A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

Masks are Required at the Mass and Committal Service
OBITUARY

Frank Joseph Bolda

April 13, 1925January 9, 2021

Frank Bolda, age 95, passed away Saturday, January 9, 2021 at his home surrounded by loved ones. He was born April 13, 1925 in Chicago, IL and was raised by his grandparents in the small village of Krasne, Poland. At age 11 he returned to the USA, Chicago, and quickly learned to assimilate in his Polish-American community. After graduating Bowen High School, Frank joined the US Navy in their flight training program. After serving, he continued his education graduating from the University of Illinois as a metallurgical engineer and later completed a Master’s Degree at NYU. He first worked with Southern Railway and then had a long rewarding career with IBM.

He had a competitive spirit and enjoyed swimming, tennis, golf, cards and dancing. He was a life long learner and an avid reader, and an active member of the Polish-American Club, including their dance troupe for several years.

Frank is survived by: daughters Cheryl Toole (Bob), Sue Neal (Tom); son: David Bolda (Elise); grandchildren: Michelle Naylor (William), Mary Turek (Jonathan), Tom Neal (Megan Powell), Shane Toole; great-grandchildren: Hakon and Signe Naylor and Wesley Turek (born on Frank’s 95th Birthday!). He is further survived by several nieces and nephews.

Frank was preceded in death by his wife Catherine Hynes Bolda, his son Donald Bolda, and his sister Mary Fryza.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 1:00 pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Committal Services, with Military Honors, will follow at Raleigh Memorial Park. The Mass will be live streamed (beginning at 12:55 pm) through the Facebook Page of Mitchell Funeral Home at Raleigh Memorial Park and the Graveside Service will be recorded and posted afterwards for those unable to attend in person.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Polish-American Club of the Triangle or to Transitions LifeCare.

If you would like to leave a favorite memory/story of Frank or a message of condolence to his family, you may do so below within "add a memory".

Services

  • A Time of Prayer and Reflection

    Friday, January 15, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, January 16, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Frank Joseph Bolda

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Charles Rudisill

January 19, 2021

My condolences and sympathy to the Family and Friends of Frank. I worked at IBM in the same department with Frank fresh out of NC State, and his office was right around the corner. I will always remember his perpetual good humor, positive demeanor, class and respect for all those he worked with.

Frank had many interesting stories from IBM and his railroad days, several of which I still distinctly remember, such as washing core memory panels used in the Apollo missions in metal wash-tubs. However, one of the stories that stands out the most, was while he was describing his work with the railroad, traveling for extend time periods analyzing, inspecting and welding railroad track. After finishing his technical description of details of this job, Frank got rather somber and serious, and said that he had to quit that job. As Frank related to me, he said that the neighbor next door was feeding his young children cookies and treats while he was traveling for work, and that when the kids started calling the neighbor "daddy", it was time to give that traveling job up.

With Warm Regards and Sympathy, Rest in Peace.
Charles Rudisill

Charles Bennett

January 16, 2021

Dave, Sue, and Cheryl: my sincerest sympathies on the passing of your father. He was a most kind and gentle man, with a towering intellect and work ethic! A rare and special person indeed, whom the world will miss. Best to you all and your families.

Charles Bennett

Mary Turek

January 15, 2021

An incredible dancer with endless energy!

Karl Zorowski

January 15, 2021

Whenever I think of what it is to be a neighbor, I think of Frank (or as I knew him, Mr. Bolda). Although I do remember when your family moved into the house next to ours, I can’t remember life on Pitt Street without picturing him. He was a good man, and a solid fixture in my world in those years. I also recall how much he meant to my grandparents. I know he will be missed.

My prayers go out to the family in this difficult time. May God comfort you in the days to come.

Wabanaki Maine REACH Friends

January 14, 2021

Mary Cagle

January 14, 2021

Frank Bolda was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met. He was a living treasure. The week Michelle graduated from high school, I had the privilege of getting to know him better. He was quiet but smart, witty, fun and full of interesting stories and history. He was a whiz at crossword puzzles. We sat around working crossword puzzles together as a family, and he could guess many words to my one word a night! What a great guy. I look forward to spending time with him again in heaven. His family was blessed to have such a wonderful father and grandfather and great-grandfather.

Mary Turek

January 14, 2021

Darlyne Peterson

January 14, 2021

I wrote a memory earlier, but after I looked at the photos here, I remembered the International Festival downtown where Frank and the others in the Polish American Club ordered a LOT of authentic sausages from up north. When they didn't sell them all at the festival, Frank offered to sell them, so Graham and I took orders from a lot of friends, loaded up our trunk and delivered them. We called our car the "weenie wagon" for that chore. For several years, friends looked forward to buying more sausages, but they had learned how many to order, and we had to let people down!!

Darlyne Peterson

January 14, 2021

I enjoyed working with Frank in the metallurgy branch of the Materials Lab at IBM, for many years... He was delightful to work with - always a smile, and usually made us laugh! After he went on a cruise to Poland and connected with his "roots", he returned to tell us stories of his Polish childhood and of growing up in Chicago - extremely interesting! We were a very close-knit group in the lab. We partied together for special occasions often, so we got to know and enjoy Catherine as well. Graham and I learned the merits of Shoe Goo from Frank! He said he had worn the same pair of tennis shoes for something like 13 years!! Younger people thought they could beat him because he didn't have the latest tennis gear, but they were wrong... He was always very active and healthy, so I'm not surprised he lived such a long life. We lost touch with Frank when he moved to FL, and that made me sad. We are so sorry for your loss, and we're sure he left a large hole in your family. Sincerely, Darlyne and Graham Peterson

Marsha El-Khouri Shiver

January 13, 2021

David, Elise and Family,

Our El-Khouri / Shiver Family Extend our Heartfelt Sympathies to you in the loss of your Dear Father, Frank. Our memories in meeting him, even years ago, are vivid and sweet. He was someone easily liked. And in your Memories of him, we can tell how much he was loved.
Peace to each of you.
God Rest his Soul.

With Love,
Marsha, Claude, Michael and Thomas
Hillsborough NC

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Frank J Bolda’s family are sad to share the news of his death on January 9, 2021. He died at home, in Durham, North Carolina (NC), with his two daughters at his side.

Frank was born April 13, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois to Aniela (Lecki) and Michal (Michael) Bolda. Shortly after his birth, Frank and his sister Mary (m. Fryza) returned to Poland. Frank’s mother died when he was 2, leaving him in the care of his paternal grandparents Blazej and Rozalia (Lazarz) Bolda, after his father and sister returned to Chicago in 1928. In 1936 Frank (Franciszek Josef) age 11, traveled alone by train across Poland, stopping in Warsaw to get his US passport validated, before sailing to New York on the Pilsudski, departing May 6, 1936 from GdynIa to New York.

Frank recalled that people were very nice to him on his journey, and he shared a vivid memory of eating a whole banana, peel and all, because he did not know what it was.

Upon arriving in New York, he headed first to Garrett, Indiana, then to Chicago with his dad. In Chicago, he moved into “Aunt Lottie’s” where his sister Mary also boarded. Frank’s father visited when he could. Michael’s work as a fireman and engineer with B & O Railroad (based in Indiana), kept him traveling.

Until high school Frank’s schooling was conducted in Polish. A former neighbor recalled meeting him, and marveling at how quickly he learned English while playing in Russell Square Park across from where he lived and listening to Cubs baseball games on the radio with “Uncle John.” In high school he caddied at a local public golf course. He was also a courier for the furs department at Marshall Fields, riding underground trains between the store and storage facility, and he worked at RR Donnelley, learning map making. In 1943, Frank graduated from Bowen High School and left the south side the next day to join the US Navy.

Frank began his service at St. Lawrence University before his pre-flight studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and flight training at Pensacola, Florida. He was delayed in completing his program due to illness, during which time he was part of research trials in the use of penicillin. After watching his colleagues await their turn to be called into service, World War II ended just as he was completing his flight training.

After the service, Frank returned to Illinois, living in a gymnasium with other GIs, and completed his BS in Metallurgy at the University of Illinois in 1948. Frank then began work with the Southern Railway. His mentor went on to become president of the railway. It was during this time that he and some buddies enjoyed much merriment including dances in Danville, Virginia, collecting spirits in NC, and attending church dances in Washington, DC. It was at a dance in Washington, DC that Frank met his wife, Catherine Elaine Hynes.

Catherine and Frank married on January 27, 1951, at St. Anthony’s Church in the District of Columbia. That November, their son David Michael was born, followed by Suzanne Marie (m. Neal) in 1954. With a growing family Frank made a career switch, leaving the railway for a company that was advertising new opportunities. They relocated to Poughkeepsie, New York (NY) where Frank begun his lifelong career with IBM, working in the Research and Development Unit as a metallurgical engineer. In 1957, son Donald Francis was born, and daughter Cheryl Elizabeth (m. Toole) was born in 1961. Frank and family moved to Raleigh, NC in 1966, when Frank was tasked with helping to set up the IBM facility in Research Triangle Park, NC.

During his career with IBM, Frank completed his Master’s in Materials Science at NYU, commuting evenings with fellow IBMers. He was granted multiple patents with IBM for new metal plating processes with advanced tensile strength and helped resolve early PC keyboard/radio interference challenges through his research.

In Raleigh, Frank was an avid tennis player, often with his doubles partner daughter Cheryl. He also was a very competitive golfer. Following his retirement, Frank resumed his golf career and hit three holes-in-one!

Frank and Catherine traveled with the Friendship Force to Australia, Russia and Poland. While in Poland, he re-established communication with his cousin who he had not seen since his youth. Frank and Catherine hosted a Polish family who immigrated to the United States, and he took great pleasure in offering support to fellow Poles moving to NC. Frank was a founding member of the Polish American Club and fondly remembered the kiosk he helped construct for the first Raleigh International Festival. He was recruited to the Polish dancers’ group and presented a handsome image in his Polish dance finery.

After he lost Catherine, he struggled to find his footing, and enjoyed traveling with his children. Following a year of mourning, he took all four children and their partners on a Polka Cruise and found his way to becoming a dance partner for the cruise lines on his Alaskan cruise adventure, dancing with the guests and enjoying the incredible scenery. He also traveled to the Pacific northwest, on a whirlwind drive from Seattle, Washington to Montana, and back through the Canadian Rockies with his son Donald. He later traveled with daughter Sue on an extensive tour of Poland.

Thereafter, Frank enjoyed many more years golfing and dancing. He was a much sought-after dance partner in Raleigh and developed a 10-year dance and life-caring partnership with Rita Criswell. They moved first to Carolina Shores (NC) and then Seven Lakes (West End, NC) before they were separated by her failing health in 2007. For the next 10 years Frank maintained his residence in West End, traveling to visit his children in Wisconsin (WI) and Maine (ME). Frank was an eager reader of biographies, WWII and Polish history, and research and news regarding global warming.

After the loss of his son Donald in 2017, Frank decided it was time to move closer to family and he moved to Durham, NC. Frank resided in Durham for the last two years of his life, doing daily sudokus on his computer, and learning all he could about climate change.

Frank is predeceased by his sister, and parents, his son Donald, and his wife Catherine. He is survived by his son David (Elise), Scarborough, ME; his daughters Sue (Tom Neal) in Appleton, WI, and their daughters Michelle (William Naylor) in Minneapolis, MN, and Mary (Jonathan Turek) in Milwaukee, WI, and their son Thomas (Megan Powell) also in Minneapolis, MN; and his daughter Cheryl (Bob Toole) and son Shane, all of Raleigh, NC. Frank is also survived by three great-grandchildren Hakon and Signe Naylor and Wesley Turek (born on Frank’s 95th birthday!).

Frank will be missed by all who knew him, for his kindness, generosity, patience, curiosity, competitive spirit and the twinkle in his eye. He was a great guy and a wonderful father, husband and friend!