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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bolks (The Spokesman-Review)
Bolks (The Spokesman-Review)

Laurence Albert Bolks

Spokane Valley

Laurence Albert Bolks celebrated his 102nd birthday on Feb. 2. He was born Feb. 2, 1907, in Orange City, Iowa, and has been a resident of Spokane Valley for 102 years.

Bolks met his wife, Virginia, in Spokane through mutual friends. They married in 1935 in Spokane. She died in 1983, after 47 years of marriage.Bolks was the first paper boy to work on Newman Lake, delivering the paper from dock to dock. As a teenager, he played drums in a neighborhood band, a pastime he still enjoys.

He was an office manager for New York Life Insurance for 41 years. He was a reading mentor at McDonald Elementary School for many years. Bolks water-skied until he was 85 years old and also competed in ice skating races in Liberty Lake. He won first place for swimming in the Senior Olympics when he was 91. He has danced for many years with the seniors at CenterPlace in Spokane Valley.

When asked to what he credits his long and healthy life, Bolks mentioned that he always eats to live, rather than living to eat, and eats a lot of fruit. He also credits his faith and relationship with the Lord.

Bolks said his most memorable moment in the past 100 years took place at the end of World War II. His wife’s brother was supposed to have been on the USS Arizona when Pearl Harbor was bombed but had just disembarked the ship and he survived.

Bolks has three children: Patti Tyler, of Spokane; Dianne Lemley, of Newman Lake; and George Bolks, of Spokane Valley. He has five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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