Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0429
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Full Text of HR0429  102nd General Assembly




HR0429LRB102 19710 LAW 28484 r


2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of the
4Honorable Raymond Alan Bolden of Joliet, who passed away on
5August 17, 2021; and
6    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden was born in Chicago to Catherine
7Hester Ray and Adrian Bolden on December 17, 1933; he moved to
8Joliet as a teen and lived with his maternal grandfather,
9Edward "Papa" Ray; he graduated from Joliet Township High
10School in 1951 and Joliet Junior College in 1953; he served in
11the U.S. Air Force; he married Kathleen "Kat" Whitfield in
121956, and they raised three children together before she
13preceded him in death after 38 years of marriage; he earned his
14law degree from the University of Illinois in 1961; he married
15Deborah Hickman McLurkin in 1998; and
16    WHEREAS, Alongside his wife Kat, Judge Bolden was active
17in the Civil Rights Movement, and they battled ceaselessly
18against racial discrimination in housing, employment, and
19education; they partnered on numerous community projects,
20including the Warren-Sharpe Community Center, which they
21co-founded in 1990; he served as president of the Joliet
22Branch of the NAACP during the 1960s, and he later received the
23organization's Lifetime Achievement Award; and



HR0429- 2 -LRB102 19710 LAW 28484 r

1    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden was a trailblazer for over 40 years;
2he served as the first Black assistant state's attorney of
3Will County; he became a renowned criminal defense lawyer; he
4was a brilliant legal strategist and a powerful speaker who
5believed that the law could be a great force for social justice
6and equality; he was appointed the Will County Associate Judge
7in 1986, a post he held with distinction for 14 years;
8following his retirement from the bench, he returned to
9practicing law; he was later reappointed as a circuit court
10judge for a one-year term; and
11    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden was a lifelong member of Sacred
12Heart Parish, where he served in various ministries; alongside
13his wife Deborah, he continued to serve the community through
14the National Hook-Up of Black Women and the Black Bar
15Association of Will County, which he co-founded in 2007; he
16was also a committed White Sox fan; and
17    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden was a warrior for justice known for
18always standing on the side of equality and championing for
19the weak and oppressed; the practice of law was his passion and
20the fulfillment of his dream, but his heart belonged to his
21family; his legacy will live on in those he loved and inspired;



HR0429- 3 -LRB102 19710 LAW 28484 r

1    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden was preceded in death by his
2grandfather; his parents; his brothers, Frank, Joseph, and
3Edward; and his sister, June Bolden; and
4    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden is survived by his wife of 23 years,
5Deborah Bolden; his children, Kathryn "Kay" Bolden, Alan Scott
6(Erika) Bolden, and Joseph "Joe" Bolden; his grandchildren,
7Shayla Grayson, Joshua Bolden, Jeremy (Katie) Bolden, Karyn
8(Dennis) Omogbeme, McKay Bolden, McKenzie Bolden, and Cameron
9Bolden; his great-grandchildren, Ashanti Govan, Kyla Bolden,
10Jacari Bolden, Isaiah Bolden, Harlie Jade Bolden, and Cree
11Bolden; his bonus children, Justin McLurkin and Kimberly
12(David) Wright; his bonus grandchildren, Cole Hughes, Elliott
13Wright, Emerson Wright, Caitlyn McLurkin, and Sydney McLurkin;
14his sister-in-law, Betty (Billy) Byrd, and the entire Byrd
15family; his niece, Linda (Eric) Washington; his nephew, Eugene
16"Geno" Bolden; his special cousins, Barbara "Penni" Williams
17and Sherri Tramel; and his countless friends and relatives;
18therefore, be it
21we mourn the passing of the Honorable Raymond Alan Bolden and
22extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all
23who knew and loved him; and be it further



HR0429- 4 -LRB102 19710 LAW 28484 r

1    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
2presented to the family of Judge Bolden as an expression of our
3deepest sympathy.