Paul Holloway Has Died, Rye Auto Dealer

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Paul J. Holloway

Staff Report

Paul J. Holloway Jr., 84, of Rye, a seacoast auto dealer who touched many lives and donated to many causes, died today, March 14, 2023. He served for 20 years  on the board of trustees of the Community College System of New Hampshire, several years as chairman. He retired from the board earlier this year.

Holloway received an honorary doctorate from the University of New Hampshire, and Holloway Commons at UNH was named in recognition of his significant contributions, along with Holloway Hall at Keene State College, Holloway Auditorium at Plymouth State University, and the Paul J. Holloway Student Success Center at Great Bay Community College.

The president of the Holloway Automotive Group, he owned four car dealerships located in Portsmouth, Greenland, Exeter, and Manchester. A press release from the N.H. Auto Dealers Association said he began his automotive career with General Motors Corporation and purchased his first dealership in Exeter in 1967.

He had been active on numerous automotive boards, committees and councils, and is past chair of the National Automobile Dealer Association, which represents 20,000 dealers nationwide.

Holloway was deeply committed to education in New Hampshire, serving on the University System of New Hampshire board of trustees for 16 years, chairing the board during his final four years. He is a recipient of the Plymouth State College Robert Frost award for outstanding citizenship, and UNH’s Lawrence Whittemore Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his contributions to the school’s programs.

A graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, he was inducted into Temple’s Gallery of Success in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He and his wife Anna Grace Holloway, met while both were students at Temple. They have two children, Debra and Scott, and five grandchildren.

He constantly gave back to worthy causes, frequently donating his own funds to projects benefiting others.  Not long ago, The Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges announced that Anna Grace and Paul Holloway have made a $1 million gift to establish an endowed scholarship for students enrolled at any of the state’s seven community colleges. He gave thousands to community causes, such as food pantries and shelters. 

Called a “titan” of the auto industry by the Auto Dealers Association, he was also involved in other business ventures: He was a partner in a chain of nursing and retirement homes, an air cargo business and the Wentworth by the Sea Marina. 

“For those of us lucky enough to have worked closely with him for years, Paul was more than a role model, he was a beacon lighting the way for all of us to follow. He was never afraid to be the tip of the spear fighting for issues that were important to industry and him and his family.” said Dan Bennett, president of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association.

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