John McCallie Bolinger, noted psychiatrist whose bounteous good cheer and unshakable belief in a world that holds hope for everyone, died Saturday, May 28, 2005, while climbing Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
His death was an apparent heart attack. He was 55.
His infectious laugh, his love of running and his zealous support of the University of Tennessee football program were his trademarks, but Dr. Bolinger over his 30-year career quietly paid for the education of scores of young people too poor in spirit and finances to dream. He paid private school tuitions and college tuitions and rarely spoke of his good works. The statement: "Dr. Bolinger saved my life" was often heard during this week of his death.
Once when asked what was the meaning of being a psychiatrist, Dr. Bolinger replied, "My job is to alleviate suffering and instill hope."
Born in New Jersey, Dr. Bolinger graduated from Davidson College and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. In addition to his private practice, he held teaching appointments at area high schools and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
A devout Episcopalian, he was a member of Thankful Memorial Episcopal Church. He held memberships in numerous professional groups and was also a member of the University of Tennessee's President's Club.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Helen Marie McCallie Bolinger.
Dr. Bolinger is survived by his father, John C. Bolinger Jr., Knoxville; sister, Janet Harrington, Los Altos, Calif.; a brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Jeannie Bolinger, San Diego, Calif.; nephew, Jake Bolinger, New York City; and three nieces, Katie Harrington, Los Angeles, Madeline McCallie Bolinger and Sophie Bolinger, San Francisco, Calif.
A memorial service will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with the Rev. Hunter Huckabay and Rev. Samuel H. Payne officiating.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at St. Paul's.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Inc., 1270 Market St., Chattanooga, Tn., 37402, designated to be used for the John M. Bolinger Fund.
Arrangements are by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel, Knoxville.