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George C. Bolden passed away on Sunday, April 14, 2013 surrounded by his family.

He was born in Hazlehurst, Georgia on September 12, 1924 to the late Jerry and Mattie Lou Bolden. A loving husband, father and grandfather, George lived a rich and faith-filled life. Growing up during The Great Depression, he graduated from high school in Plant City focused on his studies and was a multi-year letterman in football. In May, 1943, he enlisted in the US Navy where he served on the USS Intrepid as a gun emplacement captain. "The Fighting I", has one of the most distinguished service records of any Navy ship seeing action in the Pacific Theater during WWII. In 1947, George was recruited by the government of the Dominican Republic to provide training to their military on proper methods to outfit their warplanes. After returning from his military-related ventures, he attended the University of Miami before entering a varied and successful business career. George met his lovely wife of 40 years, "Miss Pat", while he was the advertising manager of the Claughton Theater chain in Miami. In 1953, George and Pat owned and operated Shook's Restaurant, a popular, local eatery in Boynton Beach. After building the restaurant into a profitable business, they sold it and George made a career change. Realizing his salesmanship abilities, he went to work for Keller Industries, Inc. in 1955. He held a number of positions of increasing responsibilities until being promoted to Vice-President in 1965. At age 42, George suffered a heart attack and realized a less stressful pace might be a better option. Shortly thereafter he purchased a 600 acre cattle farm in Florahome where his father and brother relocated to join him on his new endeavor. Privately-owned farming was a hard way to make a living, but a great way to get lifelong experience. As a result of this experience and learning that farming meant constant repairing of one thing or another, George realized there was a great opportunity to establish a manufacturing corporation, Bolden Industries, Inc., that specialized in the fabrication of panel and chain link farm gates. As it turned out, the gate business became a good one and the farm was sold in 1969 and the manufacturing facility was moved to Melrose. George operated the factory until he retired in 1986. Among George's pleasures was the love of flying, hunting, and raising horses. Sonny, one of his favorite horses, was a champion at the World Championship of Barrel Racing Futurity in 1998. Along with his hobbies, George was an active member of the Masonic Lodge for over 45 years. He served as an officer in several capacities including two terms as Worshipful Master of the Melrose Masonic Lodge. After presiding as Worshipful Master, he was invited to membership in the honor group of York Rite Masons and named a Knight of the York Cross of Honor. George was also a member of the Morocco Temple Shrine and especially enjoyed participating in their parade events.

George was preceded in death by his wife, Pat; parents, Jerry and Mattie Lou and three brothers, Hank, June, and Bob. George leaves behind his loving family; daughter, Carolyn (Mike) Watson of Raleigh, NC; son, Donny (Carla) Bolden of Debary; sister, Iva (Demp) Smith of Starke; grandchildren, Scott, Stephen, Sarah and Hannah; nieces, nephews and numerous other relatives.

Services will be held Friday, April 19, 10:30am at Eliam Baptist Church, Melrose, with burial following at the Eliam Cemetery. All are invited to a lunch hosted by friends and church members at Eliam Baptist Church immediately after services. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the George Bolden Scholarship Fund by check made payable to Masonic Charities, Inc., P.O. Box 1020, Jacksonville, FL, 32201.

Arrangements are under the care of JONES-GALLAGHER FUNERAL HOME, 340 E. WALKER DR. KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, FL 32656. 352-473-3176.

Funeral Home
Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home & Cremation
340 East Walker Drive
Keystone Heights, FL 32656
(352) 473-3176
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Apr. 17 to Apr. 18, 2013
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