The right medicine
Chamber honors physician as Citizen of the Year
As a teenager, a classmate wrote in Kenneth Holladay's yearbook that he would become a doctor. Even from the time he was a young child, Holladay had been told he would be a physician.
It's a prophesy that proved true for the man who believes God leads people places. Holladay, who plans to retire in May after 43 years of practicing medicine in Eudora, was recognized Saturday night as Eudora's citizen of the year by the Eudora Chamber of Commerce.
"I truly didn't know what to expect when I got here," Holladay said, referring to the tradition that has kept winners in the dark until the annual Chamber dinner.
Past Chamber President Caren Rowland said she wanted to keep it a surprise as long as she could but was certain the ruse would be up in the first few sentences she spoke about him.
Rowland described how this year's citizen of the year grew up in north Lawrence in a house he stilled owned; began the first grade at 4 years old; and began studying at Kansas University at 16, riding his bicycle everywhere.
Rowland also told how Holladay put in time at Research Memorial Hospital in Missouri and two years in the Air Force. At church, Holladay met a Swiss woman, Elisabeth. They later married at Danforth Chapel at KU, where the couple still go to watch sunsets.
With such details clearly pointing to Eudora's long-time physician, Rowland, also a patient of Holladay's, told how at the urging of pharmacist Alf Oleson, whom Holladay said he wished were present, the physician came to Eudora in 1961, with office calls costing about $5.
"People were banging on the doors to get in," Rowland said.
His presence had permeated the community beyond hispatient list, Rowland said.
"He is one of the reasons our nursing home is one of the top in the state," she said.
Even as a small-town doctor, Holladay said he found time for himself, taking as many as four or six weeks off at a time, sometimes to the chagrin of his patients.
"That's how I didn't burn out, I think," he said.
A few years ago, Holladay said he had to run an announcement in the newspaper to squelch a rumor he was retiring. Now that it's true, Holladay said Eudora had a great doctor in Daniel Dickerson, who joined the practice in 2002.
"Although I'm retiring, there will be someone to take my place," he said.
Perhaps as a physician, but Holladay had much to offer as a Eudoran, Rowland said.
"We appreciate that you have given of yourself for many, many years," she said. "Dr. Holladay, you're going to be missed very, very much."