James Bolding
{ "" }
Share
Share James's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Bolding, IINovember 3, 1949 - July 31, 2011 STILLWATER Jim Bolding, 62, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, passed away July 31, 2011. He was the son of Doyle and Donna Bolding; the brother of Jeff Bolding; the husband of Denise Marie Hatfield Bolding; and the father of Taylor, age 27, and Tatum, age 25. He is preceded in death by his mother, Donna; and his wife, Denise. Born in Tulsa, his family moved to Oklahoma City where he graduated from US Grant High School in 1968. As an up and coming track and field athlete, Jim was invited to attend and compete for Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. As a Cowboy, he won two NCAA championships in the 400 meter and 440 yard hurdles setting OSU records in the 440 yard hurdles. Jim was named Oklahoma State's Athlete of the Year in 1972, was a two-time All American and the Big 8 Athlete of the Year. Following college, Jim moved to Long Beach, California, to run for the Pacific Coast Running Club and compete internationally. In 1974, he set the world record in the 440 yard hurdles, a record which remains unbroken. Jim was the first athlete to be recognized as the Male Athlete of Year by the US Olympic Committee in 1974. While training for the olympics in Oregon, Jim would meet his future wife, Denise Hatfield, from Eugene, Oregon. Competing in Europe gave rise to Jim's second greatest passion in life - traveling. When his career as an athlete ended, he and Denise returned to Stillwater to start their family. Jim combined his love for the OSU Cowboys with his passion for travel and opened a travel business. Athletic success aside, Jim is best remembered as a loyal friend, loving father, coach and mentor, and one of the nicest and most humble guys you would ever meet. His love for life and for people was reflected in his youthful sense of humor which was always present. He treated everyone with the same level of interest, concern and care. Most of his friends would assume they had a closer relationship with him than the next. That was Jim's special gift. The family wants to thank Jim's many friends and care givers for their love and support. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., at Countryside Baptist Church in Stillwater, OK. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation. You can make a donation online (www.kanziuscancerresearch.org) or by mail at 130 West 8th Street, Erie, PA 16501. Services have been entrusted to Palmer-Funeral Home. www.kanziuscancerresearch.org

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Oklahoman on Aug. 2, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
9 entries
August 16, 2011
I was a teammate of Jim's for one year at OSU and he was the best athlete I ever had the opportunity to know personally. I think he could have played any sport he wanted. But more than that, he was just an extremely decent human being. I had always hoped to reconnect with him one day and was deeply saddened to learn of his passing.
Kirk Coverstone
August 4, 2011
Jim Bolding was one of the greatest track athletes and competitors that I ever knew. From his high school days at U.S. Grant to his 4 years competing at OSU he was a true champion. However as good a runner that he was most will remember him as a geniune, warm and authentic person who had the gift of making everyone who knew him believe that they were his best friend. He had a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh. Jim was a year ahead of me at OSU but some of my fondest memories as an athlete on the OSU track team were jokes and pranks that we played on each other while living in Iba Hall. Whenever my mom would send homemade chocolate chip cookies from home Jim had a way of smelling them before I could even open the box. His room was right across the hall from mine and George Stewart's room and he and Dennis Schultz would come knocking at the door whenever he smelled fresh cookies. He will live on in our memories and there will never be another friend like him. We all loved him as a teammate and friend. God Speed Jim.
Charlie Boatright
OSU teammate 1969 - 1972
Charlie Boatright
August 3, 2011
Jim and I were together on the Track Team my last two years at OSU. He was by far the finest athlete I was ever around and an even better human being. Jim and I talked last Fall about the challenges we both have had with cancer. What struck me was the peace he had made with his situation and the humor he still maintained. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Hal Oswalt
August 3, 2011
The "Cowboy Nation" and our state have lost a gentleman, star athlete, friend and teammate. Our deepest sympathies are extended Taylor and Tatum during this time of great loss.

Bobby & Kay Preston
Bobby Preston
August 2, 2011
I followed Jim at US Grant where Charles Carpenter (no relation) was my coach and when I later ran for OU, Jim's dad gave me summer jobs at an auto parts warehouse. I'll never forget his dad, Doyle, calling me into his office in 1974. He never did that so I thought I'd done something wrong. He closed the door and told me I may the only one in the building that would appreciate what he was going to tell me: "Jim set the world record last night." I couldn't help but tear up. Doyle's quiet approach must have been passed down to Jim. He always stayed humble. When Jim came home he gave the medal he won that night to Gary Lower, his high school coach at Grant and my coach at OU. What a class act. Never met a nicer man. And what a joy it was to see him run.
Rick Carpenter
August 2, 2011
Jim Bolding was not only a great athlete but one of the finest men you could ever hope to meet. We would see each other at OSU track team reunions and he always had kind words to say about track members of my era. We were also neighbors and friends for several of the past few years. Toni and I want to express our condolences and offer our prayers to the family at this most difficult time.

Bill and Toni Stone
August 2, 2011
I was a coach at US Grant when Jim was a student-athlete. If I had to describe Jim in a few words, it would be: "A Christian in Track Shoes." He was a model for everything that is good in life and sports. I don't think that I ever heard him say anything bad about anyone, and he was always available to encourage the younger track men. I think that God decided He wanted to have a track team and wanted to start with the best. There is a new star in Heaven tonight. Thank you Jim for many precious memories.
Charles Carpenter
August 2, 2011
When I moved to OKC in the winter of '67, Jim was one of the first people I had the pleasure of meeting. He worked in a small drugstore and would fix my coke behind the old fashion counter. I attended the same highschool and later the same university. Even while serving coke, he was a gentleman. He made moving to Oklahoma not such a strange experience! I think you Jim for your friendship.
Norma McElwee
August 2, 2011
I am sorry to learn of OUR loss! Jim was a wonderful person and all who met him have lost a great friend! Always smiling and quick with a joke - he just made you feel better when you saw him! I'm sorry for you, Taylor and Tatum, to have lost both of your parents in such a short time, and at such early ages. They were two people I always loved to see.

Sincerely,
Emalee Johnson
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences