Patricia Hollis, Baroness of Heigham, died on Saturday 13 October at the age of 77, surrounded by her family following a long illness. Baroness Hollis leaves two sons – Simon and Matthew – from her marriage to UEA philosophy professor Martin Hollis, who died in 1998.
UEA Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson has paid tribute, saying, “Patricia was a real powerhouse in the life of both UEA and the city of Norwich and she served both the university and the city admirably. Her loss will be felt by us all. Baroness Hollis was passionate about social justice and was a real force for positive change in politics. All our thoughts are with her friends and family.”
Baroness Hollis was appointed lecturer in Modern History at the University of East Anglia in 1967 and went on to become Dean of the School of English and American Studies from 1988 to 1990.
Early in her career she became involved in local politics, serving on Norwich City Council from 1968 to 1991, and as Leader of the Council from 1983 to 1988. She was made a life peer in 1990 and served as Opposition Whip, and as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions. She was also a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk.
Her partner Alan Howarth, Lord Howarth of Newport, said: “We are hugely proud of Patricia, both as a person and as a politician. Her commitment to serving the interests of the poor and disadvantaged was unwavering and powerfully effective. And she was a great champion of Norwich, the city she led and loved.”