SARANAC LAKE - Bernard J. Bola, 88, formerly of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, died Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at Massena Memorial Hospital.
Born in Lake Placid on Dec. 1, 1924, he was the son of George and Helen "Victoria" (McMillan) Bola.
Mr. Bola graduated from Lake Placid High School in June of 1943. He was a member of the American Legion Post 326 Lake Placid and the Saranac Lake Elks Club BPOE 1508 from 1947 to 2013, becoming a life member in 1994.
Mr. Bola served in the 10th Mountain Division, retired as a sergeant 1945 and was a member of the Purple Heart Society.
Mr. Bola worked in his teens for his father who was a building contractor and Master Carpenter. After graduating from Lake Placid High School in 1943, Mr. Bola joined the United States Army and was inducted at Camp Upton. He then went to Camp Hale, Colo. where he joined the 10th Mountain Division. Mr. Bola earned the rank of sergeant and saw overseas action in the Northern Apennine of Italy. Sgt. Bola was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star medal and commendation as well as the Good Conduct Medal and numerous ribbons for theaters of operation.
When Mr. Bola returned to Lake Placid after the war, he worked as a carpenter for his father's business. In June 1947, he married Catherine J. Madden, who predeceased him. In July 1947, he started working for Madden's Transfer and Storage until retiring in 1984 to take care of his wife Catherine.
Mr. Bola remarried Theresa B. Smart on Dec. 31, 1985. She predeceased him on Dec. 13, 2006. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling, golfing, skiing, boating hiking, winters in Florida and in his later years living with his daughter and son-in-law.
He is survived by one son, James Bola and wife Jayne O'Neill of Williamsville; his daughter, Nancy Ploof and husband James of Winthrop; his sister, Barbara Fragassi of Rochester; his grandson, Mark LeClair of St. Louis, Mo.; his great granddaughter, Teegan LeClair of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother; three brothers: John, George and Leo Bola; and one sister, Mary Toner.
Calling hours will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday Jan. 26 at St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid. Burial will take place at St. Bernard's Cemetery in Saranac Lake in May.
Friends wishing to remember Bernard J. Bola may make memorial contributions to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence County or a charity of their choice in care of the funeral home.
Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.