Robert "Bob" Bolger

Born in Coon Rapids, Iowa on February 26, 1936

Departed on October 20, 2020 and resided in Brentwood, Tennessee

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Robert “Bob” Bolger, age 84 of Brentwood, Tennessee, was born to Glenn and Ruth Bolger on the family farm in Coon Rapids, Iowa, on February 26, 1936. He passed away on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee.

Bob was a patriot who loved his country. He served with honor in the United States Air Force, Air National Guard and Selective Service for 28 years, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Bob was hardworking with a stellar career. After graduating in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University in 1957, Bob started his career as an Engineer for Exxon and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He loyally progressed into various management and department head leadership roles. In 1976, he was transferred to Houston, Texas to lead the consolidation, integration and centralization for Exxon’s mathematics and computing department. His career culminated in his appointment as President of NPC Services, where he lead a massive environmental cleanup site in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Bob’s life was spiritually guided by his devout Christian belief and values. He was a long-standing member of Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He loved chamber music and was a passionate member of chancel choirs his entire life starting at the early age of three years old. After moving to Brentwood, Tennessee, Bob and Carolyn attended Brentwood United Methodist Church.

Most notably, Bob was a very devoted and proud family man…a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn (Hopkins) Bolger; his 7 children: Robert M. Bolger (Janie), Philip C. Bolger (Mary Ann), Deborah Bolger Cantrell (Bob), Sandra Bolger Blount (Charles), Susan Bolger Edmonston (Richard), Randall E. Bolger (Rachel), and Jeffrey K. Bolger (Laura); his siblings: Carolyn Connor (Paul), Alan Bolger, Janice Bolger, and Joel Bolger (Cheryl); his 20 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; and his brother-in-law Bill Smith.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents Glenn and Ruth Bolger; his sister Nancy Smith; and brother-in-law Paul Connor.

Bob’s very large family and many friends remember him as a Christian man of intellect, honor, humor, loyalty, hard work, and leadership. He valued actions more than words; but when he spoke, he relished taking you along on colorful rides through his grand journeys in life from pride toward his family, lessons learned from his hard work, his military experiences, and his exciting travels around the world with his loving and devoted wife, Carolyn. Bob was one of a kind.

The family will receive friends from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. on Monday, October 26th at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home. A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday in the chapel of Harpeth Hills Funeral Home with Reverend Casey Orr officiating. Interment will follow in the Garden of Peace of Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s honor to either Broadmoor United Methodist Church (Baton Rouge, LA) directed toward the Chancel Choir expense fund at or Brentwood Methodist Church directed toward the worship and arts department at

Due to COVID-19, the family requests that attendees please wear a mask and practice social distancing. For those unable to attend in person, the funeral service may be viewed virtually. A link to the video stream will be updated on this page shortly.

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14 Comments to Robert "Bob" Bolger

  1. Nick & Donna Taras
    October 22, 2020 9:19 pm

    May his memory be eternal……..✝️

  2. Cathy Parker
    October 22, 2020 9:35 pm

    Very nice and respected man. Met him a couple of times and could tell he was a great and caring father. My best friends dad. Sorry for your families loss.

  3. Philip Bolger
    October 23, 2020 9:30 am

    Dad, thanks for everything I learned from you. You will be missed. Love you forever.

  4. Sandra Blount
    October 23, 2020 10:11 am

    Dad, you raised and guided us all through life, making sure we all went to college and earned a degree, you helped keep our cars running so many times, you loved us all immensely and unconditionally, and you leaving us has left such a void now in our family. Dad, thanks for all of your advice through the years; the most important thing you taught me was when you said, ‘You learn more by listening than talking.’
    Dad, we listened to you and we learned from your wisdom and the examples you set for us.
    Dad, I love you and will miss you so much!

  5. Art Ordoyne
    October 23, 2020 11:54 am

    Bob was my host in 1966 when I interviewed with Humble (now Exxon). He was my supervisor and a very effective leader. In 1970 after the birth of my youngest son he exiided me to Billings,Montana for 1 year. This assignment proved to the best learning opportunity possible. Bob was a. friend and will be missed. God Bless.

  6. Alexandra and Christopher Pappas
    October 23, 2020 3:04 pm

    So sorry for your loss. May his memory be eternal 🙏 God grant you and your family with strength and comfort during this difficult time.

  7. JE Smith
    October 23, 2020 3:06 pm

    I worked with Bob when he was Department Head of Shop and Construction at the Baton Rouge Refinery. I remember when he became Department Head, he told me his door was always open and to come in anytime and to let him know if I wanted to talk business, because he might have a joke to tell me. He said that after we talked business he would tell me his joke anyway. I spent most of my office visits sitting on the corner of his desk and he had his feet propped up. He was a very unique individual and I have lots of fond memories from our time working together. He was a great leader and a pleasure to work with. Praying for the Family. JE Smith

  8. Kathy n Skip Eglet
    October 23, 2020 9:15 pm

    Philip,Carolyn and family,
    It comes with great sadness for the passing of Bob. We will always remember him as a gentle person who loved his wife dearly, as well as, his legacy. RIP Bob.
    We regret that we are unable to comfort you at this time. Because of Covid-19, quarantine commitment to FRA and, early departure on Monday AM our visits are limited. Kathy has a Dr appt on Friday AM. We are driving back to Seattle which takes 4 full days. Please know that our love and thoughts are with all of you.
    Kathy n Skip. 🥰

  9. Jim Duplantis
    October 24, 2020 10:36 am

    My sincere condolences to Carolyn and the family. Bob was my boss in the Refinery many years ago. I will always remember him for his friendship and his military background. May he rest in peace.

    I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers, I know Bob will be missed.

    God Bless you all!

    Jim Duplantis

  10. Deborah Cantrell
    October 24, 2020 2:13 pm

    Dad, when you married mom you adopted us and raised us as your own. Not many men would take that on. We blended our families and your 4 our mom’s 3 became your 7 and became our version of “the brady bunch” our Bolger bunch. Great times on vacation car trips with 7 kids and 2 adults all in one car! If not for you I would not be who I am today. I love you and miss you terribly. You will live on in many hearts forever!

  11. Lisa ODell
    October 24, 2020 2:39 pm

    Phil, I am so sorry about the loss of your father. He sounds like a wonderful man who cherished his family. I know you and the rest of your family will cherish fond memories of him forever.
    All the very best,

  12. Darlene Fuehring
    October 25, 2020 11:40 am

    Darlene Fuehring
    My prayer for Carol, and self and our Kids and Grands and Greats, “May love and gratitude alway fill our memories as well as our souls”. Bob G. will always be a part of us!

    October 26, 2020 9:24 am

    Bob was a strong and quiet man with a quick wit that I got to see from time to time. I did not get to be around him in the early years, but more so in his later years. He raised my siblings as his own and he loved my blended mom until the day he died and beyond. I became part of that big, extended loving family that I was not born into. I spent time yesterday at Phil’s house, and I looked around at all the family…grown children, grandchildren…great grandchildren. Such a big and wonderful family all gathering to say goodbye to a father, brother, grandfather…brother. You made a real difference in this world Bob Bolger, and your legacy will live on through all of those you leave behind. God Speed Bob. Your earth mission was a great success.

  14. Roland and Joan Wright
    November 2, 2020 10:31 pm

    It has been a joy to know you, Bob, and Carol, during the short time we have all been here at the Heritage. We have known you as a very wise and intelligent man as well as a good man.

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