William (Bill) (Red) Bolka age 89 passed away on November 3, 2017 at Regency Grande Nursing Home. Bill’s wife, children, and other loved ones took turns so that he was visited by one or more family members almost every day over the last six months while he resided in hospitals and nursing homes. Bill was born at home in the Breslau Section of Hanover Township, PA on February 4, 1928 the son of Valentine William and Mary Chicknoski Bolka.
Bill was a Third-Class Petty Officer Cook in the U.S. Navy from September 1945 through January 1949. He spent time on the aircraft carrier USS Tarawa and on the island of Guam. Bill moved to New Jersey to work in Richard Iron Ore Mine. After the mine closed, Bill started working as a U.S. Letter Carrier for the Dover Post Office delivering mail mostly in Mine Hill and retiring after 27 years in 1985. After about 6 months of retirement Bill went to work at Pokorny Sales and Services in Lake Hopatcong, and he retired from there in 2009. About two years after Bill and his second wife were married they bought a house in the Prospect Point Section of Lake Hopatcong where they lived together for almost 50 years until Bill’s last hospitalization.
One of the activities Bill enjoyed was fishing in Lake Hopatcong with his friends and his son. Bill also planted a vegetable garden every summer. His home-grown tomatoes were delicious. For many years Bill maintained an above-the-ground pool for his children and grandchildren in the backyard. For the last 30 some years Bill cooked dinner every night and many holiday meals for the family. Bill considered all of that cooking as “A Labor of Love.” Everyone enjoyed Papa’s turkey, turkey stuffing, and pork chops. For many years Bill enjoyed going with his son to the Jefferson Twp. High School Football Games. Bill loved to watch football and baseball on TV. Since he was originally from PA his favorite teams were the Eagles and the Phillies.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Lois Bolka (nee Winship); daughter Terry Bolka Sheridan (formerly of Jefferson Twp. now in Newton), son-in-law John Sheridan of Jefferson Twp., daughter Valerie Drummond James and son-in-law Lloyd Antonio Drummond James of Wharton, son Christopher Bolka and daughter-in-law Janet Bolka of Jefferson Twp.; Sister Geraldine Montagna of Pittston, PA; Brother Eugene Bolka of Mountain Top, PA; grandchildren Carinn Sheridan (formerly of Jefferson now in Pompton Plains), Christoffer Sheridan of Jefferson Twp., Niko Soto (formerly of Wharton now in Boston, MA), Samantha Bolka of Jefferson Twp., Chloe Bolka of Jefferson Twp., Ann Marie Drummond James of Wharton; cousins Joan and husband William Skewes of Wharton, Delores and husband Art Manburg of Prescott, AZ; friends Mercedes Benjamin, Patrick Metellus, Joanne Ridner; and several nieces and nephews in PA. Bill was predeceased by his brother Stanley Bolka of Hanover Twp., PA, his brother Joseph Bolka of Hanover Twp., PA and his ex-wife Elfrieda Gardener O’Malley from Wharton.
Private arrangements and online condolences through www.smith-taylor-ruggierofuneralhome.com . In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Bill’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or at www.stjude.org.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Private arrangements and online condolences through www.smith-taylor-ruggierofuneralhome.com Donations can be made in his memory to the Fairview Lakes Camps in Newton NJ, SmileTrain, Eleventh-Hour Rescue, or OSCAR, where he adopted two beloved dogs.