Bolz, Jr., Henry H.
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Pittsford: Brigadier General (Retired) Henry H. Bolz, Jr. died peacefully of natural causes in Rochester, NY on April 27, 2013.
Born to Henry H. and Esther Bolz in Decatur, Illinois on January 30, 1923, Henry had an older sister, Harriet (who predeceased him), and a younger sister, Eunice, who lives outside of Chicago. Known as "Bud" during his younger years, he became "Hank" at West Point and remained Hank throughout his lifetime.
After graduating high school in Decatur as the Second World War began, Hank attended Milliken University and then Purdue University before being drafted into the Army as a private. The Army was training him to be a weatherman at Denison University when, in 1943, he was accepted at West Point. Because of World War II, Hank graduated from West Point in June 1946 on the three year fast track and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Transportation Corps.
Hank met Patricia Matthews from Kingston, New York in 1947. They were married in 1948. Between 1949 and 1957, five children were born to Hank and Pat: Henry III ("Huck"), Patricia ("Dusty"), Elsbeth ("Beth"), Leslie ("Lisa") and Paul Frederick. Posts in the United States where Hank and family were stationed included Virginia (Ft. Myers and Ft. Eustis), New York (West Point), Kansas (Ft. Leavenworth) and Missouri (St. Louis). In 1962 Hank was assigned to Heidelberg and then to Berlin, Germany. Upon returning to the United States, his assignments included Norfolk, Virginia, three years at the Pentagon, a tour in Vietnam, back to St. Louis and, finally, Ft. Totten, New York. Hank was promoted to Brigadier General in 1971 (no small feat for a Transportation Corps officer). He completed his military career living in Quarters No. 1 at Ft. Totten, New York in 1975. During his whirlwind military career, Hank obtained a Masters Degree at the University of Michigan, graduated from the National War College and qualified to fly Huey helicopters.
Hank's wartime experience began as a plebe at West Point, where he patrolled along the western shore of the Hudson River with a M1 rifle on his shoulder keeping watch for Nazi submarines. Beginning in August 1950, Hank spent a year in Korea inside the very small and dangerous Pusan perimeter. While in Korea, Hank saw the United States break out and push North towards the 38th Parallel. Finally, in 1969-1970 Hank spent a year in Vietnam as a full Colonel responsible for, among many other things, the logistics involved in moving howitzer rounds from Oakland, California to advanced artillery fire bases near the DMZ.
Upon retirement from the Army, Hank became the Dean of Administration at the Columbia Greene County Community College. Hank re-retired to Schoharie, New York in 1980. Unable to "put down roots," even in retirement, Hank and Pat moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and then to Rochester, New York. After 57½ years of marriage, Pat died on January 30, 2006.
Hank wore many "hats" during his lifetime - son, brother, student, potential meteorologist, cadet, commissioned officer, husband, professor, pilot, astute investor, dean, father of 5, grandfather of 15 and great grandfather of 7. He was greatly loved and will be sorely missed by all. In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be made to the Benincasa Hospice at 3880 Rush-Mendon Road, Mendon, NY 14506.
Hank's bonds with West Point spanned almost 70 years. He attended his 65th Reunion of the Class of 1946 in 2011. He truly embodied West point's motto "Duty Honor Country". In death, Hank will join the Long Gray Line when he is buried at West Point, New York, alongside of Pat. Funeral services, with full military honors, will be held at the Old Cadet Chapel at West Point at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2013. To share a memory of Hank or to send a condolence to the family, visit www.anthonychapels.com.
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on May 1, 2013
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