James M. Bolen, age 76, of East Tawas died Wednesday, March 31, 2010, peacefully at his home with his family by his side.
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He was born on Dec. 6, 1933, in East Tawas to the late John Sr. and Helen (Klenow) Bolen. Jim married the former Ila Armstead on Jan. 18, 1963. Jim and Ila were blessed with 47 years of marriage and formed their lives around their love for each other and that of their family.
Jim proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958. Jim was the owner of Bolen Trucking Company and was in partnership with his younger brother, Michael, with Bolen Asphalt Paving. Jim was passionate about the excavating and road building industry and enjoyed working side-by-side with many family members and employees who also became part of his extended family. Jim wasn't a typical owner of a company and most days he could be found working side-by-side with the team, operating equipment and driving his trucks.
Jim was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in East Tawas where, at an early age, he served as an altar boy, followed by various councils and a member of the church choir. He served on the East Tawas City Park Board from 1966 serving as the chairman.
During the winter months, Jim and Ila enjoyed traveling. Each winter found them in their familiar Florida home surrounded by many lifelong friends. Trips to Rome, Ireland, Scotland and visiting the Holy Land were among some of their most memorable. Together, Jim and Ila had a passion for golfing and spent hours on the course truly enjoying each others company.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Ila; two sisters, Kathleen Bolen of East Tawas and Judy (Roger) Brasseur of Saginaw; two brothers, Donald (Diana) Bolen of East Tawas and Michael (Janice) Bolen of East Tawas; four sisters-in-law, Viola Valent of Whittemore, Lillian Armstead of Whittemore, Onylea Armstead of Hale and Mary Bolen of East Tawas. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews as well as great and great-great-nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, John Jr., Bernard and Robert; four brothers-in-law, John, Donald, Orval and Norris; and two sisters-in-law, Blanche and Shirley. Ila, his family and friends were the center of Jim's life.
The family received friends at Buresh and Kobs Funeral Home in Tawas City on Friday, with a scripture service prayed that evening. Visitation also was on Saturday at the funeral home. A celebration of Jim's life took place on Monday, April 5, at Holy Family Catholic Church in East Tawas with the Rev. Fr. Charles Donajkowski, the Rev. Fr. Lawrence Boks and the Rev. Fr. James Fitzpatrick officiating. The family received friends at the church on Monday until the time of the funeral. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Home Health and Hospice or Holy Family Catholic Church and School in East Tawas. An on-line guest registry is available at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com. Funeral arrangements are by the Buresh and Kobs Funeral Home.
Published in Iosco County News-Herald from Apr. 7 to Apr. 13, 2010