In Loving Memory of

Sandra Lee Bolch


Sandra Lee Bolch of Gainesville, Florida passed away on Saturday, April 8, 2023 on the Eve of Easter at Palm Garden of Gainesville.  She was 85 years old. Sandra was born in Houston, Texas on December 12, 1937.  She was the only child of Melvin and Georgia Lee Talley, owners of the Talley Record Store in Houston.  She attended the University of Texas in Austin, where she met William Emmett Bolch, Jr. on a blind date.  They fell in love and married November 7, 1959. They were an inseparable couple for 44 years until Emmett’s death in 2003.

She was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority at UT-Austin.  They later moved to San Antonio, Texas while Emmett served as Lieutenant at Lackland Air Force Base.  While there, they gave birth to their first child, Wesley Bolch.  They next moved to Berkely, CA while Emmett studied for his doctoral degree, and while there gave birth to their second child, Elizabeth (Betsy) Bolch. They moved to Gainesville, Florida in 1967 with Emmett beginning his academic career in the newly created University of Florida Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences. Sandra became significantly involved in the Engineering Women’s Club. She and Emmett loved to socialize with friends and university colleagues, and they were avid bridge players and movie goers, especially running up to and following the Oscar awards ceremonies. Sandra undertook many responsibilities following the sudden death of Emmett in 2003.

She had a strong inner strength for survival, and was an amazing self-advocate for her physical health which was challenging due to the late-stage impacts of polio, which she had contracted as a teenager.  She loved Gainesville and its people and she is very much missed. Survivors include son Wesley Bolch, daughter Betsy Bolch, granddaughter Caroline Bolch, all of Gainesville, Florida, and granddaughter Charlotte Bolch of Scottsdale, Arizona.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 19 at 3 pm at the chapel of Forest Meadows Cemetery (Central), 4100 NW 39th Avenue in Gainesville.  Expressions of sympathy can be made through donations to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, PO Box 45740, Baltimore, MD 21297-5740.



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