Georgia M. Bolinger, 81, of Anchorage passed away at Anchorage Regional Hospital, on Wednesday, June 12, with family at her side. She was born May 20, 1932, in Longrun, MO, to James B. and Rosa Mae (Adams) McRae and was raised, primarily, in Branson, MO and Menominee and St. Joseph, MI. Her parents moved to Yakima, WA, following her granduation from high school in 1947, when she was barely 15.
She was gifted in many ways. She was offered a full scholarship to Julliard, was eligible for membership in Mensa and could have done almost anything, but she realized early on that what she wanted most in life was home and family. The places where she grew up included some very diverse cultures, with equally diverse cuisines. When she and her young friends got together at one's home, the other girls would be in the living room, gossiping about the things young ladies discuss. Georgia, on the other hand, would be in the kitchen, learning all she could about the dishes the lady of the house prepared.
In Yakima, she married Delmar Lizotte and had two children. That marriage failed, but by 1960 she was working for Burns & Roe, Inc., which was constructing the 100-N site in the Hanford Atomic Works area. It was there, in 1961, that she met Morris S. "Mike" Bolinger, the man she would love and be loved by, for the rest of her days. They married on April 20, 1963 and, shortly thereafter, headed north in two cars, with the children, a Samoyed puppy and anything they could haul. They had been told housing was difficult to find then, so they purchased a house trailer, packed it with other things and had it shipped to Anchorage. Their first month in Alaska was spent camping in Eagle River campground, waiting for the trailer to arrive, while Mike commuted into work with the City of Anchorage.
Georgia worked at a variety of jobs during her life, including the Yakima Police Dept., as a dispatcher and the Port of Anchorage after her arrival here. She and Mike rode out the earthquake of 1964 in the First National Bank parking garage on 5th Avenue. She had taken the last few hours of the day off from work, a very fortuitous choice. The block wall behind her desk at the Port collapsed across it and a steam line by it broke, spraying hot steam over everything in the vicinity. Following various breaks and other employment, she finally retired from Alascom, where she was a long-line operator, in 1996.
In more recent years, she and her husband made a number of trips Outside and toured parts of Europe and the British Isles. She loved the exposure to other cultures and foods, and the opportunity to meet people from other walks of life, but her main focus remained her home. She was a wonderful cook (various family members note that she made what was absolutely the world's best stuffing) and loved to invent new dishes. She could taste, in her mind, various herbs, spices and other ingredients and realize how they would blend in the dishes she prepared. When she worked at the Captain Cook Hotel in the late 1980's, Jens Hansen, then its head chef, often brought her samples from the kitchen to taste and see if she could tell him what was in them, remarking that she had a very discerning palette.
She was also an avid reader, crocheted expertly and had a passion for flowers and gardening. Despite her other interests, however, the thing she most loved in life was her family, particularly her husband reading to her and just sitting with him and talking. Besides everything else, they were each other's best friends.
Georgia was exraordinarily kind and generous. She could and would mother anybody or anything and her ability to provide love and support to those who knew her seemed endless. Children and animals gravitated to her, and until the day she died, she never lost her childlike delight in the world and everything about her. In her heart and at her table, there was always room for "one more."
She is survived by her husband of 50 years, two children, Renee M. Paredes of Wasilla and Morris A. "Reese" Bolinger, of Fitchburg, WI, as well as three granddaughters and seven great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, a son, Skylan M. Lizotte and a half-brother, Elmas Haskins.
At her request there was no funeral, though a graveside ceremony was attended by her immediate family. For those wishing to send remembrances, the family suggests a donation to Kid's Kitchen or Bean's Cafe in Anchorage, the American Lung Association or the Arthritis Foundation, or one's favorite charity.