Steve Hole


Posted: Thursday, June 01, 2006

Former Juneau resident Steve Hole, 60, died of esophageal cancer May 25, 2006, at his home in Roseburg, Ore. An Alaskan for more than two decades, family members said he was a prominent figure in the state's education system in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Hole was born May 22, 1946, in McMinnville, Ore., and grew up there. He was a teacher, Alaska deputy commissioner of education and acting commissioner of education for a year. He was deputy chief of staff in the second administration of Gov. Walter Hickel.

In 1968, he began his teaching career in Klamath Falls, Ore. He moved to Alaska in 1970 as a high school English teacher in the Nome Public Schools. He also taught high school in Barrow for the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs for one year, before being recruited by the Alaska Department of Education in 1974.

Hole was involved in implementing a number of education policy changes of the 1970s and 1980s. He was involved in helping implement the Molly Hootch consent decree, and the startup and support of the regional educational attendance areas. The consent decree gave children in rural Alaska the right and opportunity to attend high school in their home villages. The REAAs, formed from a centralized state-operated rural school system, gave rural Alaskans local control of regional school districts.

Hole for many years was the Department of Education's key legislative liaison.

He earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1968 from Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) at Monmouth. He earned his master's in education administration at the University of Alaska Southeast in the early 1980s. He was an avid outdoorsman.

Hole retired from state government in 1992 and moved to a 60-acre property in Rice, Wash., with his wife. He later moved to Blaine, Wash., and, three years ago, to his home on two acres in Roseburg.

He is survived by his widow, Betty of Roseburg; his mother, Mary Ruth Krake of McMinnville; two sisters, Debbie (Dennis) Nissen of McMinnville, and Kathy Stead of Salem, Ore.; two sons with his first wife, Sydney, Kirk (Amber) and Kenneth (Naomi), both of Portland, Ore.; stepdaughters, Brandi (Todd) Fleming of Sitka, and Trisha (Andy) Moss of Hunters, Wash.; stepson, L. Scott (Kelli) Reynoldson, who is stationed at Fort Irwin, Calif.; and five step-grandsons.

The family held a private memorial in McMinnville on May 31.

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