Dr. Norman BOLKER

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BOLKER, Dr. Norman July 28, 1917 - February 19, 2014 Beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, friend, former Spokane resident Norman Bolker died February 19, 2014 in Corvallis, Oregon. Norman was born in Omaha, Nebraska. From early childhood his ambition was to become a medical doctor. While a medical student he met and married Esther Osheroff, the love of his life. They spent 72 years together until parted by Esther's death in November 2013. Norman was a published writer and poet. He worked summers to put himself through medical school, and he won an intercollegiate award for a poem he wrote as a 19-year-old pre-med student about his experience working one summer on a railroad section gang. He had several poems published in The Prairie Schooner, the literary magazine of the University of Nebraska. Until he was in his late 70s he wrote articles on history and travel, as well as on medical subjects, that were published in various magazines. Norman continued to write poetry for Esther on special occasions throughout their life together. After earning his MD in 1942 from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Norman drove with Esther to Aberdeen, Washington, where he served as a general practitioner and the two started a family. He decided to specialize in radiology and the family moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where he obtained advanced training at the University of Iowa. He became a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology in 1948. The family then lived in Nampa, Idaho for several years. In addition to his radiology practice there, Norman established an AMA-accredited school for x-ray technicians. Norman served as a major in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 to 1956. He was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1956 the family moved to Spokane, where Norman opened his own practice of radiology at the Fifth and Browne Medical Building. Hard working and dedicated to family and community, he was active in civic affairs here, serving as a member of the Human Services Advisory Committee for Spokane, a member of the Health and Public Awareness Committee for the Spokane County Medical Society, and a member of the Washington State Radiation Control Board. Norman and Esther served as regents at Gonzaga University. Norman was president of Crosby Library Associates, president of UJA, and president of the Spokane Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. He was a trustee of the Cheney Cowles Museum. During their years in Spokane Norman and Esther acquired a large collection of art prints, which they donated to Gonzaga University. Norman's guiding principle was to give back to the community. In 1980 after he retired from his medical practice he volunteered for the Indian Health Service in Gallup, New Mexico. He was philanthropic and gave to many charities. Residents of Corvallis, Oregon for the past 20 years, Norman and Esther volunteered at Stone Soup, a free-meal-assistance program. Norman served on the board of the Corvallis OSU Symphony and was active in the Beit Am community. He is survived by his daughters Beth Galleto, Eve Stocker, and Judith Bolker; his son Jim Bolker; granddaughters Francoise Stovall, Audrey Bolker, Rachel Bolker, and Jaime Bolker, and many cousins, nieces and nephews, and friends. A memorial for Norman Bolker will be held on Thursday, February 27, at 1 p.m. at Beit Am, 625 NW 36th Street, Corvallis. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations made in his name to Linn Benton Food Share.

Published in Spokesman-Review on Feb. 25, 2014
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