Dr. James Duane Bolin, a beloved husband, father, and professor of history, died at home in Murray, Kentucky, on Saturday, August 27, 2022.
Dr. Bolin was born to the late James Wesley Bolin and Cammie Louise (Mann) Bolin on December 12, 1955 in Clinton, Kentucky.
He grew up in Webster County as the son of a pharmacist and Baptist preacher. He was an excellent basketball player at Webster County High School and later for Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. His time on the court was honored in 2021 with his induction into the Webster County High School Athletics Hall of Fame.
Dr. Bolin attended Belmont University for his undergraduate degree and received his PhD in history from the University of Kentucky, specializing in Kentucky and Gilded Age History.
Dr. Bolin served on multiple boards and commissions throughout his professional career, including years of service with Kentucky Humanities, the Kentucky Oral History Commission, and the University Press of Kentucky. He was a member of the Leadership Kentucky Class of 2016 and served in all roles as a passionate advocate for the history and culture of his home state.
He taught thousands of students the value of history and, more importantly, shared his deep kindness and compassion with those same students, family, friends, and strangers. He began his teaching career in secondary schools and later served as a professor at Madisonville Community College, Williams Baptist University, and Murray State University. Dr. Bolin shared his humor and passion for history, music, and poetry in every class.
Dr. Bolin was a published author and columnist, writing stories about his life, faith, and the history of Kentucky in newspapers throughout the region and in multiple published books. He was a member of both St. John's Episcopal Church and First Baptist Church of Murray and led several Sunday school classes and Bible studies throughout his life.
Dr. Bolin shared his kind, soft spoken words with those he met, encouraging many to love others unconditionally and follow their own passions. He was deeply dedicated to his family, which shone throughout his "Home and Away" columns and conversations with friends.
Dr. Bolin is survived by his wife Evelyn (Seaton) Bolin of Murray, Kentucky; son Wesley Bolin and wife Whitney Bolin of Murray, Kentucky; daughter Cammie Jo Bolin and husband Matthew Baker of Albany, New York; and his brother Stephen Bolin and Sharon Bolin of Arcadia, Florida; sister-in-law Rebecca Wilson and husband Lynn; sister-in-law Marilyn Thompson and husband Ken; sister-in-law June Fortner and husband Tim; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father James Wesley Bolin and mother Cammie Louise (Mann) Bolin.
A service honoring Dr. Bolin's life will be held at JH Churchill Funeral Home on Friday, September 2, 2022 at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at the Murray City Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2022 at JH Churchill Funeral Home.
To continue Dr. Bolin's legacy of education, the Bolin family has established the Bolin Family Fund with the Murray Independent School District Foundation for Excellence, MISD Foundation for Excellence, PO Box 1417, Murray, Kentucky 42071 and asks for donations in lieu of flowers for a college scholarship for future educators and historians from Murray High School.
Online condolences can be made at, www.thejhchurchillfuneralhome.com