Community mourns the loss of Omaha philanthropist Dick Holland

Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 19:08:36-04

He made his money investing with his good friend Warren Buffett, but Dick Holland did not keep his wealth to himself.  Instead he poured millions into our community. 

“He was 95 and lived every moment,” said Omaha Performing Arts President Joan Squires.

Those close to Dick Holland say he was passionate, intelligent and extremely witty.  But overall, Holland will be remembered for his generosity. 

"It's okay to give while you're alive. I mean he celebrated philanthropy,” said Omaha Performing Arts Board Member Mike Cassling.

In 2005 Holland’s passion for the arts came to life. 

“With the Omaha Performing Arts he has truly transformed Omaha from a cultural standpoint,” said Cassling.

Holland and his late wife Mary donated millions to make the Holland Performing Arts Center a reality. 

“He took great joy in sitting in his box and listening to a performance and particularly watching the audience,” said Squires. 

Omaha Performing Arts President Joan Squires says the legacy Dick Holland leaves behind goes beyond the big building at the corner of 13th and Douglas. 

“Rarely did he say no to a worthy cause,” said Squires.

Holland funded projects at UNMC, UNO, the Child Saving Institute and the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, just to name a few. 

“There isn’t probably a person in Omaha or even throughout the state who hasn't benefited from Mr. Holland's vision and generosity,” said Victoria Kohout.

Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Executive Director Victoria Kohout says Holland truly touched everyone he came in contact with. 

“He challenged you to be a better person.  He wanted you to use what resources you had, whether or not that was a talent or financial resource, he wanted everyone to do good not just in our community, but in the world,” said Kohout.