brother, caring husband, loving father, and devoted grandfather.

John grew up in Itasca, Illinois in a large, proud Irish-Catholic family. When he was 12, his mother died, and his 5 brothers and sisters became his biggest supporters – relationships that only strengthened as they grew into adulthood. John was a multi-sport athlete, but truly loved football. He played quarterback for the Lake Park High School Lancers. He graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Illinois and a Master of Science in Oceanography from Old Dominion University.

He wandered much of the country as a young man, exploring and making friends everywhere he went, a skill at which he was particularly gifted. But his restless spirit settled when he met the love of his life, Anne, during graduate school.

After graduation, Anne and John traveled to Seattle, Washington on a whim and immediately fell in love with its natural beauty. John graduated from Law School at Seattle University in 1987and began a career as a fearless advocate for land and water rights for the Indian Tribes of the Pacifific Northwest. John worked in a county prosecutor’s offifice, the Department of Justice, and as a fifisheries manager with the Yakama Indian Nation. He then joined the Northwest Indian Fisheries Fisheries Commission where he served for over 35 years in various capacities: policy analyst, director of habitat services and legal advisor. In 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States affifirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in “United States v. Washington,” known as the Culvert Case. This case was built on John’s vision and foundational research – a decision that will lead to enduring environmental protections for generations to come.

John and Anne raised their children to appreciate the natural world as much as they did. John loved to hike, camp, fifish, hunt, and ski, but more than anything else, he loved to sail. There were regular trips to the San Juan Islands, always fraught with adventure (and not infrequently, mechanical issues that may or may not have been avoidable), and even an exploration of the Virgin Islands. He loved the ocean nearly as much as his fifirst mate, Anne.

He was a devoted father and grandfather, who was the fifirst to cheer for a base hit. He watched his daughter’s ballet performances with as much attentiveness as he did the last pitch in the 9th inning (although he was a lot less likely to give pointers in ballet, to everyone’s delight). He couldn’t have been prouder that all three of his children became doctors, devoting their lives to helping others. He was a best friend to his three grandchildren and was enthralled with their imaginations and love for life, as they seemed to be the only ones who could match his. His care did not stop at the boundaries of his family, he touched the lives of so many and was a father-fifigure, or “Papa-John,” to countless people.

John was a life-coach, friend, concerned father, supportive brother, engaged grandpa and just a darn good listener for his sprawling group of family and friends. Whether you needed help with a flflat tire, or just wanted to complain about the toughness of the modern quarterback, he was your man. Affable, available, and most certainly engaged.

John is survived by his wife Anne Hollowed; children, John Hollowed Jr. (Cherish), Madolyn Krengel (Oliver) and Thomas Hollowed (Morgan Flake); three grandchildren; and siblings Mary Tretter (David), Patricia Anderson (Jonathan), Robert Hollowed (Barbara), Thomas Hollowed (Danae), and Maureen Raistrick (David); as well as a large extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Maureen Hollowed.

The memorial will be held at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church on March 4th, 2023 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flflowers, memorial donations can be made to the Institute of Latin American Concern at Creighton University, Old Dominion University School of Oceanography, Earth Justice or the charity of your choice.