WILLIAM IVAN BOLDEN
Was born on Aug 21, 1935 In the home of his grandparents to Walter and Fern Bolden in Cherryvale Kansas. He was raised in the Cherryvale Christian Church with younger siblings Barry, Sylvia, and Dennis. After graduating Cherryvale high school in 1953, he immediately joined the United States Navy. He served his country proudly from 1953 – 1957 earning the right to be called a Korean Veteran. After being honorably discharged, he used his GI Bill to attended Ozark Bible College. During his college years he sang tenor in the choir, he became the personal piano player for Lowell Mason and travelled around with him for a time but, when he became the piano player for the Kingsman Quartet, he remained with them for over 50 years. Before Bill graduated, he was given the opportunity to begin pastoring his first Christian church in Jericho Springs, Mo. However, he successfully completed his degree from OBC in 1966 and graduated with a Bachelor of Sacred Literature. In 1967 he was ordained by the elders in the Cherryvale Christian Church where he was born and raised and continued holding the pulpit in several Christian churches in the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas until an unexpected stroke in 2007. During Bill’s lifetime many aspects that he enjoyed were the men’s retreat at the Kiamichi Mountains, continuing the ministry at Hidden Haven Christian Church Camp as dean or faculty, just as he enjoyed as a teenager and always using his God given gift to praise the Lord and Bless other’s with the piano and his love of music. Although Bill enjoyed traveling and installing pews for the company garnet church furniture, he loved his last job working for 20 years in the warehouse at Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville, Oklahoma until his retirement in 2001.
In 1963 he married Charlotte Thurman who blessed him with 3 daughters Sue, Sara, and Reba but later ended after 13 years. In Dec of 1985 he married Stella Mapes French gaining a son Christopher French and a few years later Stella blessed him with Amy, the fourth daughter and fifth child completing their family.
Unusually gifted with a musical ability and piano skills seldom heard, only having had 2 lessons at 50 cents each. He was able to play the piano by ear after hearing a song only once. He felt the need to limit his talent to only church hymn’s, contemporary and good old gospel music with the few exceptions being Chariots of Fire and songs from the movie the Sound of Music. This gift slowly slipped away following a life changing stroke, but even after losing the ability of his left hand, he continued playing the piano with his right hand. Due to his declining health, it was his wish to be moved to Collinsville North County Residential Center for the rest of his days. His love and affection that he learned from his parents and siblings were passed on to his children and other family members, throughout his life. Although, Bill has passed on his influence remains as a positive father figure to many, inspirational leader, and humble servant of Christ our Savior.
Bill passed away on August 30, 2019 peacefully surrounded by wife and family at his residence of Collinsville North County Residential Center. He was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Fern Bolden and his sister Sylvia Ross. He is survived by his wife of the home Stella Bolden and brothers Barry Bolden of Columbus, Ks and Dennis and wife Susan Bolden, of Texarkana, Arkansas. Oldest daughter Sue and husband Terry Morrison of Moran, Kansas. Daughter Sara and husband Mike Berryman of Neodesha Kansas. Daughter Reba and husband Thomas Bever of Vera Oklahoma, Son Christopher and wife Felicia French of Chelsea Oklahoma and youngest child Amy and husband Rick Butler of Cleveland Oklahoma. Which includes an honorary daughter Lisa and husband Dave Bondra of Hecla Pennsylvania. In addition to his children he has 18 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, and one grand dog.