John T. Bolen, 89, of Pulaski, passed away at his residence on February 1, 2009. John was the beloved husband of Mildred Elkins Bolen for 48 years. John was born in Mercer County, W.Va. on December 1, 1919 and lived in Mullens, W.Va. He was the son of the late Lewis Gilbert Bolen, Sr. and Ora Brammer Bolen. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Mildred Nunn Bolen and one brother, Lewis G. Bolen, Jr. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Diane B. Goff and her husband Jim of Smith Mountain Lake; brother and sister-in-law Gerald E. and Lois Bolen of Pulaski; sister, Eloise Bolen, St. Augustine, Fl.; grandson John E. Goff and his wife, Eileen of Clifton, Va.; granddaughter Leslie G. McDow and her husband Will of Durham, N.C.; five great-grandchildren Jullian Goff, Stephen Goff, Caitlin Goff, Laura McDow, and Florence McDow; sister-in-law and husband Laura E. and J.B. Brillheart, Jr., of Pulaski. Also surviving are nieces, Mildred E. Bolen, Alice B. Fordham, Beth B. Moore, Shirley Repass, and Jodi Staunch; nephews Lewis G. Bolen, III. and Jay B. Brillheart, III. While attending Concord College, John joined the US Army Air Force in 1942 and obtained his pilot license. He trained as an Army Glider pilot and became a glider pilot instructor. He subsequently trained as a single and twin engine pilot. Having served as a twin engine pilot instructor for two years, John was transferred and trained as a B-17 bomber pilot and served until 1945. Upon discharge from the military, John enrolled at Virginia Polytechnical Institute and graduated in the class of 1950 with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He worked at Hercules Aerospace Division primarily at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant for thirty-five years. He worked there as an engineer, plant maintenance superintendent, and plant engineering superintendent retiring in 1985. John served the Town of Pulaski as trustee of the cemetery fund, member and chairman of zoning appeals, member of the grievance committee, and as an elected member of town council. His service to the community spanned twenty-one years. He was a member of the American Legion and a member of the board of directors of the Randolph House, an adult home for assisted living. Upon closing the home, The Randolph House Foundation was formed as a benevolent foundation of which John served as President of the Foundation Board of Directors. John’s service to the community spanned twenty-one years. John has been a member of the First United Methodist Church for fifty-three years where he served in many capacities and made many wonderful friends.
Family visitation will be Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Stevens Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, Pulaski with Rev. Hugh Kilgore officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Memory Gardens, Dublin, Va.
Arrangements by Stevens Funeral Home, Inc., Pulaski, Va.