Ed Hollenbach is remembered as a fierce man with passion for his family and career. 

Born April 13, 1939, in Connersville, Ed was the son of the late Edward D. and Ruby M. (Bruns) Hollenbach. Throughout his life, he had only worked three jobs, but each one laid out the stepping-stones for an incredible life of accomplishment.

His first was with the United States Army. His second was working with Proctor and Gamble as a research chemist for 33 years. After only recently retiring from Proctor and Gamble, Hollenbach was then appointed as Franklin County Emergency Management Agency director, a position he held for 25 years.

Hollenbach took this position to stay busy, according to his good friend and late police chief, Tom Helms. His time was already well-occupied with a woodworking academy and building a cherry roll-top desk, but he chose to accept the position regardless. His obligatory hours, at first, ranged from four-six hours a week. Now, since he didn't have an office, Hollenbach held all required meetings at his house, despite undergoing mass remodeling. This remodeling served as entertainment to those in the meeting, since watching the progress was fascinating.

Eventually, Hollenbach moved to the courthouse basement and set up his official office. Even though there was a lack of windows, Hollenbach claims the office worked nicely, even if he had no idea what was happening outside. One such incident Hollenbach remembered vividly was a scheduled chief's meeting and he had received a call from the president of the chief's association about whether the meeting was still taking place. This is because Hollenbach had been unaware that four inches of snow lay outside at the time.

Hollenbach claimed it was his commitment that kept him on the job. He and his wife, Jane, were able to travel often, touring Biltmore, South Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin. They even traveled across the Magnolia Bridge; a memorable time as they were desperately trying not to fly off due to a semi driving next to them. 

Unfortunately, while the position itself was calm, it was after September 11, 2001, that everything grew exponentially. NIMS, or National Incident Management System, knew who was in charge and delegated authority. This led to several county officials becoming involved in multiple emergency processes. According to Hollenbach, he held a three-inch binder filled to the brim with plans. One of them, covering terrorism, had a binder all to itself. 

Another memorable time for Hollenbach was when Hurricane Ike swept through the state. So many people were left without power and water, and he had to search the county just to find people a place to clean up. He used the county park shower house, which had thankfully just opened and made the glaring issue an easy fix.

After retiring for good, Hollenbach claimed that he would still enjoy woodworking, and had planned on building the largest set of Lincoln Logs for his family. He wanted to teach his grandkids about America, so naturally, the small and standard Lincoln Logs sets needed to be bigger. This was important to Hollenbach, who held his values and morals close. His wife and family, their comfort, and his time in their lives to make memories and lasting impacts were the biggest part of his plans. That's what it was all about for Ed Hollenbach.

Edward John Hollenbach passed away on July 20, 2022, in his Brookville residence. He was 83 years old. He is survived by his wife, the former Jane Robinson. Also surviving him are his two children, Chris Hollenbach of Brookville and Kim Hollenbach of Washington State, and his brother Richard Hollenbach of Brookville. Hollenbach had seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

Ed Hollenbach will be missed for the dedication he showed his country, his town, and his family. 

Tuesday, July 26, Franklin County Commissioners declared July 20 "Ed Hollenbach Day" in remembrance of Hollenbach's years of selfless service to the community.

Source: Jan. 1 2020 Brookville Democrat/American, “Hollenbach retires after 25 years of service” by Makenna Mays