Edward Henry Bolte, age 87, passed away April 13, 2023.
Ed was born and raised in Cullman, Alabama. The oldest of three sons to Henry and Edna Bolte, Ed liked to recall how the hardships of farm life in 1940’s rural Alabama became apparent to him at a young age. After having as much fun as he could stand on the farm, he escaped to Akron, Ohio at the age of 17 after graduation from high school, worked for six months, and then signed up for a four year hitch in the Navy primarily stationed in the ocean desert of Las Vegas of all places, where he trained as an electrician. Ed would wear his service in the Navy as a badge of honor his entire life. After the Navy, he moved to Nashville and began a lifelong career in the insurance business, but not before having met and married Mary Ellen Dickson, to whom he would remain married for 66 years. Ed and Mary spent their entire life in Brentwood, TN, in the same house. Ed considered himself one of Brentwood’s early settlers, moving there in 1963 and serving as President of the Brentwood Civitan Club at a time when Brentwood was hardly more than a speck on the map. A self-made man in every sense of the word, Ed built his insurance agency, Allstar Insurance, the hard way, one cold call at a time. Ed didn’t actually attend his beloved University of Alabama, or any other college for that matter, but it turns out he didn’t need to. He was whip smart, supremely confident in his knowledge of most all (well, maybe all) matters, and never met a stranger.
Ed was dad to two daughters, Diana and Paula. Ed loved his daughters intensely, but did not baby them, ever, to the point where if you did not know better, you would think he was raising two boys. Ed loved camping, attending his grandsons’ bachelor parties, motorcycle trips (a little later in life), preparing and serving perfectly made Bloody Mary’s on Christmas morning, dove hunting, growing tomatoes, and any activity involving his best friend and brother-in-law Steve Bradford. But most of all, he loved boating and fishing, spending decades on Percy Priest and Old Hickory Lake and leading his extended family of brother and sister-in-laws, and nieces and nephews on numerous family houseboat trips to Center Hill Lake. The many life lessons and values he imparted to his daughters included work ethic, discipline, how to trailer a boat, the art of getting up on a water ski, and the pointlessness of complaining. By the time his grandsons came along, he was still teaching life’s lessons, conveying hard truths pertaining to the extreme undesirability of creating sticky messes, and the inadvisability of getting in too big of a hurry when inappropriate to do so. Anybody should be so lucky as to have Ed as a father, grandfather, great grandfather, father-in-law, brother-in-law, neighbor and friend. He was loyal that way.
Ed faced the vicissitudes of life head on, with equanimity. When faced with the ultimate health challenge at the end, one heard not a single complaint or utterance of self-pity.
Want to honor Ed’s memory? Enjoy a Bloody Mary on Christmas morning, or a scotch on the rocks any time. J&B or Dewars will do.
Ed is survived by his daughters, Diana Bass and Paula (Matt) Harris. Ed was “grandpa” to his four grandsons, Dr. Bennett (Colleen) Harris, Chandler (Samantha) Harris, Clay (Kelly) Harris, and Sam Bass. He was great grandpa to three great grandchildren, Harper Harris, Jack Harris, and Hart Harris.
Ed was predeceased in death by his parents, Henry Bolte and Edna Bolte, brothers Bobby Bolte and Michael Bolte, and devoted wife Mary Bolte.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Alive Hospice Tennessee.