Robert Bolles #3152, Binghamton NY
Francis Robert Bolles #3152, Binghamton NY
Francis Robert Bolles
For four days, my husband of 52 years held my hand and took his last breath, falling to sleep on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at Lourdes Hospital. Francis Robert Bolles was born on September 7, 1926 to Bernard Edson and Agnes Anastasia (Mahoney) Bolles at Lourdes Hospital.
His father, Bernard was killed in an automobile accident when Fran was 5. Along with his sister Marilyn, they were raised by their mother. Agnes passed away in 1971 and Marilyn Jane Bolles Chompszyak Rushford in 1990. Fran attended St Patrick's School, Binghamton Central, University of Iowa and Harper College. In 1942, at the age of l6, he ran away from home and joined the Canadian Air Force, earned his gunnery wings and became an instructor all at the age of 17. He then transferred back to the US, where he became a member of the Navy Air Force, of which he has been very proud. Fran always had stories about his time in Canada and his military service.
All his life he usually worked two jobs always bettering him mentally and professionally. Early 1950's, Fran worked at Link Aviation for 10 years, which pursued his fascination for aviation and flying. This began in his early years after winning a model airplane building contest. At one time, he was a partner in a small aircraft and well on his way to get his pilots license. He also loved antique cars and had several over the years. He was known for his red convertibles. This interest for automobiles led him to own a used car lot. Opportunity came in 1965, and he established an amusement company, thus the name, "Friendly Fran" the juke-box man. Fran just loved golf. He started playing in 1951 and was a member of the Wild Cat golf league for 50 years and continued playing until 2005.
Fran was very artistic and discovered be had a talent for building and remodeling. For many years he purchased and remodeled houses. He loved to build decks and lay ceramic tile. In 1974, he built our Lake House at BelAire Lake in Pennsylvania. This was a year round house with 6-stall garage and many stone walls. Fran laid every stone, designed and constructed the property. He did this for me. His biggest accomplishment was the purchase and restoration of the Barnes Mansion at 209 Old Pennsylvania Avenue in Binghamton in 1984. We owned the house 17 years and he spent all his time and talents to authenticate it. He received an award from the Preservation Society of Broome County for this effort. Fran was a past Commander of the Maine Legion Post 1390, life member of the VFW in Great Bend, a Baron in the Baronial Society, Member of the Sons of the American Revolution, Iroquois Antique Car Club, Cadillac LaSalle Club, past President of the Bolles Family Association.
On June 7, 1957, he married Mary Jane Fox. Through the years he had many interests: owned a pool hall, collected coins, learned to ski, purchased a cabin cruiser and we boated all around the Finger Lakes. Our marriage has been full of adventures, good times, and numerous friendships. We have said many times we should have written a book of our times together. The years were filled with love, happiness and experiences. Fran was a great guy. Had a sense of humor yet could be so serious and knowledgeable. Very protective of me. He was very supportive and proud of my Credit Union career. My biggest memory is he was such a gentleman, both physically and verbally. Fran enjoyed life and wishes all of you the best. Life is short but memories live forever. Fran, you will always be in my heart. ….. MJ
He is survived by the last Mahoney cousin, Mary Elizabeth Mahoney of Conklin, New York. His sister, Marilyn's children, John (Loretta) Chomyszak, Patricia Buckley, Andrew Rushford, of Syracuse, New York and Pamela Chomyszak of Fort Lauderdale, FL. They will remember their ''Uncle Bob". My family, sister Patricia and Tom Vimislik. their children Mathew, Kyle (Michelle), Sadra, plus my brother Mike and Jane Fox, their children Kristen (Michael) Kinner and Joel Fox, will all remember the family gatherings. Many thanks to Dr. John Miller for his care, concern and dedication over the past 17 years. I will be ever grateful to you for your efforts. Your hard work kept Fran with me a long time.
A Funeral Mass will be offered at 9:30 AM, Monday, March 22 at St. Patrick's Church Leroy Street, Binghamton. Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Candor, NY. Friends may call at the Thomas J. Shea Funeral Home Inc., 137 Robinson Street, Binghamton, Sunday from 2 till 5 pm. In lieu of flowers please remember Fran toast to the good times.
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from March 20 to March 21, 2010:
Fran was one of the Founding Members of the Bolles Family Association and served in several Officer positions, including President. Fran, with wife Mary Jane, hosted the 4th BFA National Reunion in Binghamton, NY in 1982. Fran attended BFA reunions beginning with the first in 1978 through 1995 when his health began to fail, and he also participated in the Bolles Ancestral Tours to England. They usually came in matching outfits…..with lots of family knowledge and enthusiasm to share….and managed to always scout out some area antique stores.