|Birth: ||Sep. 16, 1917|
|Death: ||Oct. 24, 2008|
Ben H. Bolen 91, was born on September 16, 1917, at Fancy Gap, Va., to the marriage of Marcus M. and Myrtle Snow Bolen. He departed this life on Friday, October 24, 2008, leaving as survivors, his wife, Edith C. Bolen, of the home; his son and daughter-in-law, Marc and Phyliss Bolen, of Gaithersburg, Md.; and a multitude of good friends from all around this great country. He received his education at Hillsville High School, Hillsville, Va. and Emory and Henry College, of Emory, Va. and later at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Ben, as he was affectionately known to thousands of friends and associates, was employed from 1936 to 1950 with the Virginia Department of Highways, where he was Assistant Resident Engineer, in Henry County, Va. In 1950, he became employed with the Virginia Division of State Parks, where he occupied several capacities until 1982. He was Superintendent of Claytor Lake State Park from 1950 to 1959, Assistant Director of State Parks from 1959 to 1961 and gained the coveted position of Director of State Parks in 1961 where he remained until 1982 when he retired. In addition, he served as Acting Director of the Department of Conservation and Economic Development in 1973 while also serving as Director of State Parks.
He was a member of the Southeastern Association of State Park Directors, National Association of State Park Directors, National Society for Park Resources and Virginia Recreation and Park Society. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Martinsville having served as a former Deacon and Sunday school teacher of Class 19. He had served in the United States Army and the Merchant Marines during World War II. He was a member and past Master of the Hillsville Masonic Lodge #193 A.F. & A. M.
He held many offices during his span in life. A few of those many offices included Life Member of Board of Trustees of National Recreation and Park Association, former President of the National Society for Park Resources, former President of Southeastern Association of State Park Directors, former President of the National Association of State Park Directors, former member of the Board of Directors of the National Society for Park Resources, former Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the Breaks Interstate Park Commission and member of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Advisory Council.
He received many honors over the span of his lifetime. His early childhood in a rural community caused him to enjoy hunting and general outdoor activities. Whether he was walking the Appalachian Trail or moving about locally establishing State Parks, he did it with great gusto and enthusiasm.
Ben enjoyed playing golf and no matter where his travels took him, he could always be found seeking out a good golf course for a day's outing. It gave him an added opportunity to meet new friends and the enjoyment of having them.
His support and love for Fiddler's Conventions was widely known for more than 40 years. He never missed the famous Galax Fiddler's Convention. Seeing his son, Marc, compete on the banjo in many conventions always brought a sparkle in his eye, and when a Blue Ribbon was awarded, he could not contain himself.
Finally, it has been said that he should have the resolve so that when time comes for the separation of our body and spirit, he will be able to meet that separation in peace with our God and all mankind.
The funeral will be conducted from Norris Funeral Services Chapel, Monday, October 27, 2008, at noon with Dr. Dennis Knight officiating. Interment will be in Roselawn Burial Park. The family will receive friends at Norris Funeral Services on Monday at 11 a.m. until the funeral and at other times will be at the home.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, contribution may be made to the First Baptist Church of Martinsville, 23 Starling Ave., Martinsville, Va. 24112.
Norris Funeral Services and Crematory, Martinsville, Va. is serving the Bolen family. Online condolences may be made at www.NorrisFuneral.com.
Published in the Roanoke Times on 10/27/2008
Roselawn Burial Park
Created by: Randy Shepherd
Record added: Oct 27, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30905413