Cover photo for Denise Bolman's Obituary
Denise Bolman Profile Photo

Denise Bolman

September 18, 1932 — April 23, 2024


Denise Bolman

Denise Bolman, 91, of Des Plaines, and a more recent resident of Barrington, passed away peacefully at home on April 23, 2024. She was born on September 18, 1932 in East River Township, Iowa to the late John and Vera Zimmerman.

Denise grew up in Iowa and graduated from high school in New Market, IA. She attended Drake University, in Des Moines, IA, where she majored in music education. She was in a professional music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota, and a member of the Chi Omega sorority. Denise not only pursued her love for music but also found the love of her life, her husband, Paul M. Bolman, Jr., also a Drake music education graduate. On the day they graduated, June 7, 1954, they married and embarked on a lifelong journey together. The couple celebrated 48 beautiful years of music and marriage together until his passing in 2001.

Denise's love for music blossomed into a distinguished career as a music teacher. She began her teaching as a K-12 music teacher and band director in Waukegan, IL.  For many years, she shared her passion with elementary students in District 62 in Des Plaines, IL, at South, Plainfield, Cumberland, Forest, and Central schools. Her dedication and talent left a mark on countless young lives. In addition to her work in the classroom, Denise imparted her musical wisdom through private piano lessons, nurturing the talents of aspiring musicians.

Denise's devotion to music extended beyond the classroom as she served as the Junior Youth Choir accompanist initially, then JYC director at the First Congregational Church in Des Plaines, IL. Denise also served on the Youth Board, and Music Board. After retirement, she continued to spread joy through music by directing a community senior choir for several years, and later in playing the French horn as a member of the New Horizons Concert Band, contributing her melodic talents to the local music community. Denise loved playing piano at family gatherings, leading sing-a-longs.

Beyond her musical pursuits, Denise was a voracious reader, belonging to several book clubs. She embraced life with a zest for adventure. She found solace and joy in traveling, especially relishing the warmth of the sun on cruises with her cherished family and best friends.

Denise was very active in various organizations over the years;
AAUW (American Association of University Women),  ILMEA (Illinois Music Education Association), NAfME (National Association for Music 
Education), North Shore  Concert Band Auxiliary in support of Paul’s performances, PEO (Philanthropic Education Association), and so many others.

Denise also thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge for many years during this time.

Family was very important to Denise, and there was nothing she loved more than being a mother to her children and “Mamaw” to her grandchildren. She cherished bringing family together for all holidays and birthday celebrations, and fostering a fun, loving, and supportive environment for every single family member in their own special way. She is survived by her loving children, Cathy (Ken) Williams, Caron (Scott) Gibbert, Scott (Beth) Bolman and Sue (George) Devereux; grandchildren Nicole (Javier) Martinez, Ryan (Kate) Legare, Wesley Gibbert (Rachel Zemke), Samantha (Michael) Robbins, Derek, Matthew, Allison and Chad Bolman, Mary (Patrick) Birk and Paul Devereux; great-grandchildren, Alexis, Catelynn, Kaylee, Nathan, Lucy, Elly, Solomon and Ella.  She is now reunited in heaven with her husband, Paul; her parents Vera (née Hughes) and John Zimmerman, as well as beloved aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Visitation will be held on Monday, April 29, from 2:30-4:30 p.m., until the funeral service at 4:30 p.m., at Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 149 W. Main St. (Lake Cook Rd.), Barrington, IL 60010. Interment will be private.

While Denise especially loved spring flowers, donations may also be made to Northshore Concert Band, 1555 Sherman Ave., Suite 315, Evanston, IL 60201, or to the First Congregational Church of Des Plaines, Music Fund, 766 Graceland Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60016.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Denise Bolman, please visit our flower store.


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