Charles Dewey Bolton
date of birth December 19 1921
date of death January 1 2016
CHARLES DEWEY BOLTON passed away in his home on January 1, 2016. He was born in Topeka, Kansas, Dec. 19, 1921, to Marion and Oscar Bolton, who soon moved the family to Denver, Colorado, where Charles grew up an only child. In 1932, he became a Chicago Cubs fan, an addiction from which he never escaped. He graduated from Denver’s South High School in 1940. After two years at Oberlin College, Charles served 3 years as a sergeant in the US Army in World War II, mostly in England. He received his BA from Denver University in 1947 (Phi Beta Kappa); the Master’s degree in Sociology from Stanford in 1948; and the PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 1959, where he met and married his wife, Mary Ellen Lund, who preceded him in death in 2012. They had 3 children – Gael, Suzanne, and Jeanni – all still living.
Charles taught briefly at a number of colleges while obtaining his advanced degrees – Colorado College, Denver University, University of Illinois at Chicago – before serving at the University of California at Davis 1959-63. While in California, he also gave lectures on social psychiatry that were duplicated and distributed to all California state mental hospitals; and he served on the California State Prison System Appointment Board. Charles finally settled academically at Portland State in 1964, where he almost immediately became department head, the first of several terms. He was one of the founders of the Urban Studies PhD program, which evolved into the School of Urban Affairs, of which he was Acting Dean in 1979. He also cofounded the Institute on Aging which was initially housed in PSU’s Sociology Department. For several terms, he served on the PSU Faculty Senate, Advisory Council, and many committees. He took phased retirement 1987-90, though teaching volunteer classes until 1994. He maintained a modest publication output throughout his working years, totaling 20 books and journal articles, some jointly with colleagues.
Dr. Bolton enjoyed the outdoor life – hiking and fishing in many areas, particularly the Wallowa and Olympic Mountains. In 1980, he designed and helped build a cabin with a view of Hood River and the Columbia Gorge that was enjoyed by Mary and Chuck, numerous family members and friends for decades. His great love was travel. Mostly with his wife, occasionally with his children, he visited 62 countries, including 3 treks in Nepal, the last at age 70. As a Humanist, Charles actively supported the causes of peace, the environment, and universal justice.
In his late years, Chuck very much appreciated the support of his 3 daughters: Gael, Suzanne and Jeanni. He also enjoyed watching the growing up of his 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. He provided living space and financial assistance to many as they reached college age. He acknowledged to the end that he had been one lucky man! At his request, there will be no memorial service, only a small family gathering to spread Mary’s and Chuck’s ashes.
2 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Crown Memorial Center Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Virginia Westray Chuck was a cherished relative of mine - I'll always honor the many outings and slide shows that he and Mary shared with me in recent years. He and Mary were true inspirations for me in how to live a life!