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In Memoriam: Dr Leo Joseph Bolles (1921-2015)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015  
Posted by: Administration
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  Dr. Leo Joseph Bolles
March 10, 1921 ~ March 15, 2015


Leo Joseph Bolles, MD, born March 10, 1921, died peacefully in his home on the night of Sunday, March 15, 2015, surrounded by his friends and family.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota the son of Lee and Gertrude Bolles and brother of Pete and Katherine Bolles, Leo grew up in Montesano, Washington. After a short time in seminary, Leo began his college studies at Grays Harbor College and later transferred to Seattle University. During World War II, Leo enlisted in the Navy, serving on the USS Kennison and rising to the rank of Lieutenant, JG. Upon honorable discharge in 1946, Leo completed his Bachelor of Science degree at Seattle University, and then continued his education in pursuit of a medical degree at the University of Marquette in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he met the love of his life, Margaret Alexa Gengler. With a medical degree and marriage certificate in hand, together they returned to Washington state in 1950. They settled down on Clyde Hill in Bellevue, Washington and began their life together.

After completing his residency and internship at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle in 1953, Dr. Bolles built a successful family practice one patient at a time, with the humble care and deftness of a true country-style doctor. Leo was an independent and free-thinking soul who faced many challenges practicing orthodox medicine in the battle against such stubborn diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. As a result of his tenacious desire to help his patients, he was inexorably led to seek out, develop and pioneer techniques in the art of medicine that would later come to be known as holistic or preventative medicine.

Dr. Bolles was a voracious reader and lifetime learner; he traveled nationally and internationally seeking out physicians and researchers with unique knowledge in the field of holistic medicine. Over the years, Leo incorporated numerous cutting-edge alternative therapies in his patients' treatments with great success. He was a champion of individual liberty, medical freedom, and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, and fought for these rights at every turn.

Dr. Bolles was a founding member and President of the Northwest Academy of Preventative Medicine, a trustee of the John Bastyr College of Medicine, a member of the American Academy of Medical Preventics, and a member of the Orthomolecular Society. His contribution to the practical advancement of alternative medicine was profound and pioneering, and his impact on the health and wellness of his patients was indelible and widespread.

Throughout his life, Leo Bolles had a great love of the outdoors and in particular a passion for farming. As a teenager, he grew five acres of cabbage seed for the Washington State Department of Agriculture. With the proceeds from this endeavor, he funded his college education. Leo never passed up an opportunity to be outside and put his hands in the soil, split some firewood or tend a bee hive. His appreciation for the natural world led to many memorable excursions with his children panning for gold in the foothills, climbing Mt. Si, hiking Denny Creek, clamming and fishing in Birch Bay, and trout fishing in eastern Washington. He also enjoyed golfing as another opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Leo Joseph Bolles was a quiet man, deeply devout; he drew strength from his Catholic faith all through his life. He loved his family deeply and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Leo was preceded in death by his oldest son, Thomas Lee. He is survived by his wife of almost 67 years, Margaret, children Terry Margaret, Kelly Christopher, Edward Carey and David Joseph, and their families, including five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

God has a special place in his heart for you, Leo.

A Latin funeral mass service will be held at Sunset Memorial Park, 1575 145th Pl SE, Bellevue, WA 98007 at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2015 with previewing two hours prior to service and reception thereafter.

Donations in Leo's memory may be made to either of the following:
Holy Redeemer
Roman Catholic Chapel,
11824 10th Avenue Southwest
Seattle, WA 98146-2776
The Union Gospel Mission
318 2nd Avenue Ext S,
Seattle, WA 98104; (206) 622-517

Published in The Seattle Times from Mar. 22 to Mar. 25, 2015

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