George Thomas “Tom” Bolton Jr., a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, departed this world on January 4, 2024. He was born on August 14, 1945 in Atlanta, Georgia, to the late Nell and George Bolton Sr.
Tom is survived by his spouse Carol Jean Bolton, his son George Thomas Bolton III (Michelle), his daughter Wendy Bolton (Les Morrison), his sister Kathy Jolly, his grandson George Thomas Bolton IV, his grandson Jacob Robert Bolton, his stepson Eric Martin, his stepdaughter Christie Martin and her sons Jacob, Christopher and Matthew, and her daughter Josie.
Tom is preceded in death by his brother Gene Bolton and by his step grandson Sandoval.
Tom’s legacy is marked by a life rich with accomplishments and memorable moments.
A proud veteran, Tom began his career serving in the United States Navy, earning an honorable discharge on September 13, 1967. Following the Navy, Tom sought higher education. He earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Belmont Abbey in North Carolina. He was awarded the Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from The Citadel University in South Carolina.
Tom pursued a professional career in insurance attaining the level of Senior VP of Claims at Acceptance Insurance Companies. Then he continued as a high executive for the next sixteen years at Home Insurance Group with which he continued to maintain relationships until his passing. Along the way, he took time off from the insurance industry and tested his entrepreneurial skills owning a restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina called Benn-Benn’s.
Tom was a man of remarkable physical prowess and endurance, and he had an adventurous spirit to match. His hobbies included traveling with his wife Carol, skiing in Utah and running, each of which reflected his zest for life. Tom and Carol traveled overseas often. Their favorite destinations included Australia and New Zealand stayed with friends who they met along the way; and Jordan, Oman and United Arab Emirates.
Notably, Tom achieved an extraordinary feat in 2012 by completing Ironman Arizona that included a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. A familiar face in the running community, he proudly qualified and competed in many marathons, including multiple Boston Marathons.
Tom enjoyed spending time with family and friends and loved telling stories with his brother and sister about growing up as a Bolton and, just as importantly, about lessons learned. These lessons often took the form of colloquialisms recited by his father in daily life. Some of Tom’s favorites included: “The Bolton’s got the foot and mouth disease.” (translation: we have big feet and talk too much), “Don’t tell me about the storms at sea.” (translation: your story is too long, get to the point), “Wish in one hand, spit in the other. See which one gets full first.” (translation: what you have is more valuable than what you desire.) As a child, Tom would often wish for things neither he nor his family had.
Beyond his achievements, Tom will be remembered for his warmth, quick-witted and humorous personality, and unwavering support for those fortunate enough to know him. He was respectful and generous and loved his family deeply while always caring for others.
George Thomas Bolton Jr. is marked by the cherished memories he created with family and friends. As we bid farewell to this remarkable individual, let us celebrate his legacy and the positive impact he had on the lives of those around him. May his spirit continue to inspire us all.
A celebration of life will be held January 27th, 2024 at 10:00 am at the Forest Lawn West Cemetery – 4601 Freedom drive, Charlotte, NC 28208 followed by a reception at Dilworth Grill at 911 E Morehead St Charlotte, NC 28204.