Funeral arrangements announced for former US Sen. Ernest 'Fritz' Hollings

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Funeral arrangements have been set for a former U.S. Senator who served the Palmetto state for many years.

Ernest ‘Fritz’ Hollings passed Saturday at the age of 97.

The family will receive friends at the James A. McAlister funeral home on Sunday, April 14 at 1620 Savannah Highway from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hollings will then lie in repose at the South Carolina statehouse on Monday April 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A funeral service will happen in the Summerall Chapel at The Citadel from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday April 16. The burial will be private.

“Fierce, bold, and robust – the sounds of Fritz Hollings’ vision and drive for the Palmetto State will continue to be heard by generations," Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement Saturday morning. "The greatness and success of this state has benefited from the hand of his leadership. Peggy and I are heartened at his reunion with Peatsy and offer our prayers and condolences to the family.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Hollings led “one of the most incredible and consequential lives of any member of the Greatest Generation.” With Hollings’ passing, Graham said the state lost one of its “greatest champions and most effective political leaders.”

Hollings served in Congress from 1966 to 2005 and prior to serving as a U.S. senator, Hollings also served as South Carolina’s lieutenant governor from 1955 to 1959, and as governor from 1959 to 1963.

Among Hollings’ noteworthy accomplishments included integrating South Carolina schools, when other states were fighting against it. He also established the state’s technical college system and educational television.

Colleagues paid tribute to Hollings, then 95, at the unveiling of a statue of the retired senator on April 17, 2017, in the garden of the J. Waties Waring Judicial Center.

Among those speaking about Hollings' impact was former Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime friend.

“South Carolina and this incredible city, will be written on his heart [when he dies], and everybody, everybody will know it,” Biden said.

“He often pursued issues ahead of their time,” said Mary Jo Sotille Manning, with the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. “Sometimes at odds with people who had a more conventional frame of mind. He never took a public opinion poll, and at times he paid a heavy price.”

“People may not have agreed with you, but they believed that you believed it, and that will take you a long way in this state,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said.

Rep. James Clyburn said no one will ever be able to understand what Hollings truly means to this state.

Hollings served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945.

His political career began in 1948 when he was elected to the South Carolina General Assembly at age 26.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for president in 1984.

He retired from Congress on Jan. 3, 2005, at age 83. After 38 years,he told Mike Wallace of CBS's "60 Minutes"that he was "sick or raising money to get re-elected," so he was going home to Charleston.

He complained that being a Congressman meant raising about $30,000 per week to get re-elected.

"Now, we don't work here on Fridays," he told Wallace. "We're back home doing fundraisers. You gotta collect money."

For four decades, he was married to Rita Liddy “Peatsy” Hollings, from 1971 until her death in 2012.

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