Soldiers’ home trustees to reopen superintendent search

Holyoke Soldiers’ Home trustees will reopen the search for a new superintendent to lead the facility that was devastated by the coronavirus in the spring of 2020 after their first choice confirmed Tuesday that he will not take the job.

Trustees in April selected Rick Holloway, administrator of the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise, to lead the Massachusetts veterans’ care center.

Last month he said he was reconsidering because of family concerns, but left the door slightly open.

That is no longer the case.

“For now, it’s off the table. Which is too bad, because I wanted to make that move more than anything I’ve wanted in a long time,” Holloway, 62, told Masslive.com. “It’s a beautiful part of the Unites States and I could see myself being at home there.”

National Guard Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, chair of the trustees, said the panel will resume their search.

“The Holyoke Soldiers’ Board is working with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Veterans Services on the recruitment for a permanent superintendent,” Keefe said.

At least 77 residents of the home died after contracting the coronavirus, most last spring. The home’s former superintendent and former medical director have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence charges connected to the deaths.

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