Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0474
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Full Text of SR0474  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate are saddened
3to learn of the death of the Honorable Raymond Alan Bolden of
4Joliet, who passed away on August 17, 2021; and
5    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden was born in Chicago to Catherine
6Hester Ray and Adrian Bolden on December 17, 1933; he moved to
7Joliet as a teen and lived with his maternal grandfather,
8Edward "Papa" Ray; he graduated from Joliet Township High
9School in 1951 and Joliet Junior College in 1953; he served in
10the U.S. Air Force; he married Kathleen "Kat" Whitfield in
111956, and they raised three children together before she
12preceded him in death after 38 years of marriage; he earned his
13law degree from the University of Illinois in 1961; he married
14Deborah Hickman McLurkin in 1998; and
15    WHEREAS, Alongside his wife Kat, Judge Bolden was active
16in the Civil Rights Movement, and they battled ceaselessly
17against racial discrimination in housing, employment, and
18education; they partnered on numerous community projects,
19including the Warren-Sharpe Community Center, which they
20co-founded in 1990; he served as president of the Joliet
21Branch of the NAACP during the 1960s, and he later received the
22organization's Lifetime Achievement Award; and



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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;
23    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden was preceded in death by his



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1grandfather; his parents; his brothers, Frank, Joseph, and
2Edward; and his sister, June Bolden; and
3    WHEREAS, Judge Bolden is survived by his wife of 23 years,
4Deborah Bolden; his children, Kathryn "Kay" Bolden, Alan Scott
5(Erika) Bolden, and Joseph "Joe" Bolden; his grandchildren,
6Shayla Grayson, Joshua Bolden, Jeremy (Katie) Bolden, Karyn
7(Dennis) Omogbeme, McKay Bolden, McKenzie Bolden, and Cameron
8Bolden; his great-grandchildren, Ashanti Govan, Kyla Bolden,
9Jacari Bolden, Isaiah Bolden, Harlie Jade Bolden, and Cree
10Bolden; his bonus children, Justin McLurkin and Kimberly
11(David) Wright; his bonus grandchildren, Cole Hughes, Elliott
12Wright, Emerson Wright, Caitlyn McLurkin, and Sydney McLurkin;
13his sister-in-law, Betty (Billy) Byrd, and the entire Byrd
14family; his niece, Linda (Eric) Washington; his nephew, Eugene
15"Geno" Bolden; his special cousins, Barbara "Penni" Williams
16and Sherri Tramel; and his countless friends and relatives;
17therefore, be it
19ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we mourn the passing of
20the Honorable Raymond Alan Bolden and extend our sincere
21condolences to his family, friends, and all who knew and loved
22him; and be it further
23    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be



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1presented to the family of Judge Bolden as an expression of our
2deepest sympathy.