Bolton, John Edward

Written by ECA Review


John Edward Bolton, 82 years of age, of Big Valley, Alta. passed away peacefully to be with our Lord, on Jan. 23, 2021.

John was born on Jan. 26, 1938, during a winter storm in Trochu, Alta. to James and Mary Bolton.  

When the children were young, the family moved to a farm in the Fritz Hill/Big Valley area.  John attended Fritz Hill School until Grade 9, then for awhile high school in Big Valley.  

John remained on the family farm to carry on the farming tradition.  He had a great love for his horses, cows and country life.

He was a kind and generous neighbour and friend and was well known as the “community vet.”  Many relied on his expertise with animals and he was always available to lend a helping hand.

On June 4, 1966, John married Joyce Polege.  They set up their own farm a couple of miles away from the family farm.  

To this union were two children, Barry and Deanna.

John and Joyce remained on the family farm with John farming with his son, Barry until his death.  

Over the years John also held other jobs such as working at the hog station at the Stettler Auction Mart and a temporary ranch hand for Chuck Barber at Consort.  

In later years, he was the head train robber of the “infamous Bolton Gang,” for the Alberta Prairie Steam Train excursions.  He enjoyed doing this for over a decade with 792 robberies to his name!

John enjoyed a good visit with all, especially if it involved talking about cows and horses.  

He loved horseback riding, horse-trading, attending rodeos, heavy horse pulls, wagon train excursions, and his weekly trips to the local auction mart and Vern’s Barber Shop.  

He was truly a one of a kind character and a real cowboy at heart. 

People were always drawn to his unique, fun-loving personality.  He will be deeply missed by all but never forgotten.

John is survived by his wife Joyce; children Barry (Trisha) Bolton of Big Valley and Deanna (Dwayne) Dunkle of Castor, Alta.; grandchildren:  Lindy, Brooklyn, Jenessa and Darien; siblings: Sally Hoppe of Boissevain, Man., Elsie Gantz of Lethbridge, Linda (Terry) Cawthorpe of Stettler, Emily (Ron) Benjamin of Stettler and Don (Cathy) Litvak of Stettler; brother-in-law Jim Riggins of Calgary, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends.

John is predeceased by parents Mary and James Bolton; brother Marvin (Moe) Litvak; sister, Ruth Quast (Riggins); stepmother Margaret Litvak; brothers-in-law: Van Hoppe, Marvin Gantz and Charlie Quast.

A private graveside service was held at the Lakeview Cemetery with a celebration of life to be announced at a later date.  

Memorial donations may be made in John’s name to the Kidney Foundation of Canada or to the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.  

Condolences may be forwarded to the family by visiting the website at  Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium were entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements.  For further information please call 403-742-3422.

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