Thomas M. Bolton Jr
Apr 30, 1920 - Feb 22, 2012
Bolton Jr, Thomas M.
April 30, 1920 – February 22, 2012
Of Sacramento, age 91, passed away peacefully in the early afternoon of Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at home, overlooking the bluffs of the beautiful American River. Tom had a full, active and a most accomplished life. He was the kindes and gentlest of souls; a loving husband, a devoted father, and a beaming grandfather.
Tom was born in Oildale, CA, the only son of Thomas M. and Margaret Sutton Bolton. He moved with his family to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1924, where his father served as an executive for Standard Oil of California, Canada. Tom often spoke of his early years in British Columbia, where he enjoyed ice-skating and hockey. The family lived in VAncouver until his graduation from high school in 1938. They relocated back to CA so Tom could attend the University of the Pacific. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942. Upon graduation, Tom answered a call to serve his country by enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He served with distinction on the USS Hailey as a Gunnery Officer from 1942 until 1945. His assignments in the Pacific Theatre culminated in an honorable discharge as a Lieutenant Commander. When asked of his years in the Navy, Tom spoke humbly of his patriotic duty and fondly of his love for the sea. This naval experience provided a special yearning for the rest of his life. He was a true mariner at heart.
Shortly after VJ DAy Tom returned to Palo Alto where he attended graduate school at Stanford University. An incredibly gifted and bright individual, armed with a keen sense of humor and a sharp wit, he obtained a Masters of Science Degree in Business Administration. Upon commencement, Stanford University hired Tom as a faculty member as an instructor of Naval Sciences in the Naval Reserve Officer’s Training Corps. His stay in Palo Alto provided the opportunity to meet his life’s beloved companion, Roberta Robinson. Between the two of them, it was hard to say who was the sharpest and or the most humorous. The match was perfect!
After their marriage, Roberta’s father, Harold Robinson, President and founder of Merchants National Bank quickly coerced Tom to come to Sacramento and work for the Bank. During his 57 years at Merchants, Tom learned the banking business from the ground up. He served in numerous positions starting in operations, progressing to lending and finally learning investments. He ultimately assumed the role of President and CEO in 1978 and served in that capacity until passing the reins to his only son, Thomas R. Bolton in 1996. After the untimely passing of his son in 1999, Tom once again headed the Bank until March of 2000 when Stephen A. Meyers was appointed President. In 2008 upon Tom’s desire to retire, the Board elected Steve Meyers to President and CEO. After his retirement Tom continued to serve as a director and Chairman Emeritus, often being found at his desk for several hours two to three times a week-always greeting clients by name. One of his favorite quips was to ask, “If the interest accrual on the investments and loans was turned on.” The Bank and its employees were an extended family to the entire Tom Bolton Family. The Bolton’s generosity, care and affection of their employees were incomparable. Tom was a true mentor to each one of his co-workers. As in his personal life, the same held true for his vocation as a banker, he led by example.
In addition to being fully devoted to his immediate and “work family” Tom found time and generously shared his talents with many community and charitable organizations; they included Sutter Community Hospitals, the Masonic Order, The Sutter Club, the Sacramento Rotary Club, Del Paso Country Club, the Grandfather’s Club, and the Marguerite Home. In the Rotarian vernacular he exemplified “service above self”; he was “a man for others” fully giving of himself to his family, friends, associates and the community.
Never losing his love for the sea, Toom and his wife Roberta enjoyed cruising around the world; they visited England, France, the Nordic and Eastern Bloc Countries, sailed the Rhine and the Danube, crossed the Panama Canal, the Mediterranean, South America, New Zealand, Australia and many of the Pacific Isles that Tom fell in love with while in the Navy. One of their fondest trips was a voyage around the world.
When not travelling or visitin their coastal Sea Ranch home, Tom and Roberta took great pleasure in their prize show dogs. They loved Boxers but they had a special affinity for Great Danes. Often times, their prized comopanions would grace the Bank’s lobby with their presence. There is no evidence of a bank robbery ever occurring when they were at hand. At home, a 165 lb. lovable Great Dane made for a formidable lap dog!
His son, Thomas R. Bolton, and his wife, Roberta Bolton, predeceased Tom. He is survived by his beloved grandchildren Thomas and Sara Bolton, daughter-in-law, Cecilia Bolton, cousin Yvonne LeMaitre and nepheews, Harold, Forrest and Ross Robinson. Many dear and close friends additionally survive Tom, especially his “extended family” at Merchants National Bank.
The family would like to thank his faithful caregivers, Frewoini Ambafrash and Robyn Davis for their wonderful care of and devotion to Tom over the past three years.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Marguerite Home, Rotary Club of Sacramento, Jesuit High School (Thomas R. Bolton Scholarship Fund) or the SPCA.
Per Tom’s request services will be private.
East Lawn Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane
Private Memorial Services