John Francis Bolter, age 72, a native of San Francisco, longtime resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and currently Wilmington, NC, died May 10, 2023 from Alzheimer’s disease.
He was born in 1950 in San Francisco, CA to Oila Larsen Bolter and Bernard John Bolter.
He was a Vietnam era veteran, serving as a corpsman for the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1974, at Balboa Hospital in San Diego, CA and on the USS Ticonderoga. He then entered University of California, Berkeley where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with a BA degree in psychology. He obtained a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of the Pacific, and his Ph.D. in clinical and neuropsychology from University of Memphis in 1983. He reentered the military for his clinical neuropsychology internship at Walter Reed Army Hospital in 1983. He was employed as a clinical neuropsychologist at Fort Ord, California before moving to Baton Rouge where he was employed at the Neuromedical Center as a neuropsychologist and medical psychologist from 1988 to 2017. He served in the Army Reserves until 2001, at the rank of Major. He obtained a post-doctoral master’s degree in psychopharmacology in 1999. His side gig was as a drummer for the classic rock band Blu Rouge.
He published widely in the areas of brain trauma, seizure disorder, and dementia. He assessed and treated thousands of people with those and other disorders. He was active in his state association, serving on the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, President of Louisiana Psychological Association, and a member of Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists, and the advisory council of Spinal Cord and Head Injury Trust Fund of Louisiana. He developed a psychopharmacology education program for postdoctoral psychologists in 1998 and was instrumental in passing legislation in Louisiana in 2004 to allow those specialty trained psychologists to prescribe psychotropic medication to their patients. In honor of his work, he was given an award by the American Psychological Association in 2004 for Professional Advocacy. In 2005, Dr. Bolter was the first civilian psychologist in the United States to write a prescription for medication to treat emotional and behavioral health disorders.
He is survived by his wife Brenda L Dawson, Wilmington, NC, his son Brian John Bolter (Lisa) and grandchildren Bailey and Barrett Bolter, Annapolis, MD, and his daughter Caroline Janice Bolter, Culver City, CA. Also surviving him are his brothers George B Bolter (Barbara) in Janesville, WI, Bernard J Bolter (Kay) in San Francisco, CA and James A Bolter (Susan) also in San Francisco, CA.
He was preceded in death by his infant son Patrick John Bolter, his parents and his stepparents.
Many thanks to Lower Cape Fear Life Care Dementia Program, Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Cape Fear Area Agency on Aging Family Caregiver Support Program, Right At Home, the North Carolina Veterans Home in Kinston, NC and Pruitt Hospice in Kinston, NC. If you wish, charitable donations can be made to Lower Cape Fear Life Care at https://lifecare.org, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 910 796-7903.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.