A Nashville man searching for the grave site of an old friend on Memorial Day found what he was looking for.
Mike Servais was helping find the family of Dan Arthur Bolton, who lived in northeast Nashville and joined the Marines during the Vietnam War. Bolton was 18-years-old when he was killed in a firefight.
Bolton’s best friend in the Marines, Jack Pretch, managed to pick up Bolton’s pocket watch and Bible and hoped to return them to his family once he came back home.
But after 45 years of searching, Pretch had not been able to find anyone.
“For the last ten years on Memorial Day, I’d get on the phone or get on the computer,” Pretch said by Skype from his home in Oklahoma.
“I’d call all the Boltons in Tennessee,” he said.
He found Servais who still lives in Nashville and knew Bolton as a teenager. Servais set out on a mission to find one of Bolton’s sisters.
“I was getting a little frustrated that we hadn’t scored a connection,” Servais explained. “We knew he had sisters.”
Bolton’s three sisters had married, taken on new last names and moved away from Nashville, making Pretch’s search more difficult.
After News 2 aired their story on Memorial Day, Servais said people started joining the search. Bill Bratton and his fiance Dixie, who live in middle Tennessee, started out trying to find a Bolton sister.
Dixie used Facebook and Ancestry.com and found one of the sisters, Iris, living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Iris then contacted another sister living in Florida.
“My sister told me to go to the WKRN site. It was amazing. Right away I just started crying,” said Linda Bolton.
“This meant so much to us. We had no idea that any of this was going on,” she said.
Pretch told News 2 he will put the items in a box and mail them to his friend’s sisters and finally bring some closure to himself.
- May 26, 2014: Nashville man searches for family of fallen soldier