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Mr. Bob Bolen

1926 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Mr. Bob Bolen Obituary
Former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen died at his home early Monday morning.

Mr. Bolen, 87, was the city's longest-serving mayor, serving in that post from 1982 to 1991.

Mr. Bolen, who was known for working more than 60-hour weeks during his nine year tenure, guided the city of Fort Worth to new heights, as the Alliance Airport, American Airlines Maintenance facility and Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility all became reality under his leadership.

"North Texas lost an amazing leader," said Mabrie Jackson, president and CEO of the North Texas Commission, a regional development organization. "Bob Bolen is the true definition of a servant leader from serving the city of Fort Worth as Mayor to continuing to guide future leaders at TCU.

"He changed the face of North Texas for many generations to come."

The Greenwood Funeral Home will be handling arrangements. No information was available early Monday about the visitation or the funeral.

Robert Eugene Bolen was born April 10, 1926, to Milford and Bee Bolen.

His family moved more than 20 times, as his father, nicknamed "Bill," would manage a series of department stores for the McCrory Five and Dime chain, running each store for a year or so before moving on to whichever store the national chain chose to send him next.

As a teenager, Mr. Bolen decided to become an aeronautical engineer, so he chose Texas A&M University in College Station, which wasn't far from Shreveport, La., where his parents lived at the time.

He headed off to college in the 1940s. After one year, he joined the U.S. Navy to serve as a gunnery officer on the U.S.S. Iowa, engaging as he said "in the tail end" of Pacific combat, until he was discharged 33 months later in 1946. He went back to A&M, where he earned a degree in business administration in 1948.

That year, Mr. Bolen began his own career - as a management trainee - with McCrory's, the same chain for which his father worked.

At a McCrory's in Syracuse, N.Y., he met a young woman named Frances Ciborowski, who worked in the business office there.

The two maintained a secret romance because of a company policy that prevented employees from dating each other. Ultimately, Fran was "nicely" told to find another job, after the romance was discovered. She and Mr. Bolen maintained a "telephone romance" until they decided to get married after he was transferred to a McCrory's in Hillsboro.

Mr. Bolen first ran for public office in 1979, when he was elected to represent District 6 on the Fort Worth City Council. One term later, he ran in a special election for mayor.

He held on to that post until he walked away from it in 1991.
Published in Star-Telegram on Jan. 6, 2014
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