The Rev. Hébert Winslow Bolles, Portsmouth


The Rev. Hébert Winslow Bolles, 88, of 45 DeArruda Terrace, Portsmouth, RI, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family after a long illness on April 6, 2013. He was the husband of Elizabeth (Bambi) Sands Elliot who was, in every way, his life partner.

Known for his kindness, compassion and love of the Lord, Hébert was born in New York, N.Y. on Sept. 30, 1924, the son of Norman Taylor Bolles and Mary Winslow Hébert. Hébert attended Trinity School, New York City and Brown University in the Naval ROTC program, graduating a commissioned ensign in February 1944. He served aboard the USS LST 742 in the South Pacific during World War II. He returned to Brown in 1946, earning an M.A. in Biblical Literature. Hébert went on to the General Theological Seminary in New York where he received his Master of Divinity. He was ordained an Episcopal priest by the Rt. Rev. Granville G. Bennett on Oct. 4, 1951. Hébert served as curate of St. Stephen’s Providence, then chaplain to Brown and RISD students before he became rector of Ascension Wakefield, RI 1953-57. He married Elizabeth Sands Elliot on June 4, 1955 at Trinity Church, Newport, RI. He was called to be the canon pastor of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis from 1957-62.

In 1962, Hébert returned to active duty as a Chaplain for the destroyer Squadron DESDIV 122 in Newport, RI, a highlight being the last "Good Will Cruise" circumnavigating Africa in 1963. He considered it to be, “the finest of what the military is about.” He was the chaplain at the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Boston, Mass. He served as battalion chaplain of the 2/26 Marines in Vietnam, 1966-67 and was awarded the Bronze Star with a combat “V.” Beginning in 1968, he was stationed at NAS Norfolk, Va., then at Argentia, Newfoundland, and finally served as the senior chaplain at NETC Newport, RI. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1979 with an abiding love of ships, African elephants and a sense that, “we’re all in this together.”

Hébert was a member of the R.I. Diocesan Standing Committee. He was the ecumenical officer from 1984-89, and an instructor at the School for Deacons 1982-91, a ministry to which he was deeply committed. Hébert served as interim of St. Paul's Portsmouth, St. Michael's Bristol and, later, was Vicar of St. Andrew's Little Compton (1989-94). He was the chaplain to retired clergy and widows. All the while, he joyfully celebrated monthly Eucharists at the John Clark Nursing Home and he was a frequent pastoral presence at Newport Hospital for over 40 years. To the end, he exuded the same cheerfulness and generosity of spirit that marked his life throughout.

In addition to Bambi, his wife of 57 years, he leaves behind his four children: Elliot Foster Bolles of Stafford, Va., the Rev. Anne Elizabeth Bolles-Beaven of Maplewood, N.J., Paul Hébert Bolles of Manhattan, N.Y., and M. Katherine (Kate) Bragan of Portsmouth, RI. He delighted in his grandchildren: Emma Sands and William Norman Bolles-Beaven of Maplewood, N.J., Stephen Parnell and Allison Lynn Bolles of Stafford, Va., Gwenyth Sands and Lila Foster Bragan of Portsmouth, RI, Julia, Morgan and Jacob Caldwell of Stafford, Va.

Calling hours will be held at St. Columba’s Chapel, 55 Vaucluse Avenue, Middletown, RI on Friday, April 19, 2013 from 4-8 p.m. His funeral will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Trinity Church, 1 Queen Anne Square, Newport, RI. Burial will be private in St. Columba’s Churchyard. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Saint Columba’s Chapel, 55 Vaucluse Ave. Middletown, RI 02842 or to the Wounded Warriors Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.


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