|Birth: ||Sep. 2, 1916|
|Death: ||Apr. 25, 2010|
Frank R. Bolf, a lifelong resident of Floresville, Texas, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 25, 2010. He passed away peacefully in his home at the age of 93 years, 7 months, and 23 days.
Frank was born on Sept. 2, 1916, the second of three children, to Frank Josef and Ellie Neubauer Bolf. After graduation from Floresville High School in 1936, Frank attended Texas A&I University.
In 1939, while working for Floresville Motor Co., a new tractor line was introduced, and Frank began to sell and service the 9N Ford-Ferguson tractors. He then went to work for Bull Stewart Co., the state distributors for Ford-Ferguson, and was responsible for setting up dealerships and teaching personnel throughout South Texas on the new Ferguson power-lift system. During this time, Frank met and worked with Harry Ferguson and many company engineers on the winter test farm in Losoya. New product designs were studied and modified, and Frank effected some of the changes. Frank was featured in numerous farm magazine cover shots, Ford-Ferguson advertisements, and commercials.
In January 1942, Frank volunteered for military service in the U.S. Army/Air Corps. He trained in Yakima, Wash., and graduated at the top of his class as a Hamilton Hydramatic propeller specialist. He was asked to stay in Yakima to teach, but declined, and spent the next 37 months in England assigned to the 306 Bomb Group, 367th Squadron. Being the first bombers over Germany, the squadron soon became known as the famous "Clay Pigeons."
Frank earned the best record in the European Theater of Operations on repair and maintenance of Hamilton Hydramatic propellers for B-17 bombers. He redesigned and revised the propeller governor, correcting a runaway propeller problem. This later became a permanent modification, making the B-17 much safer in combat.
After the war, Frank was a shop manager for the Hughes Tractor company of Edinburg, where he met Mildred McMullen. They were married in 1946, moved back to Floresville, and opened Frank Bolf Tractor Co. and Garage. Frank became a dealer for the Ferguson and Massey Harris lines, which later became Massey Ferguson. Once again, Frank was featured in many Ferguson advertisements. Frank considered it an honor to have known and worked with Harry Ferguson and chief engineer Ed Malovich, and regarded them as two of the greatest engineers the world has ever known.
For many years, Frank and Mildred operated the tractor dealership and general repair and welding shop, farmed vegetables, raised cattle, and did custom herbicide and fertilizer application. Frank's creativity continued as he designed and/or built many prototype machines, including a peanut digger and inverter, hydraulically operated transport wheels on disc harrows, tractor rotary shredders, and the Bolf lift tailgate for freight trucks and trailers. All of these exist in exact form today, more than 60 years later.
Frank attended Texas A&M University and the University of Texas to obtain his secondary teaching certification and became the first auto mechanics teacher at Floresville High School, teaching from 1960 until his retirement in 1979. During this time, he had the highest percentage of students enter the profession of all vocational/industrial programs in Texas.
He loved teaching, and considered his students as his family. He always emphasized good values, a strong work ethic, and high standards. He was a well-respected teacher, and served as a mentor to many young men, following their lives and accomplishments for more than 50 years.
After retirement, Frank worked for his dear friend, Dan Foster, in his oil-field operations. He and Mildred also traveled extensively throughout the United States and to Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
Frank helped organize the original local VFW Post and served as the first chaplain. He was the oldest known Floresville volunteer firefighter, and he recalled going to fires with a chain-drive, solid wheel Model-T fire truck. He also served as assistant fire chief. He was a member of VFW; a lifetime member of the SPJST; and a member of the First Baptist Church in Floresville for more than 60 years.
Frank's passions were God and country, family, friends, teaching, tractors, horses, and music.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 58 years, Mildred Dorothy Bolf; an infant son, Ronald Gene Bolf; his brother, Richard Bolf; and his brothers-in-law, Col. Joseph Hegar and James E. Garvin.
Frank is survived by his daughter, Judy Whitley and husband Robert of Floresville; his sons, Danny Bolf of Floresville and Terry Bolf and wife Patsy of Falls City; six grandchildren, Charly Bolf Martin and husband Gary of Floresville, Kara Bolf and fiancÚ Chad Gann of Seguin, Carolyn Whitley Ham and husband Brian of Floresville, Michael Bolf and Robert "Bobby" Bolf of Floresville, and Kristi Bolf of Falls City; four great-grandchildren, Mia and Sara Ham, Emmalee Martin, and Marlee Gann; a sister, Lucille Hegar of Arlington; his sisters-in-law, Jane Bolf of Poth and Dorothy Garvin of Clearwater, Fla.; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visitation was held Tuesday, April 27, from 5-7 p.m. in the Vinyard Funeral Home Chapel in Floresville.
Funeral services were held Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the funeral home chapel, with Brother Mike Clements, pastor of First Baptist Church, officiating.
Interment followed in the Floresville City Cemetery. Pallbearers were Danny and Terry Bolf, Robert Whitley, Randy Foster, Dale Yeager, and David Wahl. Honorary pallbearers were Jay Dunn, Jim Foster, Joe Holcombe, Weldon Riggs, Harry Rider, Robert Skarke, G.T. Whitley, and all the Floresville High School auto mechanics students from 1960-79.
Frank Joseph Bolf (1888 - 1961)
Ellie A. Bolf (1891 - 1981)
Mildred Dorothy Bolf (1913 - 2005)
Frank R Bolf (1916 - 2010)
Lucile Bolf Hegar (1918 - 2013)*
Floresville City Cemetery
Created by: Carolyn
Record added: Jul 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54605166
In memory of Frank R Bolf|
Added: Oct. 18, 2013