Harold Christie “Chris” Bolton, Jr.
On Sunday, July 12, 2020, Harold Christie “Chris” Bolton, Jr., age 80, died of natural causes after a battle with dementia. He joins his wife, Nancy L. Bolton in death, who passed away previously on June 28, 2020 from a massive stroke in Lake Forest, IL.
Chris Bolton was born on May 18, 1940 at St.Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, New York City, to parents, Harold and Gertrude Bolton, Sr. who preceded him in death. Chris and his younger sister, Barbara, lived with their family in a walk up apartment on 192 West 10th Street where Chris attended P.S. 41 Elementary School. He and his friends enjoyed stickball in the streets, riding his building’s dumbwaiter between floors as well as jumping across building rooftops down his block. Young Chris was a devout Yankees fan and attended afternoon games with the American Baseball Academy led by the Yankee’s short stop, Phil Rizzuto. He loved meeting players and collecting autographs, Yogi Berra being his proudest signature in Berra’s rookie year.
As jazz musicians and beatniks moved into Greenwich Village, his parents decided to buy a house in Lake Success, Long Island. Chris attended Great Neck High School where he competed on the wrestling team and earned summer money mowing lawns. A trip to his Uncle Claude’s farm in Leslie, Michigan almost cost him his profits when his wallet fell into a corn field while riding a tractor. Thanks to Claude Bolton’s hunting dog, “Cynthia”, the wallet’s scent was located and the story of Chris and his new pet dog made local headlines.
Upon graduating from Great Neck High School, Chris attended Albion College in Albion, Michigan where he met his future wife, Nancy Lee Feiker. At college, he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and worked summers at the Traverse City Country Club to be close to Nancy and her family.
After graduating with an MBA from Michigan State University and a French course at Switzerland’s University of Neuchatel, Chris and Nancy Bolton married and moved to Old Greenwich, Connecticut where they raised a young family with Jennifer and Scott.
Chris began his career with General Foods and Phillip Morris in Product Management serving accounts such as; Post Raisin Bran, Gaines Dog Foods, Face Guard shaving products and the U.S. Marine Corps. During the Vietnam War, Chris completed basic training at Fort Dix and was sent to an Army Reserve Finance Corps in Greenwich, CT. After the war, Chris returned to Madison Avenue advertising agencies; McCann-Erickson and Kenyon & Eckhardt. As an ad man in the “Mad Men” era, he was known for his penchant for Brooks Brother’s suits and scotch on the rocks.
While on the East Coast, family ski weekends were spent at Vermont and Massachusetts resorts where the Bolton children learned to ski. Chris and Nancy also enjoyed skiing trips to Sun Valley, Idaho, Aspen, Co and Zermatt in Switzerland in the 1970s. Summers were spent on Nantucket Island, MA which was a special place for Chris as his parents had set foot on the island in the 1930s as a young couple and continued to bring their families to the sunny beaches for the rest of their lives.
In 1977, Chris took a job with J. Walter Thompson in Chicago and the Bolton family settled in Lake Forest. Here Chris enjoyed golf, squash and tennis with LF friends and supporting his kids’ sporting pursuits. Chris had a gregarious personality and loved to talk, especially when it came to delivering the perfect toast. He would research positive quotes, and anecdotes for family and friends at birthdays, holidays, weddings, and graduations. Some of his favorite one liners were; “Always keep your eye on the bouncing ball”, “Carpe Diem”, and ”A Votre Sante”.
Chris leaves behind his daughter Jennifer, son Scott and daughter-in-law Vicki. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren; Bailey, Ginger, Gordon and Grant as well as his dear sister, Barbara Browne and brother-in-law Gary and nephew Bolton, in Lymington, UK.
In light of current events, the family has chosen to hold a future private event. Chris and Nancy Bolton will be interned at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Leslie, Michigan. The Bolton family would like to recognize Liliana and Isabel Toledano along with the staff of Harbor House Memory Care in Wheeling, IL for their compassionate care of Chris during his final days. In lieu of flowers, the Boltons ask family and friends to consider donations to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, which Chris enjoyed with his late wife Nancy Bolton.