Ronald T. “RT” Bolen, 83, of Derry died Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, to join his wife Jane. He was born Dec. 30, 1935, in Livermore, a son of the late Harry Thompson and Ruby Bell Shields Bolen.
Ron was the youngest boy of nine children. He was raised in a farming family in the Livermore River Valley of Clarksburg. He participated in FFA and was a running back at Elders Ridge High School. Following high school, Ron worked various jobs until he entered the police academy in 1965 at IUP. Following graduation, he got his start in law enforcement with the Blairsville Police Department in 1957. He then became a police officer in Latrobe until 1965. In 1966, he accepted a position with the Derry Borough Police Department as a patrolman, and in 1980, earned the rank of police chief until his retirement in December of 1993 with a total of 35 years in law enforcement. After retirement, he worked at Chestnut Ridge Golf Course until 2012.
Ron was also involved within his community as a Derry Area School Board member for many years. While a school board member, he had the opportunity to hand many of his children their high school diploma as they walked across the stage. In 1993, he was elected to Derry Borough Council, and in 1996, he was elected as mayor and re-elected in 2000.
Over the years, he had worked with many nonprofit organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police, Indiana-Westmoreland Council of Government and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He had been a board member of the Derry Area Ambulance, the Derry Water Authority and a constable. He was a lifetime member of the Derry Ukrainian Club and a devoted 35-year member of the Salvation Army.
When he wasn’t working, volunteering or being part of politics, Ron enjoyed hunting at the Bolen farm, fishing at the Derry Rod & Gun lake and swimming with his kids. He was an avid gardener and devoted Steeler fan.
In addition to his parents, Ron was preceded by his loving wife, Jane Elizabeth Palmer Bolen; two sons, Ronald Richard and Michael Paul Bolen; a daughter, Nancy Elizabeth Cox; seven brothers, Archie, Harland, Robert, William and Melvin Bolen, and two sisters, Nellie Bolen and Gladys Coffman.
Ron is survived by his children, Sue Bolen (Kenny Ankeny), Mark Bolen (Kim), Janie Clark (John), Randy Bolen (Lori), Tracy Piper (Joseph), all of Derry, and Billie Jo Lloyd (David) of McDonald and David “Moe” Bolen (Jodie) of Latrobe; a son-in-law, Dave Cox of New Derry; a sister, Carrie Spudy (William) of Pitcairn; 16 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the McCabe Funeral Home, 300 W. Third Ave., Derry, where a service will be conducted 11 a.m. Monday with Chaplain Don Hezlep officiating.
Private interment will made in Blairsville Cemetery, Blairsville.
Anyone who is planning to donate food is asked to save it for the Celebration of Life dinner after the funeral service at A.V. Germano Hall, W. Second Street, Derry.
Online condolences may be made to www.mccabefuneralhomespa.com.