Wyoming Area School Board member John Bolin died Thursday at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
The 45-year-old Wyoming resident, who was planning to run as an Independent for state Rep. Phyllis Mundy’s seat in November, had been ill with cancer.
Wyoming Borough Mayor Bob Boyer said Bolin died at about 3:50 p.m. surrounded by his brother and all of his sisters, his fiancee, Danielle Tirpak, and some close friends.
“He fought a hell of a battle with cancer for a little over a year,” said Boyer, who called Bolin his friend for about 25 years.
Boyer called Bolin a “community-minded guy” who, in addition to being a school board director, served as a volunteer firefighter, rescue squad member, ambulance attendant, vice president of the Wyoming Fire Department and member of the Wyoming Library Board of Trustees.
“He’s one of those guys who personify a good soul,” Boyer said. “He’s one of the finest, most decent souls I have ever encountered. He’s really going to be missed,” Boyer said.
In honor of Bolin’s memory, the flag at the Wyoming Municipal Building has been placed at half-staff, the borough announced in a news release Thursday night.
Eileen Cirpiani, who is running for Mundy’s seat on the Democratic ticket, said she and Bolin had been acquaintances for about 10 years, which is about how long she has been involved in politics.
“He was a great public servant. He did so much for his community,” Cipriani said, noting Bolin’s service with several of the same organizations Boyer mentioned as well as with the Wyoming Recreation Board.
“There will be big shoes to fill in the Borough of Wyoming,” Cipriani said. “My deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues,” she said.
Aaron Kaufer, who won the Republican nomination for the seat, also remarked on Bolin’s community service, calling him a “great public servant who had a great impact on our area and especially on the students in our area.”
“I’ve known John my whole life. He provided the flowers for my bar mitzvah,” Kaufer said.
Bolin owned Flowers by Lucille, a shop on East 8th Street.
“He was one of the kindest and most gentle people. He really had the best intentions for the people he served,” Kaufer said. “I’m proud to say John was a friend of mine and I’m sure he’s in a better place now.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in St. Anthony of Padua Church of St. Barbara’s Parish, 28 Memorial Ave., Exeter. Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday at the Metcalfe-Shaver-Kopcza Funeral Home Inc., 504 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, and 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Anthony’s Church.