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Richard (Dick) L. Bolin

Posted 2013-06-15 by Sharla
Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff, Arizona,
Saturday, June 15, 2013

Richard (Dick) L. Bolin, 90, passed away peacefully on June 12, 2013, surrounded by his children. Dick was welcomed into this world by his parents, Axel Birger and Eva Luddington Bolin in Burlington, VT on May 13, 1923. He spent his youth in Boston, MA, where he nurtured his love for flying, sailing, and science. His contagious confidence led him to chance meetings with extraordinary people; for example, he volunteered to give the presenter a ride from the airport to a lecture hall at MIT and forged a lifelong friendship with science-fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke.

At 16 years old, he met Jeanne Marie Brown, and ten years later they married. During WWII, he enlisted in the US Army and served in College Station, TX, and California. The first in his family to go to college, his academic credentials include degrees in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in advanced management topics from Harvard Business School. After a short stint as junior research engineer for Humble Oil & Refining Company, he signed on as a consultant for Arthur D. Little, Inc. (ADL) in Cambridge, MA.

This job gave him and Jeanne the opportunity to fulfill their dream to live abroad, starting with work on the development of ”Operation Bootstrap” in Puerto Rico (1957-61), then Mexico City (1961-1974), to direct Latin American operations for ADL. Dick conducted several studies for the Mexican government to assist with economic development in border areas, and his vision resulted in the creation of the first of thousands of “Maquila” export factories throughout Mexico and Central America.

Dick coined the phrase “twin plants” to describe the concept, and became recognized as an expert in the use of industrial parks as foci for effective job creation and infrastructure improvements in developing countries.

In 1974, Dick “retired” and the family moved to Flagstaff, AZ, and his career entered its global phase through his newly established company, International Parks, Inc., and his founding of an association for export processing zones and a research institute. For the next 30 years, Dick and Jeanne continued to travel the world as he consulted on the creation of economic development zones for places such as Damascus, Syria, and Karachi, Pakistan.

Although Dick was very pleased of the work he did in the world, he was most proud of his family. He modeled integrity, excellence, and keeping a positive attitude no matter what the circumstances, to his five children and many grandchildren. There was always science, music, art to learn about, and Dick was the quintessential student, ever demonstrating that life is short: Seize the day!

Dick is survived by his children, Richard, Jr., Douglas (Sharon), Judith Babbitt, Barbara (Tom) Eickmeyer, and Elizabeth, eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and a granddaughter.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to the caregivers and staff at the Peaks Assisted Living Memory Unit, Hospice Compassus, and Flagstaff Medical Center.

Services will be Saturday, June 15th 2pm at Norvel Owens Mortuary. Condolences can sent to the family at

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